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Most Egregious Distiller during the boom

Most Egregious Distillery during the boom  

48 members have voted

  1. 1. Which distillery's decisions upset you most during the boom?

    • Buffalo Trace
      27
    • Four Roses
      5
    • Heaven Hill
      5
    • Jim Beam/Maker's Mark
      11
    • Wild Turkey
      0


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Richnimrod
Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Curtis Reed said:

I have no animosity to any distiller/ndp whiskey. I think for all the demand out there, they do a great job in supplying us with great pours year after year. 

While I have to agree with this sentiment, Curtis... I do resent some of the tactics used by some 'producers' who are . . . shall we say... less than honest about many, many things. 

I so much wish they'd just not say anything, rather than misleading or even (in a few cases) outright lying about details of production (history and 'origin stories' are nearly all BS, and I accept that as a pro forma part of marketing Bourbon by now).    ....And some of the decisions made about regional distribution are more than a bit irritating to some of us, depending upon region. 

I won't single out or rate any companies, as pretty much all are guilty of at least some of this by now.

...But, statements made above about craft Bourbon in general find me in complete agreement. 

The 'majors', by and large, are doing as good a job as they can, given the unprecedented increase in demand continuing over the last many years. 

Hopefully, (even though I'm not at all hurting for supply) we'll all be able to more easily source our desired brands in the next few years, as stocks mature and come into the 'pipeline'. 

(I'm not predicting much moderation in pricing, though.)    (Nor, am I imagining that artificial shortages, or planned limitation of supply for premium stuff will end.)

Edited by Richnimrod
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Adam777

Angels Envy is annoying too. Cask Strength for $199.99, different finishes for crazy amounts of money.  Michters, KO, and most craft distilleries are the true offenders IMO.

I may have to disagree with Buffalo Trace as their MSRP prices have always been on the lower side, however the secondary market and LS owners have assisted in inflated prices. You could call some of their products “gimmicks” but I though the Weller CYPB was unique and I got on the website and crafted my perfect bourbon. Prices was $29.99-$34.99 MSRP, but then the LS owner marks up to $299.99. People aren’t too happy with the Weller increase but that wasn’t in every market. I’m still paying 29.99 and I would probably pay $50. MMCS is awesome for the same price but bakers around me is $59.99 for 107 bourbon and I would take Weller over that for the price most of the time. Sorry maybe a little biased and protective over BT.

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graftonbc1
On 5/22/2019 at 10:11 PM, smokinjoe said:

Add another option:

 

Most every Craft Distillery

 

6.  Most Every “Craft Distillery” —They have attempted to take the resurgent interest in the legacy distilleries high quality bourbons, and profiteer from its renaissance by simply spewing out pretty label, over priced, crap back-story, crap quality, swill.

That is the one I would vote for. 

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Spade
Posted (edited)

Of the majors, the only move that still feels egregious was Beam's doubling the price of Booker's before backtracking to "only" a $25-30 increase. Most of the other stuff feels more clumsy to me than egregious. It's a difficult industry to do forecasting for.

 

I am still scratching my head why BT has such a hard time keeping some of their basics on the shelf in some parts of the country. Is demand for Baby Saz really that high? Why can literally every other distiller keep a young rye on the shelf except BT?

Edited by Spade
typo
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JCwhammie
15 minutes ago, Spade said:

I am still scratching my head why BT has such a hard time keeping some of their basics on the shelf in some parts of the country. Is demand for Baby Saz really that high? Why can literally every other distiller keep a young rye on the shelf except BT?

I agree. We in STL almost never see Baby Saz or ER10. Stagg Jr is also pretty scarce around here. 

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Phil T
17 minutes ago, Spade said:

 

 

I am still scratching my head why BT has such a hard time keeping some of their basics on the shelf in some parts of the country. Is demand for Baby Saz really that high? Why can literally every other distiller keep a young rye on the shelf except BT?

Excellent point. The last baby Saz I had was basically undrinkable, it was so young. I will never buy it again. 

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kevinbrink

For me it's kind of tiered  with the 5 you have listed plus B-F & Diageo (Dickel/Bulliet/Orphan Barrel) in the first tier for me from most to least egregious:

 

B-F

BT

Beam/MM

HH/WT /Diageo/4R all basically tied.

 

The next tier would be:

Chatham/Michters

Kentucky Owl

KBD/Willett & Jeffersons Tied 

High West/Smooth Ambler

 

I refrain from ranking the newer and smaller craft outfits (though I may be missing some that belong in tier 2) in most cases the economics are too different to compare. 

 

 

 

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alcoholica

Beam is now coming out with a rum finished (or blended) Basil Hayden Rye. AE knocked this out of the park. People go crazy over the Balvennie (sp) rum finished scotch. By all accounts, people love the Jefferson's rum finish. So what are the odds that Beam gets gimmicky and screws this up? Or do they actually make a good BH line extension? BTW, rumored to have Canadian Rye in the blend.

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PaulO

I have to agree with Kevin, ranking B-F and BT as highly egregious.

I don't know which is worse.

B-F had a great flagship brand in Old Forester Signature for many years.  It's a case of stealing from Peter to pay Paul.  At some point OF Sig (later OF 100) became young bottom shelf.  If you want a good version of OF, now it's $50 +.

Their single barrels are only 90 proof.

Birthday Bourbon has become just silly.

BT simply refuses to keep up with mash bill #2 or wheated bourbon demands.  Could make more, instead just jack the price.  I feel the VW thing has been bad for long time Weller fans.  If VW sells for $$$, why bottle anything under the Weller label?  P.S.  New redesigned Weller package sucks too. 

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jwperry
10 hours ago, alcoholica said:

Beam is now coming out with a rum finished (or blended) Basil Hayden Rye. AE knocked this out of the park. People go crazy over the Balvennie (sp) rum finished scotch. By all accounts, people love the Jefferson's rum finish. So what are the odds that Beam gets gimmicky and screws this up? Or do they actually make a good BH line extension? BTW, rumored to have Canadian Rye in the blend.

I've enjoyed all the rum casked whiskeys I've tried (including the Tulamore DEW, which doesn't seem to get much love on the interwebz) but I think I'll pass on another 80 proof Basil Hayden. 

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ondarocks

Just saw Bookers for $99.99 yesterday and the cheapest I have seen it lately has been around $80. Easy pass.

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kevinbrink
10 hours ago, alcoholica said:

Beam is now coming out with a rum finished (or blended) Basil Hayden Rye. AE knocked this out of the park. People go crazy over the Balvennie (sp) rum finished scotch. By all accounts, people love the Jefferson's rum finish. So what are the odds that Beam gets gimmicky and screws this up? Or do they actually make a good BH line extension? BTW, rumored to have Canadian Rye in the blend.

Basil Hayden products are made for people who want 80 proof easy drinking liquor, if that's not you, you won't like it.  I actually liked the first BH Rye when I want something easy with a little age to it. This like the Dark Rye sounds more like a bottled cocktail, which can be fine if that's what you are expecting. As much as the enthusiast community disparages BH beam has no problems selling it.

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Whiskeythink.com

It could be argued that Turkey's Longbranch was a good thing for what it did for 101 there for awhile...

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BottledInBond
13 hours ago, PaulO said:

I have to agree with Kevin, ranking B-F and BT as highly egregious.

I don't know which is worse.

B-F had a great flagship brand in Old Forester Signature for many years.  It's a case of stealing from Peter to pay Paul.  At some point OF Sig (later OF 100) became young bottom shelf.  If you want a good version of OF, now it's $50 +.

Their single barrels are only 90 proof.

Birthday Bourbon has become just silly.

BT simply refuses to keep up with mash bill #2 or wheated bourbon demands.  Could make more, instead just jack the price.  I feel the VW thing has been bad for long time Weller fans.  If VW sells for $$$, why bottle anything under the Weller label?  P.S.  New redesigned Weller package sucks too. 

This VW/Weller comment makes me wonder how much of the proceeds from a given bottle the Van Winkles take from the sale of any VW product? I’m not so sure that the sale of a bottle of a given VW product is any more profitable for BT than a Weller bottle, depending on what that breakdown of profits is between BT & VW.

 

*****I’m just going to make up some numbers here to illustrate a point so don’t expect these values to be accurate****

 

Let’s say that the producer actually gets about half of the MSRP of a bottle. Not sure if that’s exact but they sell it to the distributor, who adds their profit when selling it to the store, who then adds their profit before selling it to the consumer for MSRP (and of course they might choose to gouge us above that). 

 

If the MSRP on ORVW is still ~$60 technically, does that mean that BT/VW gets ~$30 from that bottle? And with OWA and W12 reportedly going to more like $50 MSRP, BT would be getting around ~$25 per bottle? Now how much of the $30 does VW get on the ORVW? If it’s $5 or more then that bottle isn’t any more profitable for BT than a bottle of OWA/W12 with their new pricing. The ORVW is 10 years and that’s about equal to the average age between OWAs that are probably 6ish and W12s. WSR is really a separate animal since the juice is in all likelihood even younger. 

 

You also have to consider that barrels that go to ORVW and Lot B are barrels that BT can’t use for WLW, which would have a higher MSRP than either of those VW labels and BT wouldn’t have to give VW any profit share on more WLW bottles.

 

To me it seems like the value of the VW situation is more beneficial to BT in terms of how they and the distributors use it as leverage to sell lots of other BT products....

 

 

 

 

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Richnimrod
8 hours ago, BottledInBond said:

This VW/Weller comment makes me wonder how much of the proceeds from a given bottle the Van Winkles take from the sale of any VW product? I’m not so sure that the sale of a bottle of a given VW product is any more profitable for BT than a Weller bottle, depending on what that breakdown of profits is between BT & VW.

 

*****I’m just going to make up some numbers here to illustrate a point so don’t expect these values to be accurate****

 

Let’s say that the producer actually gets about half of the MSRP of a bottle. Not sure if that’s exact but they sell it to the distributor, who adds their profit when selling it to the store, who then adds their profit before selling it to the consumer for MSRP (and of course they might choose to gouge us above that). 

 

If the MSRP on ORVW is still ~$60 technically, does that mean that BT/VW gets ~$30 from that bottle? And with OWA and W12 reportedly going to more like $50 MSRP, BT would be getting around ~$25 per bottle? Now how much of the $30 does VW get on the ORVW? If it’s $5 or more then that bottle isn’t any more profitable for BT than a bottle of OWA/W12 with their new pricing. The ORVW is 10 years and that’s about equal to the average age between OWAs that are probably 6ish and W12s. WSR is really a separate animal since the juice is in all likelihood even younger. 

 

You also have to consider that barrels that go to ORVW and Lot B are barrels that BT can’t use for WLW, which would have a higher MSRP than either of those VW labels and BT wouldn’t have to give VW any profit share on more WLW bottles.

 

To me it seems like the value of the VW situation is more beneficial to BT in terms of how they and the distributors use it as leverage to sell lots of other BT products....

 

I have to believe you're right about this, BIB.   Especially that last sentence!

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PaulO

My main point on Weller is - BT added several more brands (VW) to compete for the same barrels.  Some will be aged more years.  The Weller recipe was only a small portion of BT's output to begin with.

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BottledInBond
1 hour ago, PaulO said:

My main point on Weller is - BT added several more brands (VW) to compete for the same barrels.  Some will be aged more years.  The Weller recipe was only a small portion of BT's output to begin with.

That is for sure, and I clearly went on a bit of a tangent. Sorry about that

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DCFan
On 5/22/2019 at 10:11 PM, smokinjoe said:

Add another option:

 

Most every Craft Distillery

 

6.  Most Every “Craft Distillery” —They have attempted to take the resurgent interest in the legacy distilleries high quality bourbons, and profiteer from its renaissance by simply spewing out pretty label, over priced, crap back-story, crap quality, swill.

I wouldn't be too hard on the crafters and their pricing.  They all have for the most part huge start up costs since every part of their operation has to be bought - land, infrastructure, equipment, personnel that has to be poached from elsewhere and retrained. Not to mention the costs of designing those pretty labels. :) 

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BusterChestnut
On 5/23/2019 at 4:10 PM, flahute said:

But the consumer was.

Michter's was first to the table with vastly overpriced bourbons. We now know they came from Old Forester but back then it was mystery whiskey with a fake heritage and a high price tag.

And stupid bullshit backstories, misleading bordering on flat-out dishonest communications and absurd gimmicks.

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BusterChestnut

A lot of the comments itt revolve around pricing strategies. I have to disagree with the premise that “over-priced whiskey” is somehow the fault of the producer / seller attempting to turn a profit. Caveat Emptor. You don’t have to buy their whiskey, and the mission of every for-profit business is to, well, profit financially. 

 

The strongest counter-point I can think of to the “over-pricing” argument is the emergence of the secondary market mid-boom. If the whiskey was over-priced, there’d be no possible way for a secondary market to sustain; however, it is currently thriving.

 

I think perhaps a better argument is that the MSRP in the bourbon industry/from certain producers is purposeless and leads to frustration from consumers. Just look at a $40 ORVW that sells for 10x, or $250 WRMC shelf turds.

 

The price is not indicative of the quality, and honestly, thank GOD for that (looking at you EC12, 4RSB, Rittenhouse, etc).

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PaulO
23 hours ago, BottledInBond said:

That is for sure, and I clearly went on a bit of a tangent. Sorry about that

You made some good points, particularly about trophy bottles being used as leverage.

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alcoholica
On 6/1/2019 at 9:11 AM, BusterChestnut said:

A lot of the comments itt revolve around pricing strategies. I have to disagree with the premise that “over-priced whiskey” is somehow the fault of the producer / seller attempting to turn a profit. Caveat Emptor. You don’t have to buy their whiskey, and the mission of every for-profit business is to, well, profit financially. 

 

The strongest counter-point I can think of to the “over-pricing” argument is the emergence of the secondary market mid-boom. If the whiskey was over-priced, there’d be no possible way for a secondary market to sustain; however, it is currently thriving.

 

I think perhaps a better argument is that the MSRP in the bourbon industry/from certain producers is purposeless and leads to frustration from consumers. Just look at a $40 ORVW that sells for 10x, or $250 WRMC shelf turds.

 

The price is not indicative of the quality, and honestly, thank GOD for that (looking at you EC12, 4RSB, Rittenhouse, etc).

The secondary price isn't really based on consumers though. If you watch any of the secondary sites, it's bunch of guys who are trading and selling bourbon like investment lots. It's reminiscent of Tulip Mania and Beanie Babies. Like everything else in bourbon, someone wrote an article and people tripped out. In this case someone wrote how lucrative collecting bourbon was. What they don't tell you is that you risk fines and jail time. These guys usually don't even drink bourbon.

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BusterChestnut
20 hours ago, alcoholica said:

The secondary price isn't really based on consumers though. If you watch any of the secondary sites, it's bunch of guys who are trading and selling bourbon like investment lots. It's reminiscent of Tulip Mania and Beanie Babies. Like everything else in bourbon, someone wrote an article and people tripped out. In this case someone wrote how lucrative collecting bourbon was. What they don't tell you is that you risk fines and jail time. These guys usually don't even drink bourbon.

Not sure I follow. You’re saying all secondary market prices (not just a ticker on BBB) are dictated by a few “investment” whiskey enthusiasts? If so, I’d say that’s just a very small segment of what I’d consider the “secondary market.”

 

Regardless, simple supply and demand demonstrates that Bourbon MSRP is often erratic, especially when it comes to certain limited releases and/or labels.

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alcoholica
14 minutes ago, BusterChestnut said:

Not sure I follow. You’re saying all secondary market prices (not just a ticker on BBB) are dictated by a few “investment” whiskey enthusiasts? If so, I’d say that’s just a very small segment of what I’d consider the “secondary market.”

 

Regardless, simple supply and demand demonstrates that Bourbon MSRP is often erratic, especially when it comes to certain limited releases and/or labels.

So, I joined a couple of these FB groups just to see what that segment looks like. For a Central FL group, there are upwards of 20 posts daily.  There is another FL group that puts out a game site for bottles. That's another 20 or so posts, a day. Posts can be one bottle or multiple. If I had to guess, I'd say the posts average 2-3 bottles per post. I really think you're underestimating who is buying these bottles. I had to mute the groups because they clog up my FB timeline.

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berto

Not a fan of Beam's pricing shenanigans on Booker's or Jefferson's silliness or Michter's shadiness or the seeming pump and dump that drove KY Owl's early fame or Diageo's nonsense with the Orphan Barrel line.  But I don't have to buy any of it.  I can sympathize a little with an industry caught off guard by massively increasing popularity and having to react to what might or might not be a lasting boom.  That said they aren't mom and pop shops so my sympathy doesn't go all that far.  The craft surge is painfully expensive and as much as I'd like to support good people trying to do good things I got my own dreams to fund and $50/bottle for inferior product isn't something I'm going to do often.   

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