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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Oklahoma is OK

    Re: \"Hand Selected\"-\"specilaty bottlings\"

    I have had a few "hand picked" bottles over the past year. With the Binny's Buffalo Trace, I had nothing to compare it to, as I had never had BT in its "not hand picked" format. With the Hi Times ETL, I had a current ETL as well as some older black label stuff to compare it to, and the Hi Times version blew them both away. So far, I guess I am better off for having the special bottles, than not.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Nara, Japan

    Re: \"Hand Selected\"-\"specilaty bottlings\"

    Great thread (as usual) Doug!

    Regardless of the quality of the bourbon in the barrel and the difference between the chosen barrel and the standard bottle, it's a marketing tool that benefits the distillery, the store, and potentially the consumer. The distillery gets sales from the store. The store gets sales from the customer, who buys it because it is different from the regular bottle. If customers believe Bevmo sells quality items, this will work. If customers only care about price, it won't work. I don't think Bevmo customers only go to Bevmo for price alone. I think Bevmo has developed a brand image, which allows it to do this sort of thing.

    Also, the distillery could use this as an opportunity to get rid of some barrels that don't fit into its regular flavor profile. This is not to say that the barrels are bad, just different. Think about it. I highly doubt Beam said to Bevmo, "come on down to our warehouse and pick any barrel you want". Most likely Bevmo was given some barrels to choose from. In actuality the barrels are selected by Beam, not Bevmo; however, the overall consumer impression might be that Bevmo choose the barrel because of its high quality.

    Finally, the difference between the hand selected barrel product and the standard product could be minimal, yet the marketing would still work. How many consumers do side by side tastings? How many of us have had a different drinking experience with a favorite bourbon when we drank it in a blind tasting? I know I have. What percentage of the drinking experience comes from the image of the bottle? I believe it's more than we'd care to admit.

    Bottom line, it's good marketing and I think we'll see more and more of it.

  3. #13
    Bourbonian of the Year 2009 and Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Houston, Tx

    Re: \"Hand Selected\"-\"specilaty bottlings\"

    Tim.......I (and others) have been trying to convince a couple of the distilleries to allow some of their good customers (us!) a chance to taste and purchase a barrel of some of their oddities. By virtue of acquisitions, contract distilling for others, etc, they all end up with odd lots of whiskey made by/or for old so-and-so but they own it now. It's not in sufficient quantity to come to market with.....even in a limited edition. So it usually gets worked into a lower or mid shelf bottling and its uniqueness lost forever. Let us come and taste these.....negotiate a price (it will have to go thru a distributor and retailer).....and bottle it under some old label/brand no longer in use but still approved by whatever state we take delivery in. Put a little sticker on it for us. So far.....all I've gotten is something like...."We appreciate where you're coming from as a bourbon enthusiast.....we like to taste these things too. But a barrel here and a barrel there just doesn't reach our bottom line."

    As you said Tim, it would be a way for them to sell some of their unusual barrels.....but they do it now by putting it into their 100 barrel dump of __________.

    So far, no one is jumping all over this.......but I'm (we're) still pursueing it.


  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Eastern Pennsylvania

    Re: \"Hand Selected\"-\"specilaty bottlings\"

    But a barrel here and a barrel there just doesn't reach our bottom line."

    But it shouldn't detract from their bottom line either. After all, a sale is a sale. Is it that much additional trouble on their part to sell single barrels? I should hardly think so.



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