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  1. #61
    Advanced Taster
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    Sep 2013
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    Chicago
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    122

    Re: "Hand Picked Barrel"

    I am really glad to see this thread make it to 6 pages!

    It has been good to learn about the selection and pricing side of things. Having staff picks and store selectors is a good thing so long as they don't mark up the price as a result of their efforts to select. It sounds like many stores select good quality bourbon and keep prices steady. That only helps the industry and the consumer.

    Since beginning this thread, I bought a $29.99 (standard Chicago price) bottle of Binny's hand-picked ETL. It is one amazing bottle and one stand-out bourbon. Very pleased.

    Best,
    -Guy Debord

  2. #62
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    Sep 2013
    Location
    Madison, WI
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    340

    Re: "Hand Picked Barrel"

    I went by one of my regular haunts just to see if they had anything new, and got talking to one of their staff who seemed quite knowledgable. He said they'll be having a store select EC12 coming in soon - he was part of the selection process and was rather geeked about it. Will have to try it out.

    Speaking of store selections, I picked up an ER10 at another one of my stops. The guy told me they had the barrel itself for sale, nice logo burned into the side, etc. They wanted $200, but I'm almost certain they'd take less. I'm somewhat interested - might be a fun sipping table to put on the back deck, although that would mean I'd have to buy a couple of stools to sit next to it. Maybe I should post in the "Paraphenalia" thread, but does anyone have a sense of what's a fair price for such an item?

  3. #63

    Re: "Hand Picked Barrel"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Santana View Post
    I went by one of my regular haunts just to see if they had anything new, and got talking to one of their staff who seemed quite knowledgable. He said they'll be having a store select EC12 coming in soon - he was part of the selection process and was rather geeked about it. Will have to try it out.

    Speaking of store selections, I picked up an ER10 at another one of my stops. The guy told me they had the barrel itself for sale, nice logo burned into the side, etc. They wanted $200, but I'm almost certain they'd take less. I'm somewhat interested - might be a fun sipping table to put on the back deck, although that would mean I'd have to buy a couple of stools to sit next to it. Maybe I should post in the "Paraphenalia" thread, but does anyone have a sense of what's a fair price for such an item?
    If they're finished and shellacked I've seen the go from $200-400. Not finished between $50-100

  4. #64
    Enthusiast
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    May 2012
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    320

    Re: "Hand Picked Barrel"

    Sorry I missed out on this thread. Those are some nice words for our Tallahassee picks. I'm on the barrel selection team .. one of a half dozen or so that makes the trip twice a year. Most of us do not work for Market Square but we're great friends with the owner and we spend (as Squire noted) regular cigar porch nights there. He is also the co-owner of The Lounge adjacent and they feature all of our barrel selections. I know that we pick good bourbons and ryes. These guys have amazing palates and the distillers and distributors are with us often and they think enough of our palates to bring samples of not-yet-released pours. They get an honest opinion and they respect that. Jim .. who runs the joint .. insists we call 'em like we taste 'em.
    Regarding the Buffalo Trace .. we actually picked 18 barrels last April. We requested that the top six of our picks be bottled as 750's and they mistakenly bottled them as 1.75's. Jim had planned offering a six-pack of our top six picks. So .. those handles are the best (in our opinion) of our 18. All are as good as or better than the shelf selection. We spent some time with that the night before we did the tasting.
    Our goal is simple .. find a barrel or barrels that are notably better than the shelf version. If you can't do that .. why do it at all? Surely Chuck is right that barrels that don't make the pick simply go into production of their regular product.

    The barrels selected by the distillery are barrels they have tasted over time (they do this as a matter of regular business anyway) and know them to be in the profile. Our team has little problem finding great bourbon in what they offer us. From time to time .. rarely .. we don't .. and when we don't .. we pass. It keeps everybody honest.

    Our team does not talk during the tasting process. We score on a like scale .. and then put the scores down. The unanimity is amazing.

    MSL does now add a few bucks .. not much at all .. for the barrel selections. It's little to pay for a hand picked barrel from a team that spares no expense spending days in Kentucky doing this kind of hard work. I mean .. Lordy .. how many people would even want to do this kind of grueling hard work?!

    Sometimes samples are sent during our non-visiting months. The same care is taken with these as when at the distillery. Every distillery barrel program is a little different. They are very generous with their time and effort to help us achieve our goals. \

    I really encourage you to try barrel picks where you can. If you like what the retailer is presenting you with .. you know you've found a good source.

    Our bottles have all of the barrel information on it in a special tag we put on every bottle.
    Again .. thanks for the kind words. Will pass along. And I echoe Steve's (Sailor's) invite. Let us know when you're coming and share an evening on the Porch with us.
    Jon

  5. #65
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    Apr 2013
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    Harrisburg, Oregon
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    431

    Re: "Hand Picked Barrel"

    Thanks for that post, I love any and all insights into this process.

    I agree with supporting your favorite liquor store's selected picks. I will buy a store-pick of bottles I've had multiple times over new to me things simply because some of the picks have been so impressive. I've mentioned before buying a hand-picked Blanton's that was one of the best whiskies I've had, then nearly spitting out a regular Blanton's at a bar swearing it wasn't what it was supposed to be.

    I would also happily pay a few extra dollars for the privilege. I really wish our shop would do an OWA or W12 selection. I really also like seeing how a whiskey could or should be. I've never really liked Eagle Rare 10 but tasting a store-selection really made me "get it".
    Last edited by suntour; 11-29-2013 at 18:50.

  6. #66
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lakewood, CO
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    144

    Re: "Hand Picked Barrel"

    I am enamored with the private selection trend. It is better than limited edition to me. You get to taste a variant flavor profile of a product and maybe it reveal s something about that stores tastes and no wild mark up due to profiteers
    I am hoping there is a resource that would help to find stores and such that do private selection so as to more easily find them. Currently ive only found private selections by chance

  7. #67
    Virtuoso
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    Oct 2011
    Location
    Atlanta
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    1,232

    Re: "Hand Picked Barrel"

    Quote Originally Posted by Dannabis View Post
    I am enamored with the private selection trend. It is better than limited edition to me. You get to taste a variant flavor profile of a product and maybe it reveal s something about that stores tastes and no wild mark up due to profiteers
    I am hoping there is a resource that would help to find stores and such that do private selection so as to more easily find them. Currently ive only found private selections by chance
    1. Email distributors or distilleries. They can probably tell you.
    2. Ask people here who may live near you
    3. Drive around. Ask questions
    4. Try to find out if there's a distributor/supplier rep in your area and get his number (liquor store manager can tell you)
    These points should help you. Happy hunting
    "On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero"
    T. Durden

  8. #68
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    Feb 2013
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    Capital City of the South
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    267

    Re: "Hand Picked Barrel"

    Quote Originally Posted by Restaurant man View Post
    1. Email distributors or distilleries. They can probably tell you.
    2. Ask people here who may live near you
    3. Drive around. Ask questions
    4. Try to find out if there's a distributor/supplier rep in your area and get his number (liquor store manager can tell you)
    These points should help you. Happy hunting
    Curious Restaurant man, do you think the barrel selection is going to bleed over into the restaurant space or is the commitment/inventory requirements for it just too much?

  9. #69
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    Mar 2007
    Location
    Northern CA
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    Re: "Hand Picked Barrel"

    Quote Originally Posted by squire View Post
    It really does come down to who does the selecting, doesn't it.
    Agreed, nothing else matters as much. I only select the main person who is doing the selection.

    Also, some is only selecting base on three samples they received which to me is again not very meaningful. Dickel 9 years was like that. They gave the liquor store three specific barrel samples then you decide. The box it came in is nice but who cares.

    4R seems much more involve and elaborate. There's a YouTube video.



  10. #70
    Virtuoso
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    Jun 2012
    Location
    Louisville, ky
    Posts
    1,178

    Re: "Hand Picked Barrel"

    Give the Diageo boys credit, that's a heck of a branding effort. If you move the product up market, guess it doesn't hurt to upgrade from the usual FedEx box with loose bottles.

 

 

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