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  1. #1
    Guru
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Northern Kentucky
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    3,425

    The price of a drink...

    I spent last week in downtown Indianapolis and, on several evenings, went in search of nearby establishments with decent bourbon selections. Pickings were slim at most places; just the ubiquitous Beam White (sometimes with the "small batch" quad) and the occasional Maker's Mark.

    At my hotel concierge's suggestion, I visited Oceanaire, an excellent seafood restaurant. The pickings were slim with the exception of a lone bottle of PVW 23. I'm glad I asked the price before ordering one ---- $90 for a (measured) 2 oz. pour! Needless to say, I declined. Since the bottle was about half gone, I asked the bartender who buys at those prices. He frowned and said that it is typically someone with too much money (and often already half in the bag) trying to make an impression by ordering the most expensive drink available. Often the drink is spilled or left half-finished.

    Another night I visited Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. They had a very good selection, including all the BT Antiques. They also had PVW 23 ---- at a more reasonable $30. Since this was still beyond what I could slip onto my expense account, I went with the 2002 Stagg (at $18 for a very generous pour). Delightful!
    John B

    "Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons… that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals."

  2. #2
    Connoisseur
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    Aug 2005
    Location
    NJ, USA
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    834
    Did you have to ask to figure out it was 2002 or did they know? That might be the one release of a bottle that I'd pay $18 to try.
    Tim

    I am going where streams of whiskey are flowing...

  3. #3
    Guru
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    Northern Kentucky
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    I asked to see it and checked the label.
    John B

    "Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons… that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals."

  4. #4
    Disciple
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    Nov 2005
    Location
    Alliance,Ohio
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    1,516
    Hey John B, did you check out any liquor stores while in Indy? There is a place almost in the center of Indy called John's liquor. I have never been there but have heard that it has a real nice selection!

    Thomas

  5. #5
    Guru
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    Northern Kentucky
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasH
    Hey John B, did you check out any liquor stores while in Indy? There is a place almost in the center of Indy called John's liquor. I have never been there but have heard that it has a real nice selection!

    Thomas
    No. Since I live in Kentucky I didn't expect that they would have anything I couldn't get at home.
    John B

    "Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons… that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals."

  6. #6
    Moderator
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    Jan 2006
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    West of the Rockies
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    2,581
    Quote Originally Posted by DrinkyBanjo
    Did you have to ask to figure out it was 2002 or did they know? That might be the one release of a bottle that I'd pay $18 to try.
    Yeah I'd pay that too, for that matter I may have even paid the $30 for the Pappy 23, but definitely 18 for GTS 2k2.

    I never fail to be amazed by these bars that have older bottles still sitting around. Like this one with the 2002 GTS and the Bellagio bars in Vegas that have blue wax Hirsch. Crazy!
    C

    "everybody defamates from miles away
    but face to face
    they haven't got a thing to say"

  7. #7
    Bad Girl and Bourbonian Of The Year 2012
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Greenwood, IN
    Posts
    1,089
    ThomasH,

    John's liquor store in the heart of downtown Indianapolis is now a Payless liquors, even though the sign still says John's liquors. It has an OK selection, but not as good as the newer Payless liquor stores around the outskirts of Indy. The downtown store serves mostly the city drunks.....I thought their selection compared to the other stores was pretty pitiful. The exception to this is that they have an incredible collection of decanters all around the top shelves of the store. The store in Greenwood has the decanter collection too. They're all for sale. I know there's no SW ones there.

    Dawn

  8. #8
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    England
    Posts
    300
    Hotels and bar prices make me laugh!

    I remember seeing an article a couple of years back about a bar in London that served EW 23YO for a huge amount for a pour or 750 GB pounds for the bottle... that is simply hilarious when you could buy EW 23YO for about 80 GB pounds at the time!

    I agree with the bartender that $90 pours are reserved for people who are out to impress or who don't know the value of money!
    Philip

    I guess good whiskey really does tickle my pickle!

  9. #9
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Chicago SW 'burbs
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    1,178
    Quote Originally Posted by Ambernecter
    Hotels and bar prices make me laugh!
    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMEN! A couple of months ago, I was at a little gathering of folks from another forum, in a bar in St. Charles, Illinois. Two Maker's Mark Manhattans: $15 - and they seemed to lack the necessary bitters.

    $15 will buy a bottle of Rittenhouse BIB, and I'll still have some change left. Toss in a few dollars more for some vermouth and bitters, and I can make a bunch of far better Manhattans. Even a small bottle of bitters will last a LONG time.
    Oh no! You have walked into the slavering fangs of a lurking grue!

  10. #10
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    651
    One of my projects right now is putting together the makings of a small bar area in connection with a restaurant, figuring out what to carry, costs, profit line, etc. Wines are a little more tricky because of not keeping as long, choices, etc. Bourbon and whiskeys have been of course really fun to consider, because they keep well, I can sample and I just plain like bourbon.

    The most astonishing thing to me is checking on the internet for menu prices and checking locally to get a feel for what different types of establishments are charging. As all of you have been saying, the prices on pours that are mid to upper shelf are unbelievable. I'm figuring it's a combination of the owner thinking, a. I have something not readily available at other establishments it's worth more, b. It's not going to turn as quickly I need higher return, c. In the case of some selections, this is the premier of the product line, we need to price it that way, to emphasize that, d. limited supply availabilty.
    I'm not saying I agreed with all that. For one if you make something a recognizably good value to the customer you're probably going to turn more of it. Your example of Pappy 23:

    My cost $8.33 per pour.
    Menu price $20 per pour (my operating costs would dictate that I charge at least $25

    But if I can off set this in other areas, with other products it becomes an astonishing value to those that know it (there lies the rub, those that know it).
    Mark/Nebraska


    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take... but by the moments that take your breath away. 11/25/2004

 

 

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