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Thread: Bourbon Hunting

  1. #1
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    Bourbon Hunting

    Quick question for the bourbon hunters.

    Do you literally go store to store to see what they have or do you 'let your fingers do the walking'? In hunting for the BTAC I've found that calling is easier than visiting, but obviously hunting dusties may require the hands on approach.

    Considering how many liquor stores exist and how many just carry 'well' or standard top-shelf items, it would seem a lot of ventures into stores is wasted time.

    On the other hand, I've also noticed a bit of a language barrier while on the phone...

    I suppose this is why they call it hunting. Any thoughts or comments?

  2. #2
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    Re: Bourbon Hunting

    The phone can definately be a good tool in hunting, but I've found too many barriers to locating things this way. Either the people on the phone have no idea what I'm talking about, language barrier, etc. Then there are the people who will raise the pricing on something that's been sitting around forever once they know someone wants it, the people who hold stuff in the back room for "special customers", etc, etc, etc.

    It's a useful tool, but it just can't replace walking into the store and poking around. IMHO, of course.

  3. #3
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    Re: Bourbon Hunting

    I generally frequent 3 stores within 20 minutes from home. I know the brands they carry and prices. If these stores don't stock something I want, I will check the yellow pages and make phone calls. I also enjoy stopping by unfamiliar stores to check their stock if I happen to be driving by. Sometimes I can find something different or a sale.

  4. #4
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    Re: Bourbon Hunting

    The language barrier is one issue. The other is that the people answering the phone will usually have no idea what they have in stock or not (especially dusty bottles). I was in a store in southern California a few months ago in a nicer neighborhood and asked the clerk if he had any AH Hirsch bourbon. He looked at me strangely and said that he had never heard of it before. As I was walking out the door, I saw 2 bottles of the AH Hirsch 20 year in a glass case. Just goes to show you...

    Dusty bottle hunting is a huge time (and gas/money) drain, but is very rewarding. Contrary to popular belief, there are still plenty of dusty bottles here in southern California (ORVW15, ER101, ND OGD & OT, OO, GTS, WLW, THH, etc). I should know as I have left many of these bottles on the shelves while hunting. In addition, there are many stores that I have come across with lazy clerks who won't get off their arses to move old bottles around so you can see what they have buried behind them. There could be MANY treasures hidden within but you will have to get the right clerk on the right day to work with you. Happy hunting! Those "eBay poachers" haven't got to them all yet...
    Last edited by heatmiser; 08-08-2007 at 12:56.

  5. #5
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    Re: Bourbon Hunting

    I agree with the folks above. Phoning has not been very effective for me, even when I am looking for something in particular. (One clerk excitedly told me, "Yes we do have GTS." When I asked how much it cost, he came back and said, "er, um, actually we don't have any, we just sold out.") I have a route that I will take once a month and covers up to 7 locations in about an hour or so. (I actually just got home from doing just that.) I can keep my eye on specials and prices and who is carrying what. (I know where the best prices for all my standards are.) I also like to look out for stuff that I've never heard of before. (Saw something called 'Prichards' today, never heard of it.) Not possible to do over the phone. I guess with all the gas spent on the drive, I'm probably not saving that much if any. But it's still fun and it's a trip that I look forward to every month.
    Last edited by whiskeyhatch; 08-08-2007 at 12:43.
    Kevin

    "Why don't you quit cryin' and get me some bourbon?"

  6. #6
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    Re: Bourbon Hunting

    Maybe I'll get a job at a wholeseller and access their database to find out who they shipped what where. That would make it a LOT easier!

    I have been asking clerks if they store anything in the back. One guy got all excited and enthusiastic so I got excited until he pulled out a few boxes of old nasty rot gut scotch.

    I figured dusties would be an inperson kind of hunt, but are you finding the ORVW and BTAC and other lines are turning up at the most odd ball locations?

  7. #7
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    Re: Bourbon Hunting

    I did a search on 'dusty bottles' it seems some of you guys here are fanatics. And in my area FlashPuppy seemed to be pretty prolific in hunting but suddenly stopped in Jan of this year. I wonder if he ran out of room?

    Thankfully it's given me an eye as to what to grab first if push comes to shove money wise. Pretty interesting!

  8. #8
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    Re: Bourbon Hunting

    Quote Originally Posted by Phischy View Post
    And in my area FlashPuppy seemed to be pretty prolific in hunting but suddenly stopped in Jan of this year. I wonder if he ran out of room?
    He's off serving our country. Left in Feb.

    Dawn

  9. #9
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    Re: Bourbon Hunting

    Just to throw my .02 cents in, calling on the phone rarely get the results I'm looking for. If you're dusty hunting....forget it. Don't even bother calling. For dusty hunting I get my list of "what to look for" and my map with all the stores pegged and hit the city around 10:00 a.m. and work my way through about 20 stores that day. Each time I've done this, I've scored some pretty nice (and old) bottles of great bourbon. Unfortunately, most of the stores I go into have Plexiglass partitions around the liquor and you can't get to them. It's especially hard to see when the Plexiglass is old, faded and hard to see through. I've had some luck in getting proprietors to let me behind the counter to look through the shelves but not always.

    For newer releases, the phone may yield results but typically, those that answer the phone aren't much help.
    “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” - P.J. O’Rourke
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  10. #10
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    Re: Bourbon Hunting

    Best wishes for FlashPuppy then...also explains why my PM went unanswered. I hope he comes back safe and all in one piece.

 

 

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