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Thread: Bourbon prices

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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Bourbon prices

    Have I ever mentioned that bourbon (and liquor prices, in general) are very high in Alabama? I believe that I have.

    I went to the ABC store, today, to see if they had anything new and exciting. They didn't. But I was shocked to see the current prices. They have gone from very high to outrageous!

    For example, Wild Turkey Rare Breed has been $31, but now it is $35.99. That is a 16% increase. Wild Turkey 101 was $18 a couple of years ago, was $19 the last time I remember looking, and it is $20, now. Old Grand Dad 86-proof is now $15. And Jim Beam Black is $21.

    Basically, everything I have any interest in is up substantially over what I remember from just a couple of months ago. Are prices generally increasing for you in other parts of the country? I'm not asking about small increases, but 10% or more. Or, is Alabama really sticking it to me above and beyond their already gouging prices?

    Tim
    Self-Styled Whisky Connoisseur

  2. #2
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    Well, whatever you do, don´t move to Sweden. I pay the equivalent to $57 for Rare Breed.

    To add insult to injury, it is special order only, which means that I get no chance to check which batch I get.
    Delighted to see you if you can find me!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hedmans Brorsa
    Well, whatever you do, donīt move to Sweden. I pay the equivalent to $57 for Rare Breed.

    To add insult to injury, it is special order only, which means that I get no chance to check which batch I get.
    Must agree with you on this.
    In Canada, the cheapest I have ever seen Rare Breed is for $41.99!
    Most stores here average about $46.99.

  4. #4
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    Just as data points:
    I bought a Rare Breed for $35.99 yesterday, and the last times I can recall looking at prices for WT 101 it was $18.99 and for Beam Black it was $17.99. Of course, all of those could be $5 more at a different store.

    I don't think you're getting ripped off in this instance (by Bay Area standards), but it would rankle me, just as it does you, if the government set a price that I didn't think was fair and I had no recourse other than travel to another state to make my purchases.

    Roger

  5. #5
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    Tim, our prices here in WA State are pretty close to yours, some a little higher and some a little lower.

    In WA. in theory I can get on line and search to see what Liquor is available and at what store and price and do it all on one central web site. The system can lag up to several months so I always call before I go, but it is kind of a nice benefit.

    When I look at some non-State runs systems their prices seem seem to be all over the place, some much lower, some much higher.

    I don't know enough about how it works. From a philosophical position I don't like the Government controlling liquor sales, but then I think of the saying, "be careful what you wish for". I would have thought that the State could negotiate better supplies snd prices because they do such a good volume...but like I said I don't understand enough about it.

    With the exception of a few bottles I have a store pretty close to me that has a very nice selection...I might have to work harder in a non-State run system.

    Just curious, does anyone know if a State (acting like a business) can better negotiate prices and variety from a Distillery because of the volume they sell?
    Last edited by T47; 09-16-2006 at 21:32.
    Todd

  6. #6
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    Tim,

    In South Florida, prices have been pretty stable as of late. At one of the larger "discount" wine/spirit retailers here, WTRB $29, WT101 $17, OGD86 $14, Beam Black $16. These are apparently pretty good prices compared nationwide. The downside is that I can't get bourbon over the Internet shipped to FL.

    -Kevin

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by scopenut
    Tim,

    The downside is that I can't get bourbon over the Internet shipped to FL.

    -Kevin
    It is a felony to have it shipped to yourself Alabama. Again, no options.

    Tim
    Self-Styled Whisky Connoisseur

  8. #8

    Bourbon Prices

    Michigan used to be a price-controlled state, but recently changed to a "minimum price"-controlled state, meaning you have to charge at least the minimum price set by the state, which incidentally, is the same as the old price which was mandated by the state.

    The powers that be claimed this would be good for competition. The powers that be believe we are all idiots.

    The current "minimums" (and it seems to me that no one charges more than the minimum for fear they will lose business - so much for the theories of the state) for the bourbons mentioned in the original post are as follows (all 750 ml):

    Wild Turkey Rare Breed $32.97
    Wild Turkey 101 $19.97
    OGD 86 proof $13.95
    Jim Beam Black $19.91

    I can go a couple hundred miles from where I live in Michigan's U.P., and beat the hell out of these prices in Wisconsin, where they have no controls on prices and true competition. We Yoopers do a lot of "stocking up" when we travel to Green Bay!

  9. #9
    Virtuoso
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    Interestingly, those prices are pretty well in line with what we'd pay in Illinois (unless something's on sale here). We don't have state-mandated minimums here - but Chicago tends to have rather high prices in general, whether it's real estate, gasoline, or booze.
    Oh no! You have walked into the slavering fangs of a lurking grue!

  10. #10
    Mr. Anal Retentive Bourbon Drinker
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    Quote Originally Posted by T47
    Just curious, does anyone know if a State (acting like a business) can better negotiate prices and variety from a Distillery because of the volume they sell?
    WA state does often have one time buy specials. Trust me; prices are always negotiable, often depending on competition. However, one of the state run board agendas is to reduce alcohol consumption through higher prices.

    The WA State liquor board does have monthly meetings and they post these notes on website. I have read these in past; the discuss tastings & pricing, then vote on if a product gets approved for distribution. There is currently a task force looking at the Three Tier system and possible changes to this (probably as result of lawsuit from Costco). Lots of interesting stuff: http://www.liq.wa.gov/3ttf-site/3ttf_Minutes.html

 

 

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