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  1. #1
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    Hard to get bourbons in New York???

    I have a friend who is visting a friend in new york/new jersey, and would like to take him a premium boubon from kentucky he might have a hard time finding up north. any ideas? i honestly don't know what is readily available in new jersey, but i figured ky had something special to offer. your replies are appreciated all y'all that live up yonder. thanks.

  2. #2
    Connoisseur
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    Re: Hard to get bourbons in New York???

    None of the Four Roses products are here. No Old Fitz, either. If you find a Weller 19 in KT, that could be sweet. None left here and no more produced.

  3. #3
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    Re: Hard to get bourbons in New York???

    If there is no Old Fitzgerald up your way, I would suggest 1849 and/or Very Special Old Fitzgerald. Also, to echo sentiments expressed here by Chuck Cowdery, Jeff (if I remember correctly) and others, you just can't go wrong with Very Old Barton.

  4. #4
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    Re: Hard to get bourbons in New York???

    We can get the Very Old Barton here, though.

  5. #5
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    Re: Hard to get bourbons in New York???

    We can get the Very Old Barton here, though.
    You can? We're envious! VOB is not available in VA, and we just assumed it's distribution was more limited outside of KY, TN and Illinois (the states where we have seen it sold). We really have to stretch out our VOB purchases between travels out of state.

    After reading other posts, I was reminded that I share an affection with others here for AAA 10 year, which apparently has a limited distribution. In VA it's fairly cheap; I would think the same is true in KY.

  6. #6
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Hard to get bourbons in New York???

    I'm surprised to hear VOB is available in NYC. It isn't in Chicago.

    Buffalo Trace is not available in New York. Neither is Ridgewood Reserve, but lots of luck finding any now. Old Charter probably is not in New York (the "Classic 90" is the one to get). Also, lots of cats and dogs that might be fun, e.g., JTS Brown, T.W. Samuels, J.W. Dant, etc.

  7. #7
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    Re: Hard to get bourbons in New York???

    I'm surprised to hear VOB is available in NYC. It isn't in Chicago.
    Just out of curiosity: my "Barton's in Illinois" reference is based on a web sighting, not an actual visit. I know nothing about Illinois geography, so I have no idea how close this is to Chicago, but Internet Wines and Spirits, aka Randall's, states their location as "Fairview Heights" in "southern Illinois." They invite web surfers "to come by the store" if they're in the area. I just assumed that this meant VOB is available in Illinois in general. Is the distribution in some states more regional? Or are internet sales distributions handled differently? Being in the control state of VA, I am clueless regarding how distribution works in non-control states.

    I suppose my real question is: how does the distribution system for Barton (or any whiskey) evolve?

    Okay, I'll admit it. I'm bitter that some folks outside KY can get VOB easily, and I can't!

  8. #8
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Hard to get bourbons in New York???

    Randall's, first of all, is nowhere near Chicago. It's close to St. Louis on the Illinois side of the river.

    I don't know if VOB is normally distributed there or if they have a special deal. Sometimes a big retailer will say to a manufacturer, "I want such and such" and the manufacturer will find a way to make it happen. That's why Sam's and Binny's here in Chicago have Buffalo Trace even though the brand isn't officially available in Illinois.

    Lots of brands are popular regionally, not necessarily because the maker wants it that way, that's just the way it is. For example, I asked Mark Brown where Old Charter is big and he said, "drop a stone in Little Rock, Askansas, and it ripples out from there." Colonel Lee, which is a very small Barton brand, is the well bourbon in some Chicago bars, and Barton is headquartered here, yet VOB is not available.

    Sometimes a retailer who wants something will make arrangements to get it from a distributor in another region. How legal that is I can't say.

    In most license states (the opposite of control states) people have exclusive distribution arrangements. Manufacturers can make products available to distributors but the distributors decide what they want to carry, just as retailers ultimately do. I know VOB is not available in Chicago because Sam's pretty much has a policy of carrying everything they can get, and they don't carry it. One bar I know has it because the owner brings it up from Kentucky himself (another practice of dubious legality).

    Really explaining how liquor distribution works is beyond my knowledge because it is a creature of state law and no two of those 'laboratories of democracy' does it the same way.

  9. #9
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    Re: Hard to get bourbons in New York???

    Really explaining how liquor distribution works is beyond my knowledge because it is a creature of state law and no two of those 'laboratories of democracy' does it the same way.
    Even if it is "beyond [your] knowledge," we found your post fascinating, as usual. The complexity of bourbon distribution is more than we imagined. Thanks for yet another insight. And the Illinois geography lesson!

  10. #10
    Connoisseur
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    Re: Hard to get bourbons in New York???

    You can get Buffalo Trace in NY if you just happen to know where to look.

    Old Charter 90 proof is actually available in NY. You're right on the Ridgewood. You can get Woodford everywhere, but no Ridgewood. Lawsuit, anyone? hee hee

 

 

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