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  1. #1
    Advanced Taster
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    "Hand Picked Barrel"

    Can someone please explain or direct me to the explanation of the "Hand Picked Barrel" phenomena that merchants enjoy with distilleries? Is a hand picked barrel special? It seems like a gimmick to show that a store/merchant/buyer/manager has a unique relationship with a bourbon company.

    Am I paying more for a single barrel product that was hand picked (i.e. does an ETL that was picked by a big box liquor store mean anything)? Are they benefiting from having hard to find stuff, selecting the barrel, and then bumping the price because of it?

    Thanks in advance.
    -Guy Debord

  2. #2
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    Re: "Hand Picked Barrel"

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Debord View Post
    Can someone please explain or direct me to the explanation of the "Hand Picked Barrel" phenomena that merchants enjoy with distilleries? Is a hand picked barrel special? It seems like a gimmick to show that a store/merchant/buyer/manager has a unique relationship with a bourbon company.

    Am I paying more for a single barrel product that was hand picked (i.e. does an ETL that was picked by a big box liquor store mean anything)? Are they benefiting from having hard to find stuff, selecting the barrel, and then bumping the price because of it?

    Thanks in advance.
    The barrel is only as good as the palate that picks it. Anyone can pick a barrel but that doesn't mean that it's any good. The retailer doesn't necessarily get a honey barrel...they just have a group of barrels to choose from.
    Last edited by jcg9779; 10-16-2013 at 21:38.
    Jack
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  3. #3
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    Re: "Hand Picked Barrel"

    I figured that. What about the price though, do they get to benefit from a price bump?
    -Guy Debord

  4. #4
    Connoisseur
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    Re: "Hand Picked Barrel"

    I'll put it this way, some retailers actually go to the distillery and pick out a barrel, some have several samples sent to them and then select one they like, some just have the distillery pick something out for them and put a sticker on it saying it's there's. I'd approach your retailers and find out what direction they went. Sample their picks and see if your tastes align with theirs. If they do, you might find them to be a unique selection. Overall though, most places I see that do sell their "barrel selections" sell them at a lower cost than the off the shelf bottles.


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  5. #5
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    Re: "Hand Picked Barrel"

    For example, a Blanton's can be found for $47, but at the hand picked barrel place it's $55. It does not seem fair especially in cases where the bourbon is harder to find. Just thinking out loud.
    -Guy Debord

  6. #6
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    Re: "Hand Picked Barrel"

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Debord View Post
    For example, a Blanton's can be found for $47, but at the hand picked barrel place it's $55. It does not seem fair especially in cases where the bourbon is harder to find. Just thinking out loud.
    Most barrel pics are closer to the same price as the regular. The store doesn't pay a premium for private picks as a general rule
    "On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero"
    T. Durden

  7. #7
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    Re: "Hand Picked Barrel"

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Debord View Post
    For example, a Blanton's can be found for $47, but at the hand picked barrel place it's $55. It does not seem fair especially in cases where the bourbon is harder to find. Just thinking out loud.
    Part of the equation is that the distillery and selectors often have long term relationships, where they have an opportunity to select from some of the better barrels, before the product is mass produced for the standard shelf bottles. Its not perfect, but you play baseball and can hit .300...your in the hall of fame.

    In my experience, most barrel selections that I see in my area are priced in line with standard bottling and contain a discernibly better product.

  8. #8
    Guru
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    Louisville, KY
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    Re: "Hand Picked Barrel"

    prices here in KY seem to be the same for regualr and store pick stuff.

    i think a lot of places are not truly 'selecting' a barrel, but just ordering a batch with the 'store pick' label printed for it. anytime I walk into the kroger liquor store here and see the KCSB "kroger selected barrel", I cant believe anyone from Kroger is going to bardstowns JB plant and selecting a barrel to sell in the Kroger grocery store. Having the sticker on there just makes it look more appealing, I presume. regardless, kroger usually sells it a few bucks cheaper than most other stores' shelf price

  9. #9
    Disciple
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    Re: "Hand Picked Barrel"

    Quote Originally Posted by 393foureyedfox View Post
    prices here in KY seem to be the same for regualr and store pick stuff.

    i think a lot of places are not truly 'selecting' a barrel, but just ordering a batch with the 'store pick' label printed for it. anytime I walk into the kroger liquor store here and see the KCSB "kroger selected barrel", I cant believe anyone from Kroger is going to bardstowns JB plant and selecting a barrel to sell in the Kroger grocery store. Having the sticker on there just makes it look more appealing, I presume. regardless, kroger usually sells it a few bucks cheaper than most other stores' shelf price
    There happens to be a member of SB.com who was involved in selecting a barrel of KC120 for Kroger.
    Jim

  10. #10
    Enthusiast
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    Re: "Hand Picked Barrel"

    As far as price I recently helped an Atlanta retailer pick a FR 1B, and they are selling bottles for $29.99, which I think is $5-$10 less than national average.

    From what I've seen barrel picks run the same or less than OTS picks.
    "Civilization begins with distillation."

    William Faulkner

 

 

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