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pyro273

How do you all acquire these bottles?

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BusterChestnut

These days it’s relationships and willingness to pay a premium. The really rare bottles (talking mid-2000s Willetts, dusties, etc) are astronomical now. For annual LE releases, shouldn’t be terribly difficult.

 

In order to build a relationship with a store owner, you’ll need to become a frequent customer and get to know them. Is that worth it over just dropping $500 and being done with it? Up to you, how much your time is worth and what you’ll spend eventually to build that relationship.

 

People in the current boom who are just starting to build a collection are probably best suited, imo, to just find a good bar that has a great selection and try what you want to try. This market has a high barrier for entry to folks just starting out and want a closet full of BTAC and other highly sought-after (and imo, disappointing for the price) bottles.

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tanstaafl2

Don’t know if this mentioned previously but recently several stores in Atlanta were cited (by state officials I think) for having lotteries were you had to buy tickets or buy bottles to just get a chance at the high end bottles. I think they were calling it a form of gambling. I think they were just warnings but I haven’t heard any follow up on it. I will have to follow up on it out of my own curiosity.

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lcpfratn
Don’t know if this mentioned previously but recently several stores in Atlanta were cited (by state officials I think) for having lotteries were you had to buy tickets or buy bottles to just get a chance at the high end bottles. I think they were calling it a form of gambling. I think they were just warnings but I haven’t heard any follow up on it. I will have to follow up on it out of my own curiosity.

Interesting, and I guess that sorta makes some sense from a legal standpoint. There aren’t very many stores that have lotteries in my area. The two that I’m aware of don’t require a purchase, but they do limit participation. One store only allows participants with a local address or regular customers, and the other has a sign up list for those customers that are interested in the lottery...and you only know about the sign up list if you’re a customer. So, if you aren’t a local customer, you probably aren’t going to be able to get a free lottery ticket for the chance at being selected to be able to buy a bottle in their store lotteries.

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BottledInBond

Nobody is going to build a significant bunker of highly allocated LEs from now forward for the forseable future based on lotteries. If you’re lucky and enter a bunch, lotteries might get you one really good bottle a year, maybe two if you’re really lucky. Assuming you actually drink some of this stuff, that’s never going to snowball into the pictures of crazy bunkers you see periodically. And by the way the vast majority of those were started many years ago now.

 

As others have said, the only thing you can really count on are carefully cultivated long term relationships. But even those are no guarantee. Last year I lost my best ever relationship I’d had for years when a manager left one store to get into another line of business, and his replacement didn’t continue what was established previously. 

 

Keep your expectations modest to avoid letdowns, and show genuine appreciation whenever you do get offered something good. As others will also say, most of the unicorn bottles don’t live up to the hype anyway.....

 

 

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pyro273
4 hours ago, tanstaafl2 said:

Don’t know if this mentioned previously but recently several stores in Atlanta were cited (by state officials I think) for having lotteries were you had to buy tickets or buy bottles to just get a chance at the high end bottles. I think they were calling it a form of gambling. I think they were just warnings but I haven’t heard any follow up on it. I will have to follow up on it out of my own curiosity.

I know Green's did this and, yes, I schleped it all they way to both of their location's to buy a bottle/six pack of something to enter.  Hadn't heard about the warnings.

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fosmith
6 hours ago, tanstaafl2 said:

Don’t know if this mentioned previously but recently several stores in Atlanta were cited (by state officials I think) for having lotteries were you had to buy tickets or buy bottles to just get a chance at the high end bottles. I think they were calling it a form of gambling. I think they were just warnings but I haven’t heard any follow up on it. I will have to follow up on it out of my own curiosity.

Interesting...  At a LS I frequent here in Calif., for every $25 you spend, you can get one entry into a drawing to buy LEs at msrp.  If you don't want to do that, you can redeem your "points" for free shipping or discounts.  I know Calif is different than GA, but they're the only store I know here that does that so I wonder if they are in violation.  BTW, I think it's a good way to go.  Don't have to hunt.  I don't have to buy more than I want to to build a "relationship".  And, I scored a WLW last year.  :)

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Vosgar
3 minutes ago, fosmith said:

Interesting...  At a LS I frequent here in Calif., for every $25 you spend, you can get one entry into a drawing to buy LEs at msrp.  If you don't want to do that, you can redeem your "points" for free shipping or discounts.  I know Calif is different than GA, but they're the only store I know here that does that so I wonder if they are in violation.  BTW, I think it's a good way to go.  Don't have to hunt.  I don't have to buy more than I want to to build a "relationship".  And, I scored a WLW last year.  :)

That sounds like a nice, solid "rewards" type program to me. 

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Clueby
15 minutes ago, fosmith said:

Interesting...  At a LS I frequent here in Calif., for every $25 you spend, you can get one entry into a drawing to buy LEs at msrp.  If you don't want to do that, you can redeem your "points" for free shipping or discounts.  I know Calif is different than GA, but they're the only store I know here that does that so I wonder if they are in violation.  BTW, I think it's a good way to go.  Don't have to hunt.  I don't have to buy more than I want to to build a "relationship".  And, I scored a WLW last year.  :)

That sounds like a good program. We have a small chain of stores here that does something similar...EXCEPT you get an entry for every $600 spent in the past 12 mos leading up to PVW/BTAC lottery. Their small LE raffles use $300 per entry for the previous 6 months. Either way that averages out to $50/month. In a few years of being in their program I've gotten nada. Not even sure I've even qualified for an entry as I know I don't spend that much with them.

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PaulO

I really doubt that even the high rollers on this site will ever consistently spend anything close to a bar or restaurant with a liquor licence.

That's why on premise accounts get the allocated items.  

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Guss West

An increasing percentage went to on-premise again this year. 

As it should be. 

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bourbon-n00b

Instead of getting caught up in the high prices and demand of the legacy LEs, maybe try to get ahead of the curve on what you project to be the next wave of future dusties?  Maybe you think that the current quality of RRSiB, WTRB, WT101, etc won’t last and a nice stash of today’s stuff will serve you well?  Maybe you are a fan of the Knob Creek store picks and think there’s likely to be an age/quality reduction down the road?  Maybe you have a line on New Riff products and would like track their profile over time?   Maybe you find an excellent FRSB store pick and you grab a few before the quality slips too much?  Maybe you get wind of a bottling being discontinued or losing its age statement and you can sock away a few before they disappear?

 

Sure, if you are looking for a monetary value increase comparable to Pappy or Stagg, you probably won’t get there.  But if you want to provide your future self a nice bunker of quality bottlings at reasonable prices and no stress, going against the grain seems to make the most sense in today’s climate.  

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Gunslinger686

 Here’s my story ,  this past New Year’s eve found two bottles of William Larue Weller at retail $94 each 209 out the door  for both . Now what had to happen for those two bottles to make it to my local small liquor store .  Each distributor only gets so much , best believe they grab their doctor, lawyer, brother and aunts uncles and friends some of what little they get.  Then what’s left gets loaded on a truck maybe 1/3 of the truck drivers know the bourbon game and they called their aunts, uncles, brothers and tell them where they delivered it and to go and check and see if it’s put on the shelf and it’s gone.  Then you have the store owner who also knows what he is receiving and gets his before he gets to the shelves. Which brings me back to what I found New Year’s eve at this little liquor store in this little town , you see where I’m going with this I should’ve bought a lottery ticket that night.  Don’t give up miracles do happen .

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grantsi

I’m always amazed by the amount of disposable income in this country...all one has to look at is the HDH auction today...~1600 bottles sold for $1.7m...you could have bought anything, but you had to be prepared to spent $400 for ORVW, $1000 for PVW 15 and $2000 for PVW 20...those figures didn’t include insane buyers premiums/taxes. I couldn’t imagine dropping that kind of coin and will only pay retail ( plus tax ) and am happy to miss out on principle if retail isn’t an option, but that dedication is also dictated by my balance sheet. Others have much more coin and everything is always available for a price

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LCWoody
10 minutes ago, grantsi said:

I’m always amazed by the amount of disposable income in this country...all one has to look at is the HDH auction today...~1600 bottles sold for $1.7m...you could have bought anything, but you had to be prepared to spent $400 for ORVW, $1000 for PVW 15 and $2000 for PVW 20...those figures didn’t include insane buyers premiums/taxes. I couldn’t imagine dropping that kind of coin and will only pay retail ( plus tax ) and am happy to miss out on principle if retail isn’t an option, but that dedication is also dictated by my balance sheet. Others have much more coin and everything is always available for a price

That's what makes America great!!! If you want to blow a $1000 bucks on front row tickets to a basketball or baseball game or a bottle of bourbon, you can.  Capitalism is a wonderful thing. 

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Richnimrod
8 hours ago, grantsi said:

I’m always amazed by the amount of disposable income in this country...all one has to look at is the HDH auction today...~1600 bottles sold for $1.7m...you could have bought anything, but you had to be prepared to spent $400 for ORVW, $1000 for PVW 15 and $2000 for PVW 20...those figures didn’t include insane buyers premiums/taxes.

I've heard the words; "stupid money" when referring to overspending on some luxury item or other.   I believe that it's an appropriate description of this sort of extravagant spending.   I'm with you grantsi, on using some moderation rather than getting that "stupid" on unnecessary luxuries.     But, I believe some of the motivation here is driven by the egos of the folx who do spend like this; to show all the rest of us how much disposable income they have, and are willing to spend foolishly... at least foolishly by the standards of those us who still have to be aware of our budgetary constraints.

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Charlutz

Buy what you like. Drink what you buy. 

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miller542
Posted (edited)
On 3/14/2019 at 12:02 PM, bourbon-n00b said:

 Maybe you get wind of a bottling being discontinued or losing its age statement and you can sock away a few before they disappear?

 

 

 

This is how I built my bunker.  From about 2006 to 2012 or so I stayed tune on here and stashed away a few gems.  Start today with the things you like, not the things the market says is hot.

Edited by miller542
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grantsi
That's what makes America great!!! If you want to blow a $1000 bucks on front row tickets to a basketball or baseball game or a bottle of bourbon, you can.  Capitalism is a wonderful thing. 

Totally agree - I love the system. It comes down to individual value decisions...I simply don’t get value out of a $3000 willett because I doubt it’s 30x better than a retail BTAC Eagle Rare. But...I also spend what some people consider unreasonable amounts of $ on cars and private school tuition. To each his ( her ) own
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kcgumbohead

Short answer, start about 20 yrs ago.

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elmossle
On 3/13/2019 at 3:19 PM, BottledInBond said:

Nobody is going to build a significant bunker of highly allocated LEs from now forward for the forseable future based on lotteries. If you’re lucky and enter a bunch, lotteries might get you one really good bottle a year, maybe two if you’re really lucky. Assuming you actually drink some of this stuff, that’s never going to snowball into the pictures of crazy bunkers you see periodically. And by the way the vast majority of those were started many years ago now.

 

As others have said, the only thing you can really count on are carefully cultivated long term relationships. But even those are no guarantee. Last year I lost my best ever relationship I’d had for years when a manager left one store to get into another line of business, and his replacement didn’t continue what was established previously. 

 

Keep your expectations modest to avoid letdowns, and show genuine appreciation whenever you do get offered something good. As others will also say, most of the unicorn bottles don’t live up to the hype anyway.....

 

 

I completely disagree with this. Yes, you can get lucky and chase a ton of different lotteries at stores for a few bottles year to year. However, I managed to score 5 BTAC and 2 VW this season all from my relationship building. That doesn't even mention a lot of the other LE's I scored this past year as well. I have averaged about 6 bottles of BTAC/PVW a year since I got into bourbon back in 2013. So it is possible to build a decent bunker in this current state of bourbon, but you have to work at it.

 

With that said, those hard to find LE's make up a small portion of my 200+ bottle collection. I have plenty of other great bottles that are store selections or other great finds that I enjoy drinking just as much as the LE's. To me it is buying and drinking what I think tastes good and what I like, not what everyone is chasing after or some award tells me I should be.

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smokinjoe
1 hour ago, elmossle said:

I completely disagree with this. Yes, you can get lucky and chase a ton of different lotteries at stores for a few bottles year to year. However, I managed to score 5 BTAC and 2 VW this season all from my relationship building. That doesn't even mention a lot of the other LE's I scored this past year as well. I have averaged about 6 bottles of BTAC/PVW a year since I got into bourbon back in 2013. So it is possible to build a decent bunker in this current state of bourbon, but you have to work at it.

 

With that said, those hard to find LE's make up a small portion of my 200+ bottle collection. I have plenty of other great bottles that are store selections or other great finds that I enjoy drinking just as much as the LE's. To me it is buying and drinking what I think tastes good and what I like, not what everyone is chasing after or some award tells me I should be.

I think you need to re-read Papa’s Post again...If I’m reading it correctly, y’all are in nearly perfect agreement.    :)

 

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jvd99

A six year relationship guarantees I get called in the fall to put in a wish list and then I get another call when it’s all ready.  Everything at MSRP.  Sometimes I get what I want, sometimes not.  Don’t really care that much, because I’m long past the thrill of the hunt.

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DCFan
On 3/11/2019 at 10:59 PM, lcpfratn said:


Unfortunately, we live in a time when shops can get away with this type of behavior. And as long as the Taters are still willing to shop at stores that do business this way they will continue to survive until they don’t. The ominous statement that is oft repeated in The Game of Thrones is, “Winter is coming!” In the liquor store business, the thing they should keep in mind is that eventually, “A glut is coming!”

I'll disagree with you here my friend.  LS owners aren't getting away with anything - they're practicing capitalism and benefiting from the basic economic laws of supply and demand. Because of the stampede of  new buyers of bourbon, and I freely admit I'm part of that group as I've only been a serious bourbon drinker for about 3 years or so, the lucky LS owners can charge whatever the market will bear. Even if most of us aren't willing to cough up the big bucks to pay ridiculous amounts of money for the LE's, plenty of others are so they charge accordingly.

 

My advice to the OP is to forget about the unicorns and enjoy the abundance of very satisfying bourbons that are available at MSRP in the $25 - $50 range. There is a ton of good to great stuff sitting on the shelf right now waiting for someone to pick them up and drink and enjoy. Yes it's nice to dream about powerball and lucking into a unicorn but for most of us it won't happen.

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fishnbowljoe

I'm gonna chime in here just cause' I saw some ridiculous s**t today. I full well understand that store owners have a right to make a buck. I also realize that sometimes marking up a product a little higher than a normal percentage (but still within reason) might be called for. But there is, or at least should be a limit. A reasonable markup is not 100%-150%. <_<

 

Joe

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lcpfratn
I'll disagree with you here my friend.  LS owners aren't getting away with anything - they're practicing capitalism and benefiting from the basic economic laws of supply and demand. Because of the stampede of  new buyers of bourbon, and I freely admit I'm part of that group as I've only been a serious bourbon drinker for about 3 years or so, the lucky LS owners can charge whatever the market will bear. Even if most of us aren't willing to cough up the big bucks to pay ridiculous amounts of money for the LE's, plenty of others are so they charge accordingly.
...


My response that you quoted was a response to a post about a LS manager who was being arrogant to an otherwise potentially good customer because, as you put it, he feels lucky in the current business environment, and thinks he can treat customers like crap. That has nothing to do with supply and demand, but stupid business practices. I don’t support businesses that act like that, and my point was that eventually those kind of businesses will likely regret that behavior...if they survive the eventual reversal in the current supply and demand disconnect.
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