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Store Picks

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Knocksville10

So I went into a local LS that I don’t frequent very much and asked if they ever got their own barrel of Four Roses Single Barrel (store pick). The guy looked at me like I was crazy and with a somewhat snide undertone retorted that “it’s a waste of money, so why would I? It’s not like we get a discount for a barrel then we’re stuck with it.” 

 

So my question is this: do companies not give the LS a discount for buying in bulk, so to speak, when they pick their own barrel?

Edited by Knocksville10

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flahute
2 minutes ago, Knocksville10 said:

So my question is this: do companies not give the LS a discount for buying in bulk, so to speak, when they pick their own barrel?

They do not generally. They pay typical wholesale price for each bottle just like they do with every other bottle they get from the distributor. Some distributors may sell a barrel pick at a slight discount but not by much.

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Knocksville10
4 minutes ago, flahute said:

They do not generally. They pay typical wholesale price for each bottle just like they do with every other bottle they get from the distributor. Some distributors may sell a barrel pick at a slight discount but not by much.

Interesting. So from a business perspective, what’s the advantage of getting a barrel? Or is there one? 

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flahute
26 minutes ago, Knocksville10 said:

Interesting. So from a business perspective, what’s the advantage of getting a barrel? Or is there one? 

The advantage (if the barrel pickers know what they are doing) is that you get an exceptional example of that particular whiskey. You may also get something different than the standard release such as extra age. With the Four Roses Private Selection barrels of different recipes than the standard recipe, that’s the only way to get them. And they are at barrel proof. 

A store select can be quite good in comparison to a standard release and when a store has a reputation for picking good barrels, the entire barrel can sell out in a matter of a couple days. 

 

You should ask the guy at the store if selling out of 175 bottles in a few days sounds like a good reason to pick a barrel. 

On the other hand, he may know his customer base well enough to feel that they won’t sell that fast. 

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lcpfratn

I believe most of the stores in my area get a bit of a discount on store picks...at least from some distributors. Most of the store picks in the larger stores are often cheaper than the standard equivalent (if there is one) on the shelf. As far as the business perspective of getting a barrel, if they have adequate capital to fund multiple barrels and make picks that are well liked, they get more business and have a competive advantage.


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Paddy
2 hours ago, Knocksville10 said:

Interesting. So from a business perspective, what’s the advantage of getting a barrel? Or is there one? 

Head over to M.C.'s and ask them.  There's a reason many of us here are familiar with that small store!  ;)

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GeeTen
5 hours ago, Paddy said:

Head over to M.C.'s and ask them.  There's a reason many of us here are familiar with that small store!  ;)

M.C.'s?  I've bought from McScrooge's in Knoxville before (loved their Old Forge BP last year) and they have a great tasting bar as well.  Where's M.C.'s (for the next time I'm at UT for the SEC Swimming Championships)?   :ph34r:

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Knocksville10
6 hours ago, Paddy said:

Head over to M.C.'s and ask them.  There's a reason many of us here are familiar with that small store!  ;)

I’ve picked up several of their various store picks and they’re definitely good. It just sucks that they try to sell all their limited releases as secondary price. Or at least they did last time I was in there.

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Basil

How difficult is it for stores to get barrels?  If I owned a liquor store and wanted to offer a complete vertical of 4R recipes, would it be possible?  I would assume that there is a waiting list to offer anything from BT, but what about the other distilleries?  And as to BT, would it help if someone was willing to buy multiple barrels of different product lines instead of just trying to purchase one barrel at a time?

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Paddy
5 hours ago, Knocksville10 said:

I’ve picked up several of their various store picks and they’re definitely good. It just sucks that they try to sell all their limited releases as secondary price. Or at least they did last time I was in there.

I agree, but he leverages his high number of private select barrels to bring folks in, and turn his volume.

 

So for that purpose only, he fills that niche for me.

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Hop
6 hours ago, GeeTen said:

M.C.'s?  I've bought from McScrooge's in Knoxville before (loved their Old Forge BP last year) and they have a great tasting bar as well.  Where's M.C.'s (for the next time I'm at UT for the SEC Swimming Championships)?   :ph34r:

Just a little East of Knoxville at the Strawberry Plains Exit off I-40 exit 398 I believe so 20 miles East of the McScrooges exit

 

You can taste all their selections and I suggest you do so - prices are good and I've been tempted to buy several but once I tasted then I decided to pass - their tasters palate and mine don't always mesh...  

Edited by Hop

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Paddy
6 hours ago, GeeTen said:

M.C.'s?  I've bought from McScrooge's in Knoxville before (loved their Old Forge BP last year) and they have a great tasting bar as well.  Where's M.C.'s (for the next time I'm at UT for the SEC Swimming Championships)?   :ph34r:

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DCFan
14 hours ago, Knocksville10 said:

So I went into a local LS that I don’t frequent very much and asked if they ever got their own barrel of Four Roses Single Barrel (store pick). The guy looked at me like I was crazy and with a somewhat snide undertone retorted that “it’s a waste of money, so why would I? It’s not like we get a discount for a barrel then we’re stuck with it.” 

He realizes his store is a small time operation and the customer base isn’t strong enough to justify buying a whole barrel. But it is pretty stupid of him to project that impression to everyone that comes in his store.

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TheOakMonster

I work in a mid-size retail store in New York state and we frequently make barrel picks. On to the questions...

 

Discount? Answer: Depends on the state and the product. In New York, wholesalers ofter different purchase levels with different prices on many products.  Common levels might be 1 cs, 3 cs, 5 cs, 10 cs.  But best deal on something like 1792 is always 12 bottles, so no real price advantage to purchasing a barrel. For other products, for example, Woodford Double Oak and Knob Creek SB there is a 100+ bottle price level that saves us a few bucks per bottle, but nothing crazy. Our charge is always per case, there is no lump sum barrel price.

 

Why buy a barrel then? Answer: As others said, potential for increased sales (but that's no guarantee). If a store can build a following, you can sell extra product over normal levels. In my area, bourbon is growing, but the demand (and percentage of total sales) likely pales in comparison to Kentucky. No way we sell out in a few days. But a value-driven barrel like 1792 or Elijah Craig, we can sell out in 3-4 months. In the case of Elijah Craig or 1792, our store sells 3x/4x more per month of each with a single barrel in stock versus the standard product. So, that's extra product we're selling. Education and building trust is key. If a store isn't willing to put in some effort in promotion, the product could very well languish on the shelf.

 

How difficult is it for stores to get barrels? Answer: Depends. Of course, only certain products are available as single barrel picks (the range is quite limited actually). Other times, distilleries sometimes shut off the single barrel flow. For example, Heaven Hill stopped for a few years, but is back to offering Elijah Craig. In New York,  Buffalo Trace Distillery products are heavily allocated, therefore the distillery does not offer barrel selection option, so no BT, ER, or Weller picks; Four Roses picks are also no longer an option in New York. In addition, many distilleries only allocate a limited number of total barrel picks per state (and prioritize previous relationships), so stores late to the game may be shut out.

 

Hope that helps.

 

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fosmith
On 1/13/2018 at 6:19 PM, TheOakMonster said:

... Buffalo Trace Distillery products are heavily allocated, therefore the distillery does not offer barrel selection option, so no BT, ER, or Weller picks; Four Roses picks are also no longer an option in New York. In addition, many distilleries only allocate a limited number of total barrel picks per state (and prioritize previous relationships), so stores late to the game may be shut out.

 

Hope that helps.

 

I've seen OWA and BT store pics at a couple of stores here in the Bay Area.  I read the ER used to offer them but recently stopped the program.  So, maybe it's a regional thing?

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bayouredd

I stopped at a LS today that had a very nice barrel of 11 year ECSB for $31 that I picked up around the 1st of Dec. It was their maiden voyage on barrel selection & I told him what a good job he had done. He was quite pleased at the results. It took about 2 months to sell out & he had the regular ECSB for the same price. It made it worthy for him to try it again he said. He said he will, in Sep. He did say that there were limits in offers from the distributors & if he couldn't get something different, he was still pretty sure the EC would be a choice.

It got me making the rounds for that particular store, so it is obvious that it was a good business practice, at least for that store. I for one will test his choice for his next pick...

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