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  1. #31
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Northern NJ
    Posts
    519

    Re: "Hand Picked Barrel"

    Astor in NYC is selling their OWA single barrel at $40. That's almost double the regular price for OWA around here. I won't buy any at that price on principle, but it better be a darn good barrel to even think of jacking up the price like that.

    Fortunately, at home in NJ I have access to reasonably priced store barrels of Blanton's, BT, ETL, KCSB, and EC 12. All very good. There's also a ton of barrel select ER10, but those are a dime a dozen, and not anywhere near my favorite bourbon.

  2. #32
    Taster
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Central New York
    Posts
    57

    "Hand Picked Barrel"

    Regarding rejected barrels, I don't know what becomes of them, but some barrels are definitely clunkers. In our store, we selected both a BT and Eagle Rare barrel. We received three samples of each. In both cases, one barrel each received zero votes from our staff. That's 12 people that summarily rejected 1 of 3 barrel presented to us.

  3. #33
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Honolulu, HI
    Posts
    788

    Re: "Hand Picked Barrel"

    Sure, but the worst of one 3-barrel sample set could be the best of another set. I wonder how often all samples are rejected and a new set requested?

    It seems smart tasters would also add in 'ringer' reference samples to set the mark for the barrel samples. I think I'm starting to figure this thing out.
    Last edited by MauiSon; 10-18-2013 at 18:23.

  4. #34
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    SE Minn
    Posts
    1,048

    Re: "Hand Picked Barrel"

    As a participant in a couple of store picks, I can echo what many have said, first, it's a cool experience to be able to do so, and yes, the samples sent can range from the standard profile, to something completely in left field. And there has been at least one dog that I remember.

    It's not easy, you may like one, but you also have to keep in mind that you are doing it for the store, and it needs to sell, your taste may not be everyone else's.

    Chuck brought up a good point too, often the store can put a good break on the price.

    My current store pick of ER is going for $45 plus tax for a 1.75. Not a bad price in my book for what I'm getting.

    B
    "Life is life and fun is fun, but it's all so quiet when the goldfish die."

  5. #35
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    245

    Re: "Hand Picked Barrel"

    I had a chance to help a retailer pick their barrel from BT. They pick a barrel every 2 months because of their sales volume. The five bourbons were very interesting. They had all been diluted at the distillery to bottling strength (per the retailer's request) and the sample that was ultimately chosen was good but not the most interesting. They made a conscious choice to pick a bourbon with the profile that their customers liked rather than the most interesting or tastiest. Tasting blind we all ended up picking the same most interesting barrel, but what they chose was my #3 choice. Nice but not the standout. I know another retailer who does barrel picks with Jefferson (and yes I know they are a NDP) - and he's able to offer small batch for $25 a bottle which is a good price here in New England.

  6. #36
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    122

    Re: "Hand Picked Barrel"

    So generally the price doesn't really go up with a store selection. Good to know.

    New concern: It seems like a store pick might be the way to go because someone there has recently tried the product. So does every single barrel bourbon that hits a bottle get tasted by someone at the distillery? For example, is someone tasting each barrel of EWSB or FRSB? If so great! If not, then a store selection might be a good way to ensure a decent pick. I guess that's logic behind the whole thing anyway, get selections and sell those selections as being something better than the "distillery-to-store" option. It places a middle-man taster between you and the distillery.

    It seems strange though. I trust the guys and gals that make a single barrel product to taste it before it gets to me and I would hold their taste over my own and the store selector. Scratching my head over all this. When it comes to single barrel bourbon, you just have to roll the dice and buy the bottle to find out I guess.

    Thanks
    -Guy Debord

  7. #37
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    12,637

    Re: "Hand Picked Barrel"

    About rejected samples. Let's say you're doing a single barrel of Buffalo Trace. When the distillery selects the samples, they are all from barrels that have already been selected as suitable for Buffalo Trace. The ones that aren't chosen for the personal selection are probably high in the queue for the next bottling of Buffalo Trace and go into the dump tank with a few hundred of their fellows and are bottled as standard Buffalo Trace. I strongly doubt they go back into a personal selections queue. Remember, the remaining whiskey from that barrel is still in the barrel and if they have already deemed it ready, it won't stay there for long.

  8. #38
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Hoboken, NJ
    Posts
    172

    Re: "Hand Picked Barrel"

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffrey r View Post
    Astor in NYC is selling their OWA single barrel at $40. That's almost double the regular price for OWA around here. I won't buy any at that price on principle, but it better be a darn good barrel to even think of jacking up the price like that.
    While I agree that the extra $15 over a standard bottle is steep, I'm intrigued by this as I have not seen any other OWA store selections in this area. Has anyone given this a shot? Would like to hear some thoughts but may end up buying one anyway to satisfy my own curiosity. I'm sure I've spent $40 on dumber things!

  9. #39
    Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MS
    Posts
    12,467

    Re: "Hand Picked Barrel"

    I've spent lots more on prettier things. While I refuse to overpay on principle (another word for cheap) at least you know who made it and have a general idea of what to expect.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  10. #40
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    1,458

    Re: "Hand Picked Barrel"

    Request a sample. At that price they should be willing to let you try before you buy. Then decide if it's worth the premium.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk
    -Brian-

    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."
    -Agent Kay

 

 

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