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Shizzy

Store Barrel Selects

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Shizzy

So today I was down at Beverages and More (BevMo).  For those unfamiliar, it's the West Coast 1990s version of Total Wine in today's terms.  Antiquated but still serving a purpose.  They had a barrel select of Old Forester.  I've been keen on purchasing some barrel select bourbons, but am hesitant to do so since I've been reading that you need to trust the one doing the selections.  Does anybody know who selects for BevMo and are they any good at it?  Additionally, the barrel selected came off the 1st floor.  This gave me further pause and I eventually moved on.  Hope to find another barrel select out there somewhere else.  Thoughts, comments and this community's vast knowledge welcomed.

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flahute

There's no way for any of us to know who selects these unless another Bay Area member here happens to know.

Absent any knowledge of that type, your best bet is to find the knowledgeable bourbon person at you store and ask them. Then you need to decide if you can trust them.

 

The way it tends to work at these chain stores can vary. It's possible that a couple people from that store actually did the pick.

More likely is that a small group from the biggest selling store in the area did the pick and that it gets doled out to all the stores in the area.

It's not likely that they went to KY to do the pick (though it happens sometimes). They likely picked from sample bottles that a rep brought in.

The other possibility is they didn't pick at all and were just sent a barrel.

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Shizzy
16 minutes ago, flahute said:

There's no way for any of us to know who selects these unless another Bay Area member here happens to know.

Absent any knowledge of that type, your best bet is to find the knowledgeable bourbon person at you store and ask them. Then you need to decide if you can trust them.

 

The way it tends to work at these chain stores can vary. It's possible that a couple people from that store actually did the pick.

More likely is that a small group from the biggest selling store in the area did the pick and that it gets doled out to all the stores in the area.

It's not likely that they went to KY to do the pick (though it happens sometimes). They likely picked from sample bottles that a rep brought in.

The other possibility is they didn't pick at all and were just sent a barrel.

That's kind of what I thought.  Thanks for the input.  Much appreciated.

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smokinjoe

Ask them if you can taste it first, then decide.  Maybe, they have an open bottle on the back just for this purpose?

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Phil T

I was in a liquor store in Traverse City MI this past week. They had a SB of Buffalo Trace. I could not taste it before purchasing.  I had high expectations. I'm pretty sure regular Buffalo Trace is a better pour. Needless to say, I didn't bring any extras home.

 

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Curtis Reed

My LS will always give out a sample of a PS. They do tons of picks every year too. That’s why they get 95% of my business. 

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smokinjoe

State laws get in the way here, unfortunately.  Some states allow in store tastings, and others don’t.  But, I think Cali is more consumer friendly.  But, I can see a big box store like BevMo maybe not taking advantage of the service potential.  

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BottledInBond

For what it’s worth, I’ve really like a few Old Forester barrel picks recently. I have been pleasantly surprised. I got to try a set of samples from another barrel pick one of my local stores is doing and the one he picked is really good. So I’m a little more willing to take a chance on other Old Forester picks I run into at other stores currently. 

 

On a side note, tasting a few of these at barrel proof makes me wish BF would allow a stir to bottle their pick at barrel proof. It’s one thing when you do a Four Roses pick when it’s going to get bottled that way. It’s a whole different animal when you taste barrel proof samples and then have to project how it will taste when proofed down to 90. 

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Skinsfan1311
18 minutes ago, BottledInBond said:

For what it’s worth, I’ve really like a few Old Forester barrel picks recently. I have been pleasantly surprised. I got to try a set of samples from another barrel pick one of my local stores is doing and the one he picked is really good. So I’m a little more willing to take a chance on other Old Forester picks I run into at other stores currently. 

 

On a side note, tasting a few of these at barrel proof makes me wish BF would allow a stir to bottle their pick at barrel proof. It’s one thing when you do a Four Roses pick when it’s going to get bottled that way. It’s a whole different animal when you taste barrel proof samples and then have to project how it will taste when proofed down to 90. 

Forgive me if it's a silly question,  but what do you mean by "allow a stir?"

Thanks 

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raymoall
2 hours ago, Phil T said:

I was in a liquor store in Traverse City MI this past week. They had a SB of Buffalo Trace. I could not taste it before purchasing.  I had high expectations. I'm pretty sure regular Buffalo Trace is a better pour. Needless to say, I didn't bring any extras home.

 

Tasting is key. I have a favorite LS that has done a very nice job with BT selects...typically around 8 years old. Better than the off the shelf bottles. 

Since they have been all out of their BT for a while, I strayed to another LS and bought a select bottle on age alone. Was disappointed.

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The Black Tot
37 minutes ago, Skinsfan1311 said:

Forgive me if it's a silly question,  but what do you mean by "allow a stir?"

Thanks 

store.

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Skinsfan1311
3 minutes ago, The Black Tot said:

store.

Ooops!  

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BottledInBond
6 minutes ago, Skinsfan1311 said:

Ooops!  

 

10 minutes ago, The Black Tot said:

store.

Yep, thanks. Damn autocorrect

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BottledInBond
Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Skinsfan1311 said:

Ooops!  

I have a bad habit of typing up what I’m going to post and then just clicking submit before checking to see if I spelled something wrong or autocorrect manipulated me

Edited by BottledInBond
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Skinsfan1311
41 minutes ago, BottledInBond said:

I have a bad habit of typing up what I’m going to post and then just clicking submit before checking to see if I spelled something wrong or autocorrect manipulated me

I do that shit all the time!

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fosmith
7 hours ago, Shizzy said:

So today I was down at Beverages and More (BevMo).  For those unfamiliar, it's the West Coast 1990s version of Total Wine in today's terms.  Antiquated but still serving a purpose.  They had a barrel select of Old Forester.  I've been keen on purchasing some barrel select bourbons, but am hesitant to do so since I've been reading that you need to trust the one doing the selections.  Does anybody know who selects for BevMo and are they any good at it?  Additionally, the barrel selected came off the 1st floor.  This gave me further pause and I eventually moved on.  Hope to find another barrel select out there somewhere else.  Thoughts, comments and this community's vast knowledge welcomed.

FWIW, I've bought multiple bottles of two Bevmo KCSiB store picks at my local Bevmo in the east bay.  Both 14 yo and awesome.  Barrel #s 7220 and 7225.  Maybe that's a can't miss situation, tho?

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fishnbowljoe

I’m a bit of a sucker for private selections. More often than not I’ll grab one as long as it’s something I like, and the price is within reason. Yeah, I’ve bought a few that might have been considered sub par, but the vast majority of the time the picks were at least as good, if not at least marginally better than regular bottlings. In some cases they were stellar. Those are the ones ya live for.

 

If you can taste a private selection before you buy it, so much the better. If you can’t, well like they say, “Ya pays your money and ya takes your chances.” Life’s too short. I say go for it. :)

 

Biba! Joe

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TimeWillTell

Like Joe, I pretty much can't resist a store pick as long as it's a brand I typically like. 

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HoustonNit

Not sure how true it is and this may vary by distillery but I always assume the barrels selected for a single barrel should generally be better than the run of the mill barrels used in a batch blend. For something like BT or a small batch blend I’ve always found the barrel picks to be much more interesting even and maybe especially so when they’re off profile.

I’m not even sure what OF barrel picks are supposed to go into, I guess OF Sig, which I didn’t care for last time I had it. I did enjoy however every OF barrel pick I’ve ever had. Assuming there not charging a premium and you like the Brown Forman profile I’d say go for it. I’ve had bad luck with Turkey barrel picks from a certain Houston group that seems to go out there way to find the most boring barrels that don’t offend there pallets. Otherwise barrel picks are the way to go.

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TimeWillTell
5 minutes ago, HoustonNit said:

Not sure how true it is and this may vary by distillery but I always assume the barrels selected for a single barrel should generally be better than the run of the mill barrels used in a batch blend. For something like BT or a small batch blend I’ve always found the barrel picks to be much more interesting even and maybe especially so when they’re off profile.

I’m not even sure what OF barrel picks are supposed to go into, I guess OF Sig, which I didn’t care for last time I had it. I did enjoy however every OF barrel pick I’ve ever had. Assuming there not charging a premium and you like the Brown Forman profile I’d say go for it. I’ve had bad luck with Turkey barrel picks from a certain Houston group that seems to go out there way to find the most boring barrels that don’t offend there pallets. Otherwise barrel picks are the way to go.

Please share so I can avoid them when I am.in Houston later this year. Thanks!

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HoustonNit

Just sent you a PM.

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fishnbowljoe
12 minutes ago, HoustonNit said:

Not sure how true it is and this may vary by distillery but I always assume the barrels selected for a single barrel should generally be better than the run of the mill barrels used in a batch blend.

Not necessarily so. There are private selections that are picked by the distillery, and not by the store itself. These might not be the best barrels available, if you know what I mean? 

 

Example: A number of years ago, my wife and I took a road trip to pick up something we purchased on ebay. On the way home we stopped at a liquor store. Hey, it happens. :huh: This store had a private selection ER on sale for a great price. I was going to buy a case, but my wonderful wife reminded me that I’d already found a few other items there, and I could always go back and buy more if it was good. I’m glad I heeded her advice. To this day, this was the absolute worst bottle of ER I’ve ever had. I later called that store inquiring about the provenance of the pick, and (falsely) saying I was interested in purchasing more. And I quote, “Oh, the distillery picked that barrel specifically for us.”  ‘Nuff said.

 

Biba! Joe

 

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smokinjoe
Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, fishnbowljoe said:

Not necessarily so. There are private selections that are picked by the distillery, and not by the store itself. These might not be the best barrels available, if you know what I mean? 

 

Example: A number of years ago, my wife and I took a road trip to pick up something we purchased on ebay. On the way home we stopped at a liquor store. Hey, it happens. :huh: This store had a private selection ER on sale for a great price. I was going to buy a case, but my wonderful wife reminded me that I’d already found a few other items there, and I could always go back and buy more if it was good. I’m glad I heeded her advice. To this day, this was the absolute worst bottle of ER I’ve ever had. I later called that store inquiring about the provenance of the pick, and (falsely) saying I was interested in purchasing more. And I quote, “Oh, the distillery picked that barrel specifically for us.”  ‘Nuff said.

 

Biba! Joe

 

I think you’re implying that Distilleries might unload an off flavored barrel to an unsuspecting liquor store who asks them to pick a selection for them.  I find this extremely unlikely.  There are a number of potential reasons why you did not like that particular barrel, but BT selecting a substandard barrel and having it bottled and put into the marketplace in such a manner as a PS is counterproductive in both the short and long terms.  I can’t see any legacy distillery committing such a pre-meditated blunder.  

Edited by smokinjoe
Clarity

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HoustonNit
Not necessarily so. There are private selections that are picked by the distillery, and not by the store itself. These might not be the best barrels available, if you know what I mean? 
 
Example: A number of years ago, my wife and I took a road trip to pick up something we purchased on ebay. On the way home we stopped at a liquor store.
 


How many years ago was this?

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flahute
9 hours ago, HoustonNit said:


I’m not even sure what OF barrel picks are supposed to go into, I guess OF Sig, 

OF barrel picks are supposed to go into OF Single Barrel.

They used to release this as a standard release before barrel picks really got popular in the past 4-5 years. Just like KCSiB is a standard release, OFSiB was as well.

Can't recall the last time I've seen either as a non store pick.

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