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lcpfratn

Weller price increase

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lcpfratn

Has anyone else heard that BT has increased the price of Weller Antique 107 substantially effective December 1st? I’ve heard from a pretty reliable source that the increase is approximately $20 to $25 per 750ml bottle. This may just be a market specific increase, but it looks like the prices in the secondary market and the premium product placement of things like Old Ezra 107 BP have finally gotten the attention of Sazerac and they are making a move to premium price OWA. If true, I suspect pricing increases for W12 are soon to follow.

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Guss West

Chatting up the whiskey fellas in Sturbridge today returning from Cambridge, I got a bottle of their OWA pick from this year for $26. 

 

They mentioned that their distributor let slip the price was going up.  He said the increase was $15/btl, so in the same range as the rumor you heard. 

 

I've been seeing bourbon prices going even crazier the past six months. 

$70 for Rittenhouse rye anyone?  Glad I've bunkered some fairly-priced whiskey. 

 

Noticed Willet Rye has gone up 20% from last year.  Yes, I did pay $50 for a bottle of the four year rye.  No regrets! 

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CUfan99

$25 versus $50 for something that’s not for sale to me doesn’t move my needle. Sorry to hear it for you guys though. 

 

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lcpfratn
$25 versus $50 for something that’s not for sale to me doesn’t move my needle. Sorry to hear it for you guys though. 
 

That price increase is going to shift the dynamic for everyone, including you at some point. At $45 to $50 it will start to sit on the shelves in my area, which means less will be bought and the allocation gets shifted to other areas/states. Of course that will mean you’ll probably have to pay $40 to $50 for it when it does get to your area, but it will now be available to you if you want it.

I received a second confirmation from another reliable source today that this price increase has happened at the Sazerac/BT level.

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CUfan99
3 minutes ago, lcpfratn said:


That price increase is going to shift the dynamic for everyone, including you at some point. At $45 to $50 it will start to sit on the shelves in my area, which means less will be bought and the allocation gets shifted to other areas/states. Of course that will mean you’ll probably have to pay $40 to $50 for it when it does get to your area, but it will now be available to you if you want it.

I received a second confirmation from another reliable source today that this price increase has happened at the Sazerac/BT level.

I’m fairly imaginative, but I can’t imagine OWA sitting on store shelves in my market for $50. It would fly off the shelves! They collect dust here at around $150. Just another day in taterville. 

 

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lcpfratn
I’m fairly imaginative, but I can’t imagine OWA sitting on store shelves in my market for $50. It would fly off the shelves! They collect dust here at around $150. Just another day in taterville. 
 

Wow! Well, they do, in fact, sit on the shelves around here for a while when they are priced at $40 or more. I passed on quite a few the other day at $40 and passed on a bunch today at $49.99 that had been sitting for several weeks. The store I visited today does sometimes mark up allocated stuff up a bit, so I asked the manager whether that price was due to the recently announced price increase, and he said that it was not...he had just premium priced it, and they had actually had it on the shelves for several weeks.

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smokinjoe

If you want a dose of sanity, in what is many times an insane bourbon world...This is it in spades.  

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MOwhisky4me

My go-to local LS called me today saying they were holding Weller Antique and Special Reserve for me. I ran by after work and bought a bottle of each (they only received 2 OWA and 4 WSR)... $40 for the WSR and $49 for OWA. The owner always knocks off 5-10% for me, but I was still having some sticker shock! He said he only raised his price (both were under $30 in June when I got my last bottles) because his cost went up accordingly.

 

Ugh!

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fishnbowljoe

 Sad news. :( I'm glad I have a few Weller's bunkered. 

 

Joe

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Spade

There's certainly whiskey I like a lot less that goes for more than OWA would be if this price increase is true. With that being said, if it were $50 I'd grab a bottle once in a blue moon... maybe. It's a unique profile, and one that I like quite a bit, but there's a lot of great whiskey out there. I can easily see many paying $50 however.

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lcpfratn

I went into the biggest store in my area today. Although I don’t shop there regularly, I was killing some time since I was in the area and hadn’t looked around in the store in quite awhile. Anyway, I noticed one of the clerks handing a bottle of OWA to someone and asked if there was any more. He said yes, and asked if I’d like one, and I said yes. I didn’t think to ask how much because this store is not known to jack prices up. So after he goes in back to get me a bottle, I ask how much, and he tells me $49...and that’s the price after the recent price increase. I thanked him, but told him I had decided to pass on it.

So, it’s definitely clear to me that BT has decided to bust up the secondary and inflated retail market in their products to some degree, and take some of those profits for themselves. It’ll be interesting to see how this and other likely price increases affect the market over the next year.

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smokinjoe
9 hours ago, lcpfratn said:

I went into the biggest store in my area today. Although I don’t shop there regularly, I was killing some time since I was in the area and hadn’t looked around in the store in quite awhile. Anyway, I noticed one of the clerks handing a bottle of OWA to someone and asked if there was any more. He said yes, and asked if I’d like one, and I said yes. I didn’t think to ask how much because this store is not known to jack prices up. So after he goes in back to get me a bottle, I ask how much, and he tells me $49...and that’s the price after the recent price increase. I thanked him, but told him I had decided to pass on it.

So, it’s definitely clear to me that BT has decided to bust up the secondary and inflated retail market in their products to some degree, and take some of those profits for themselves. It’ll be interesting to see how this and other likely price increases affect the market over the next year.

Textbook example of how the thing is supposed to work with a limited supply and high demand product.  

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GaryT
21 hours ago, smokinjoe said:

Textbook example of how the thing is supposed to work with a limited supply and high demand product.  

Very true!  I think some of us are frustrated because the market itself has gotten stupid (which as it consists of people - shouldn't come as a big surprise!)  At $50, I won't be a buyer - as others have said, plenty of great whiskey out there for less - but what is "today" won't necessarily be tomorrow.  Unfortunately I doubt this is one of those price changes that comes back down; I can't see it sitting on the shelves around here at that price.  I don't begrudge BT in the least, they're making a solid business decision.

 

Although I do hope this means it won't be so tightly allocated shortly . . . and they open the gates for more private picks . . . in particular from esteemed societies . . . who might or might not reside in Georgia ;) 

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lcpfratn
Very true!  I think some of us are frustrated because the market itself has gotten stupid (which as it consists of people - shouldn't come as a big surprise!)  At $50, I won't be a buyer - as others have said, plenty of great whiskey out there for less - but what is "today" won't necessarily be tomorrow.  Unfortunately I doubt this is one of those price changes that comes back down; I can't see it sitting on the shelves around here at that price.  I don't begrudge BT in the least, they're making a solid business decision.
 
Although I do hope this means it won't be so tightly allocated shortly . . . and they open the gates for more private picks . . . in particular from esteemed societies . . . who might or might not reside in Georgia  

Gary, I agree with your sentiments, except that I do think there will be a price reduction at some point in a few years...but I’ve been wrong at least once before in my life. It doesn’t gather dust in my area in the few shops that have priced it at $40 or above, but it doesn’t fly off the shelf either. We’ve had pretty good availability in our area during the annual release around this time of year, but you won’t find it the rest of the year. I suspect this price increase will keep it on the shelf for at least a little while longer, and will eventually lead to somewhat regular year round availability. Eventually, the price increase might even lead to it sitting on the shelves since many people won’t be buyers at the $50 price...it’s just not worth that price unless you’ve never had your own bottle.

Barrel picks of Weller 107 have been very common in my area the last few years, and I think they will increase in availability in other areas, since that may be the only thing that gets regular drinkers of Weller 107 to buy at the increased price. I’m happy that I have quite a few bottles in the bunker, because I don’t see myself buying many bottles of it in the future...even if it is a private barrel pick.
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mbroo5880i

Unfortunately, OWA or WL12 rarely hits the shelf in Indy.  When it does, it doesn't last long, especially if the price is less than $50.  More and more, they have been showing up in lotteries.  Even though both are allocated, I still believe the distributors and larger retailers create artificial shortages.   Retail markets state-to-state are so different.

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PaulO

How difficult is it for BT to make Weller?  They can keep the shelves stocked with  Buffalo Trace and Eagle Rare - no problem.

OWA and SR are only around six years old since the age statement was dropped.

It seems like the whole shortage and price hike are engineered.

The VW brand is bad for Weller fans too.  Every barrel of VW wheated bourbon means a potential loss of at least two or three barrels of Weller.  I say this because of the time stored in the warehouse.

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fishnbowljoe
7 minutes ago, PaulO said:

How difficult is it for BT to make Weller?  They can keep the shelves stocked with  Buffalo Trace and Eagle Rare - no problem.

OWA and SR are only around six years old since the age statement was dropped.

It seems like the whole shortage and price hike are engineered.

The VW brand is bad for Weller fans too.  Every barrel of VW wheated bourbon means a potential loss of at least two or three barrels of Weller.  I say this because of the time stored in the warehouse.

BT has three basic mashbills. Hi rye, low rye, and wheated. Most of their distilling efforts are naturally geared towards their rye masbills. Even though they share their wheated (re:Weller) distillate with the VanWinkle’s for “Pappy”, the actual amount of time that they devote yearly to distilling their wheated masbill isn’t all that much. I can’t remember the actual amount of time they distill the wheated mashbill, but IIRC, it is somewhere around a month or so each year. I’ve toured BT many times over the past 10 years, and only once were they distilling their wheated mashbill. FWIW, being able to finally have a taste of the wheated distillate coming right off the still was wonderful. :P 

 

Biba! Joe

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GaryT
16 hours ago, lcpfratn said:


Gary, I agree with your sentiments, except that I do think there will be a price reduction at some point in a few years...but I’ve been wrong at least once before in my life. It doesn’t gather dust in my area in the few shops that have priced it at $40 or above, but it doesn’t fly off the shelf either. We’ve had pretty good availability in our area during the annual release around this time of year, but you won’t find it the rest of the year. I suspect this price increase will keep it on the shelf for at least a little while longer, and will eventually lead to somewhat regular year round availability. Eventually, the price increase might even lead to it sitting on the shelves since many people won’t be buyers at the $50 price...it’s just not worth that price unless you’ve never had your own bottle. 

Barrel picks of Weller 107 have been very common in my area the last few years, and I think they will increase in availability in other areas, since that may be the only thing that gets regular drinkers of Weller 107 to buy at the increased price. I’m happy that I have quite a few bottles in the bunker, because I don’t see myself buying many bottles of it in the future...even if it is a private barrel pick.

This is a case where I certainly hope I'm wrong!  The last few bottles I bought were store private selections (thanks again Bruce!) but the GBS has asked for years about doing one.  They act like its some great honor to pay them money for their whiskey.  I mean - going in there to sample straight from the barrel Weller to select a barrel is probably tough work, and we're VOLUNTEERING for the mission for crying out loud.  You'd think they would be lining up to thank us, but noooooo.

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PaulO

Joe, with the demand, wouldn't you think they'd distill it more than one month a year.  That does help explain the short supply.

Mash bill #1 is my least favorite of the BT lineup.  Too bad that's the one always available.

I used to buy items (not whiskey) at auctions.  Even if I wanted something, I had my walk away price.

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