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Liquor Store "Huh?" Moments

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Harry in WashDC

Today, 7 June, while on a regional road trip for "other reasons" (heh heh heh), I took a small detour on the way home and stopped in several stores that usually have some nice things as well as overpriced things.  I passed on basic (NOT store pick) BT 750s @ $45 (yup, $45 and only one per buyer per day; $45 is $15-20 more than I usually see it closer to home) BUT I instead picked up Bakers which was further down the shelf for $46 per 750 (about $8-10 less than I usually see it).  Same place had Weller 12 for $200 which made the store pick OWA @ $60 attractive (at least to me).  I usually like their picks.

 

Pricing in non-control jurisdictions is CRAZY;  I really have to pay attention to the sticker prices.

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BrokeCal
On 5/1/2019 at 1:09 PM, afinchmustang said:

I was only able to look at grocery stores near where I was staying in Scottsdale; there aren't a ton of liquor stores from what I saw. I went to a smaller chain and they still had a pretty decent selection; probably at least 50 ECBP between the large display and shelves. It might be worth giving Costco a shot while you're there as well. I wish I had some time to explore while I was there, but I didn't see much when I was researching

Well I went to a Costco in Glendale and didn't see much.  Settled on a 1 Liter of Old Forester Rye from Total Wine.  It got me through my trip!

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Supercharger

Went in to a place I bought an OldFitzBIB13 at today. I thought I’d see if they got any W12, since I know it hit the area since I got one. 

 

Turns out they have now hold all allocated items and raffle off the ability to buy them at the end of the year. You get a raffle ticket for each bottle of whiskey you buy during the year. I bought a GH WT101 (since I wanted to add to the bunker) and walked out shaking my head. I won’t be buying from there again. I’m sure I’ll get a call for my raffle ticket as they’ll be so backed up at the end of the year that the number are probably in my favor. 

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alcoholica
On 4/3/2019 at 9:50 AM, CardsandBourbon said:

I recently stopped by a new LS in a neighboring county.  He had ER on the shelf at $31.99.  I grabbed three bottles (1 for me, 1 for son, 1 for friend) and was going on about how great the price was.  Left a few bottles on the shelf.  Decided that I should go ahead and pick up a couple more bottles since the price was so great.  I guess I should have kept my mouth shut about the price.  When I went back, surprise, it was $52.99 a bottle.

I've helped explain bourbon to a couple stores and they burned me, just like they did you. Now I'll just tell them, that I have a weird palate and like things that others don't, and then list the allocated bourbons, and that their prices are high.

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briankeith513
15 hours ago, alcoholica said:

I've helped explain bourbon to a couple stores and they burned me, just like they did you. Now I'll just tell them, that I have a weird palate and like things that others don't, and then list the allocated bourbons, and that their prices are high.

Hilarious.  Same thing has happened to me. 🤣

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Limegoldconvertible68
On 6/12/2019 at 10:42 PM, alcoholica said:

I've helped explain bourbon to a couple stores and they burned me, just like they did you. Now I'll just tell them, that I have a weird palate and like things that others don't, and then list the allocated bourbons, and that their prices are high.

And that’s why I’m saying hello to the “Big Box” stores. Basically I’m buying the same bottles I used to from the liquor stores I’ve helped support for years and I’m now paying about $10 less per bottle. What am I giving up?  A chance to be offered a allocated bottle at obscene gouge pricing.  

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dad-proof

Last night, I was coming home from dinner out and stopped into a store I've never been in before. When I ventured near the whisky section, the son's owner (he identified himself as such) asked if I had any questions. I thanked him and told him no, I pretty much know what I like, and was fine to look around. He responded "Bro, you might know what you're supposed to like from the internet, but trust me I am your life raft in the ocean of Bourbon BS." Ha! He then proceeded to aggressively push craft whiskey after craft whiskey into my hands along with a mix of fact/fiction in his pitch, all while bashing the majors. I tried to play along with amusement, but he became very aggressive about telling me to buy his recommendations, and condescending about my stated preference for macro-distillery products. He rolled his eyes and said "whatever, man" when I picked up a bottle of OF Rye, so I put it back. He then admonished me rapid fire with "buy local - support people that do it the right way - feel free to come back sometime and spend some money" and then turned and walked away. Huh? 

 

The funny thing is, they had Belle Meade CS at a decent price, which is pretty hard to find, so I was thinking of picking it up for a friend that likes MGP more than me, but once he got started I couldn't give the guy the satisfaction of rewarding his behavior. Instead, I went a quarter a mile down the road and bought some macro-goodness WT101

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smokinjoe
5 minutes ago, dad-proof said:

Last night, I was coming home from dinner out and stopped into a store I've never been in before. When I ventured near the whisky section, the son's owner (he identified himself as such) asked if I had any questions. I thanked him and told him no, I pretty much know what I like, and was fine to look around. He responded "Bro, you might know what you're supposed to like from the internet, but trust me I am your life raft in the ocean of Bourbon BS." Ha! He then proceeded to aggressively push craft whiskey after craft whiskey into my hands along with a mix of fact/fiction in his pitch, all while bashing the majors. I tried to play along with amusement, but he became very aggressive about telling me to buy his recommendations, and condescending about my stated preference for macro-distillery products. He rolled his eyes and said "whatever, man" when I picked up a bottle of OF Rye, so I put it back. He then admonished me rapid fire with "buy local - support people that do it the right way - feel free to come back sometime and spend some money" and then turned and walked away. Huh? 

 

The funny thing is, they had Belle Meade CS at a decent price, which is pretty hard to find, so I was thinking of picking it up for a friend that likes MGP more than me, but once he got started I couldn't give the guy the satisfaction of rewarding his behavior. Instead, I went a quarter a mile down the road and bought some macro-goodness WT101

Please!  Please!!  PLEASE!!!!  Give me the name of this store!!!  I so want to go there in full caustic asshole mode!!!  :D

 

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dad-proof
2 minutes ago, smokinjoe said:

Please!  Please!!  PLEASE!!!!  Give me the name of this store!!!  I so want to go there in full caustic asshole mode!!!  :D

 

Haha - that would be fun. PM forthcoming!

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Phil T
Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, smokinjoe said:

Please!  Please!!  PLEASE!!!!  Give me the name of this store!!!  I so want to go there in full caustic asshole mode!!!  :D

 

You being a righteous dude who has a cocktail named after him, can certainly do this without much effort. :)

Edited by Phil T
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Vosgar
10 hours ago, smokinjoe said:

Please!  Please!!  PLEASE!!!!  Give me the name of this store!!!  I so want to go there in full caustic asshole mode!!!  :D

 

Not that you'd need any help :D, but it'd be great if you brought Big Rich along as your silent but scowling bad-ass cohort to see if you could get this dipshit to piss his pants. Have Troyce with you to record the whole thing, it could be an epic moment in SB history!

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squire
11 hours ago, dad-proof said:

Last night, I was coming home from dinner out and stopped into a store I've never been in before. When I ventured near the whisky section, the son's owner (he identified himself as such) asked if I had any questions. I thanked him and told him no, I pretty much know what I like, and was fine to look around. He responded "Bro, you might know what you're supposed to like from the internet, but trust me I am your life raft in the ocean of Bourbon BS." Ha! He then proceeded to aggressively push craft whiskey after craft whiskey into my hands along with a mix of fact/fiction in his pitch, all while bashing the majors. I tried to play along with amusement, but he became very aggressive about telling me to buy his recommendations, and condescending about my stated preference for macro-distillery products. He rolled his eyes and said "whatever, man" when I picked up a bottle of OF Rye, so I put it back. He then admonished me rapid fire with "buy local - support people that do it the right way - feel free to come back sometime and spend some money" and then turned and walked away. Huh? 

 

The funny thing is, they had Belle Meade CS at a decent price, which is pretty hard to find, so I was thinking of picking it up for a friend that likes MGP more than me, but once he got started I couldn't give the guy the satisfaction of rewarding his behavior. Instead, I went a quarter a mile down the road and bought some macro-goodness WT101

I would've laughed in the guy's face.  I try to be a get along sort of person but telling me what I "should" buy is exactly the wrong way to win me as a customer.  I'd be surprised if ownership of that store makes it to the third generation.

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fosmith
11 hours ago, dad-proof said:

Last night, I was coming home from dinner out and stopped into a store I've never been in before. When I ventured near the whisky section, the son's owner (he identified himself as such) asked if I had any questions. I thanked him and told him no, I pretty much know what I like, and was fine to look around. He responded "Bro, you might know what you're supposed to like from the internet, but trust me I am your life raft in the ocean of Bourbon BS." Ha! He then proceeded to aggressively push craft whiskey after craft whiskey into my hands along with a mix of fact/fiction in his pitch, all while bashing the majors. I tried to play along with amusement, but he became very aggressive about telling me to buy his recommendations, and condescending about my stated preference for macro-distillery products. He rolled his eyes and said "whatever, man" when I picked up a bottle of OF Rye, so I put it back. He then admonished me rapid fire with "buy local - support people that do it the right way - feel free to come back sometime and spend some money" and then turned and walked away. Huh? 

 

The funny thing is, they had Belle Meade CS at a decent price, which is pretty hard to find, so I was thinking of picking it up for a friend that likes MGP more than me, but once he got started I couldn't give the guy the satisfaction of rewarding his behavior. Instead, I went a quarter a mile down the road and bought some macro-goodness WT101

What a jerk!  Salespersons/owners should be trying to figure out what YOUR tastes are and suggest something that YOU may like not tell you your tastes are wrong and be mad that you don't want to buy what THEY like.  I've seen this in wine shops many times and it makes me never want to go back.  Stupid that someone's ego would make them drive paying customers away...

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EarthQuake
10 minutes ago, fosmith said:

What a jerk!  Salespersons/owners should be trying to figure out what YOUR tastes are and suggest something that YOU may like not tell you your tastes are wrong and be mad that you don't want to buy what THEY like.  I've seen this in wine shops many times and it makes me never want to go back.  Stupid that someone's ego would make them drive paying customers away...

Yeah, sounds like a hipster wanker. He probably had a man-bun. Someone should tell his dad how much of a douche he is, and that he's scaring away customers with his crappy recommendations.

Edited by EarthQuake

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EarthQuake

There's a guy at a local shop here that always tells me about the latest craft stuff they got in. One time he tried to tell me Breckenridge was better than Pappy. I just sort of smile and nod. He's a nice guy though so mostly it's just funny. I've gotten some great stuff there with their lotteries (Four Grain, Mitcher's 10, EC18) and the guys there aren't pretentious at all (the kid who checked me out when I got the EC18 was so excited he shook my hand, it was cute). I can understand getting excited about the stuff you like and recommending it, but c'mon.

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PaulO

Dad-proof, it occurred to me, maybe this shop ended up stockpiling a boatload of overpriced, under aged, low proof "craft" garbage.  Mr. smart guy probably played a big hand in this.  Now they can't get rid of it.  

Does anyone have to do any arm twisting to get one of us to buy a quality product priced fairly?  For the most part we know what we like.

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dad-proof
9 minutes ago, PaulO said:

Dad-proof, it occurred to me, maybe this shop ended up stockpiling a boatload of overpriced, under aged, low proof "craft" garbage.  Mr. smart guy probably played a big hand in this.  Now they can't get rid of it.  

Does anyone have to do any arm twisting to get one of us to buy a quality product priced fairly?  For the most part we know what we like.

That's a great point. The father was around and seemed like a pretty good guy, and for being such a small store they really had an interesting wine and beer selection. It makes sense that junior jumped on the craft whiskey hype train, maybe without pops being onboard, and now the pressure is on him to sell the stuff.

 

But, as someone in sales, I can confirm he broke every rule in the book. Maybe that's why I just stood there incredulously with half smile, thinking "WTF is happening right now?" to myself. Haha.

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PaulO

With a lot of the craft brands, consumers will be one and done.  Eventually the potential buyers will have moved on.

I don't need to buy that stuff after reading enough reviews here.

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EarthQuake
24 minutes ago, PaulO said:

With a lot of the craft brands, consumers will be one and done.  Eventually the potential buyers will have moved on.

I don't need to buy that stuff after reading enough reviews here.

Yeah, it's the natural life cycle for many (most?) craft spirits. You buy a bottle because someone nearby made it and that's neat. You drink a bit of it, maybe share some with some friends for the novelty of drinking the local thing. Then that 3/4 bottle sits on the shelf for 3 years and eventually you pour it out because it sucks, or hide it in a mixer and tell yourself never again.

 

I feel for the craft joints because it's difficult to start a business where you have to wait 4-6 years before you have a salable product. But at the same time, I don't understand putting out bad product. I guess they have no other choice, but it doesn't seem like a sustainable business model unless you're doing something real special, or maybe just in a large market with a lot of suckers and/or hipsters.

Edited by EarthQuake
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Jazzhead

Some craft whiskeys are excellent.    Yes,  I've had my share of one-and-dones,  but even when it comes to craft bourbons (a tough category because of the quality of so much of the better-aged stuff coming from the mega-factories),  I've bought second and even third bottles.    A few craft bourbons I can think of off the top of my head that have earned my repeat business include JP Trodden,  FEW, Black Dirt, Wyoming Whiskey and David E from Hidden Still.   

 

Crafts do better,  I think, in the rye space  (I've liked Dad's Hat especially as they've moved to full-size barrels),  but where they can really shine is with American malts and four-grains.   Delbac,  for example,  or the excellent four-grains being produced by Manatawney Still Works.  

Edited by Jazzhead

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smokinjoe
4 hours ago, Jazzhead said:

Some craft whiskeys are excellent.    Yes,  I've had my share of one-and-dones,  but even when it comes to craft bourbons (a tough category because of the quality of so much of the better-aged stuff coming from the mega-factories),  I've bought second and even third bottles.    A few craft bourbons I can think of off the top of my head that have earned my repeat business include JP Trodden,  FEW, Black Dirt, Wyoming Whiskey and David E from Hidden Still.   

 

Crafts do better,  I think, in the rye space  (I've liked Dad's Hat especially as they've moved to full-size barrels),  but where they can really shine is with American malts and four-grains.   Delbac,  for example,  or the excellent four-grains being produced by Manatawney Still Works.  

Mega-factories??  Tsk-tsk...

Edited by smokinjoe
Bolding In JH’s post by me.

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Marekv8
5 hours ago, Jazzhead said:

Some craft whiskeys are excellent.    Yes,  I've had my share of one-and-dones,  but even when it comes to craft bourbons (a tough category because of the quality of so much of the better-aged stuff coming from the mega-factories),  I've bought second and even third bottles.    A few craft bourbons I can think of off the top of my head that have earned my repeat business include JP Trodden,  FEW, Black Dirt, Wyoming Whiskey and David E from Hidden Still.   

 

Crafts do better,  I think, in the rye space  (I've liked Dad's Hat especially as they've moved to full-size barrels),  but where they can really shine is with American malts and four-grains.   Delbac,  for example,  or the excellent four-grains being produced by Manatawney Still Works.  

 

Speaking of mega… Black Dirt is owned by Proximo and Wyoming Whiskey belongs to Edrington

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EarthQuake
7 hours ago, Jazzhead said:

Some craft whiskeys are excellent.    Yes,  I've had my share of one-and-dones,  but even when it comes to craft bourbons (a tough category because of the quality of so much of the better-aged stuff coming from the mega-factories),  I've bought second and even third bottles.    A few craft bourbons I can think of off the top of my head that have earned my repeat business include JP Trodden,  FEW, Black Dirt, Wyoming Whiskey and David E from Hidden Still.   

 

Crafts do better,  I think, in the rye space  (I've liked Dad's Hat especially as they've moved to full-size barrels),  but where they can really shine is with American malts and four-grains.   Delbac,  for example,  or the excellent four-grains being produced by Manatawney Still Works.  

The local place, Cedar Ridge, just about 10 minutes drive from me in Iowa City has been producing more and more impressive stuff lately. They did a barrel proof store pick for a local whiskey group, 5 year old bourbon I think, that was among the best craft whiskies I've had, but still not on par with the big boys. I sampled a barrel proof 5 year old J Henry (from Wisconsin) that was very good for craft too. There's another place in Wisconsin, Driftless Glen, that people seem to really like, but I haven't tried their stuff yet.

 

Few was something I quite liked when I started getting into whiskey about 6 years ago (not long after they opened, when they first started winning awards). The rye was quite good (or so I thought), mostly mixed in Old Fashioneds). I bought a few bottles of it. But then at one point, I bought a new bottle and it was awful. Just terrible whiskey, among the worst I've ever purchased. So I'm not sure what happened. Whether my tastes changed or what they were bottling changed or some combination of the two. When I was in Chicago a year or two ago we went to the tour at Few and tried most of the stuff they make. It was all bad, young, too grain forward, and aged in those micro barrels.

 

So I'm curious to hear if you've been a recent buyer of Few, or if the stuff you bought was a few years back? I think the bottles that we found to be bad started around 2014 or 2015. I have a sneaking suspicion that they were bottling sourced whiskey before then, but I have absolutely no proof of this. Either that or they changed production to meet demand and the quality fell off. Of course it's possible I just couldn't tell good whiskey from bad when I first started buying it (likely).

 

Speaking of Chicago area whiskey, Koval is foul stuff. At least when I tried it a few years back. We got a sample pack of the Bourbon, Rye and Four Grain, and I think most of it ended up down the drain. Perhaps it was the Rye that sucked the least? That was used for making bitters and whiskey cherries.

Edited by EarthQuake

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kevinbrink
3 hours ago, Marekv8 said:

 

Speaking of mega… Black Dirt is owned by Proximo 

Is that true?  I looked at both Proximo and Black Dirt's website and didn't see any evidence of it, they are somewhat local to me and started out as an extension of the Warwick Valley Winery, Warwick is a popular town in the fall for Apple/Pumpkin Picking and for a number of years Wine, Cider and Spirits production have become a big part of the draw there.  I looked at the TTB filings and the most recent one is from 2018 and it still lists WVW as the Applicant. I will say I've enjoyed some of their stuff but last year they put out their first 4 year old bourbon as a single barrel at Barrel Proof and the bottle I got was disappointing, I have a bottle of their BP Bloody Butcher, I forget what batch, that is far far better and tastes less immature. Part of me thinks the difference is in the quality of some of the older casks they were using but who really knows. 

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fosmith
9 hours ago, Jazzhead said:

Some craft whiskeys are excellent.    Yes,  I've had my share of one-and-dones, 

Best craft whiskey I've had (I haven't had very many) was Crater Lake Reserve Rye (3yo, 96 proof, IIRC) Pretty good and under $30.  Worst was Breckenridge.  Could hardly finish the bottle...

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