"All these brands are owned by the Sazerac Co. headquartered in New Orleans, La., which has been actively promoting the single-barrel program since 2005. Other American whiskey brands like Evan Williams, Bulleit, and Jack Daniel's offer full-barrel bottlings, and some other brands offer private bottlings for VIP customers, but whiskeys from the Sazerac Co. come with a bonus: Buy the barrel, and get more access to limited products like Sazerac 18-year-old rye.
The recent popularity of bourbon and rye whiskey have led to a scarcity of product, so spirits companies reserve their aged whiskeys for specific markets.
"We didn't get enough of the allocation for the California market. The people who wanted the allocated bourbons came to us and said, 'What do we have to do to get them?' " said Bill Hart, a regional sales manager for Sazerac Co. Sazerac sold 71 single barrels last year in Northern California alone, Hart said. (Another option was to buy cases of Rain vodka, which you may now find as the well vodka in more venues than usual.)"