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What do you do with your "bundle bottles?"


IamMatt
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I don't buy a bundle unless the underlying liquor and price make sense to me.  I don't mind paying $90 for an ECBP bundled with an ECSB, for example, because the combo is worth the price.  Or sometimes a bundle has a price that is worth it for the underlying bottle, regardless of what they bundle it with, like a recent $70 bundle of ECBP and Benchmark 8; the ECBP is worth the price alone.

 

So I have ended up with decent bundle bottles (EC and Larceny BPs seem to come bundled with their SB counterparts pretty often), but also some bottles I would just as soon have left on the counter, like Pumpkin creme liqueur, Benchmark 8 or Platinum 7X Vodka (hand sanitizer).  I heard some guys at a store recently that bundled a box of Fireball shots with an allocated bottle; they jokingly said they were going to leave the Fireball on the sidewalk on Fraternity Row at the local college.

 

Does anybody have a brilliant plan for disposing of these bottles? 

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Helped a friend get a bottle of Blanton's that the local was bundling with a Jack Daniels Advent Calendar!  I think it made the Blanton's around $75.  Not sure what he's gonna do with the 20 50ml pours of various JD flavors!?

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I’ve only done a what I guess is a “bundle bottle” purchase once.  Just, recently actually.  It was a you can buy this, only if you buy one of these 4 other options.  The one I wanted was slightly over MSRP, and the one of the 4 was a bottle that I was comfortable buying at a “decent” price.  So, happy to do it, and both immediately went into the rotation.  Every other bundle offering has been so grotesquely over priced and undesirable, that I had to pass. I just can’t bring myself to play that type of game.  Not, that I necessarily disagree with the concept, but I just can’t go there with those unreasonable conditions (to me). 

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The only times I've seen bottles bundled together are when they come in a box from the company.  For example two 375ml bottles, one of regular MM, the other Maker's 46, together in a holiday gift box.  I've seen other companies do similar sorts of packages.  I think that's just fine.  I had really wanted to buy the full set of Old Forester Distiller's Row in 375ml, but the only store I found it has gone full tater.  Literally cost about the same as buying same bottles in 750ml size.

Given I've never encountered stores bundling unrelated stuff on their own, it may not be legal here.  Personally, I think it's a rather condescending way to treat potential customers.

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I actually think bundling related items is ok, if not exactly what I want. For example, I once purchased a bundle of a Four Roses pick and a bottle of Four Roses Yellow. Would I have bought the Four Roses Yellow otherwise? No, but I wasn't too put out about it either. As noted, the store's sales of the Four Roses brand overall is what helps it obtain the Four Roses picks, so the bundle makes sense and also you obviously like the brand so they aren't foisting something you hate on you. That said, I have seen plenty of bundles of related items at crazy prices and those are still an easy pass. I see bundles with a combined cost of the underlying MSRPs as a reasonable way for a store to use a desirable product to move other products. The bundles that are an allocated bottle or two plus a bunch of crap that won't sell are an insult to the customer.

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48 minutes ago, Jazz June said:

... The bundles that are an allocated bottle or two plus a bunch of crap that won't sell are an insult to the customer.

Yes, This

 

We have a grocery chain that has decided to go big into the booze business.

Their thing is you have to have a customer card (available free) and buy at least six 750ml or larger bottles in one transaction to get the discount price.  I guess I'm ok with this sort of bundling, given it's up to me what to choose.  On the other hand, I go through long spells of buying no whiskey there because I don't always want to purchase six or more bottles at a time.

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In CA, Von's/Pavillions/Safeway/Albertson's does the 10% off if you buy 6 thing.  Four or five times a year they do a double discount weekend where you get 20% off if you buy 6.  Most of the stores don't sell anything special but some do,  So if you watch for the double discount weekend and know which stores sell what, you can bet Midsummer Night's Dram, Redwood Empire, Cream of Kentucky, and other better bottles at a discount.  Or stock up on the staples like Four Roses SiB, Michters, etc.

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We're still pretty new to the bourbon scene, but I've passed on most of the package deals I've seen.

Mainly because our state stores have a monthly allocation drop and we can pick up the allocated bottles at retail.

However, we did do one bundle recently. A (relatively) local store had a EHT single barrel drop with a limit of one with a bundled bottle.

I chose the Heaven's Door cask strength and my wife chose the Angel's Envy. Both were retail, around here $50ish and the EHT was $85.

The Jack and the Smoke Wagon were just extras we like.

 

We finally got around to cracking open one of the ETHs over Thanksgiving with some family at the house and it is  wonderful.

 

 

20220827_153510.jpg

Edited by Davesnothere
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23 hours ago, IamMatt said:

In CA, Von's/Pavillions/Safeway/Albertson's does the 10% off if you buy 6 thing.  Four or five times a year they do a double discount weekend where you get 20% off if you buy 6.  Most of the stores don't sell anything special but some do,  So if you watch for the double discount weekend and know which stores sell what, you can bet Midsummer Night's Dram, Redwood Empire, Cream of Kentucky, and other better bottles at a discount.  Or stock up on the staples like Four Roses SiB, Michters, etc.

The good thing about Safeway's 6 bottle discount is that you can include wine in the bundle if there's not 6 bottles of booze that you want to buy. 

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Wine?  Oh, yeah, that's that stuff they make with grapes so there are barrels to finish bourbon in.

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On 12/3/2022 at 10:50 PM, PaulO said:

The only times I've seen bottles bundled together are when they come in a box from the company.  For example two 375ml bottles, one of regular MM, the other Maker's 46, together in a holiday gift box.  I've seen other companies do similar sorts of packages.  I think that's just fine.  I had really wanted to buy the full set of Old Forester Distiller's Row in 375ml, but the only store I found it has gone full tater.  Literally cost about the same as buying same bottles in 750ml size.

Given I've never encountered stores bundling unrelated stuff on their own, it may not be legal here.  Personally, I think it's a rather condescending way to treat potential customers.

 

One of our locals sometimes bundles bottles.  Pay..not..Less.  A few years back you could get OWA but you had to buy WSR.  Both...Pay...More.  Similar to you, I haven't seen bundling of unrelated stuff.

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Being in a control state I didn't even know bundling was a thing...ha ha.  I guess maybe I'll run into this when I'm traveling at some point.

Edited by Bourserker
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the other night I stopped in to a liquor store to enter their year end raffle and ended up buying a bundle because the bottles were priced very fair. I got an ECBP B522 & store pick George Remus.

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On 12/5/2022 at 10:13 PM, Davesnothere said:

We're still pretty new to the bourbon scene, but I've passed on most of the package deals I've seen.

Mainly because our state stores have a monthly allocation drop and we can pick up the allocated bottles at retail.

However, we did do one bundle recently. A (relatively) local store had a EHT single barrel drop with a limit of one with a bundled bottle.

I chose the Heaven's Door cask strength and my wife chose the Angel's Envy. Both were retail, around here $50ish and the EHT was $85.

The Jack and the Smoke Wagon were just extras we like.

 

We finally got around to cracking open one of the ETHs over Thanksgiving with some family at the house and it is  wonderful.

 

 

20220827_153510.jpg

Nice haul, but it wasn't too long ago that those EHT were just sitting on the shelf. The quality and rarity of the "allocated" portion of bundles is rapidly decreasing IMO. In the case of EHT, bundles started a while back with the one-off experimental LEs like "Seasoned Wood," then went to Cask Strength, now they're doing Single Barrel. Shortly it will be Small Batch or none at all. Careful bundling a bunch of stuff you don't want for just an average bottle you could swap out for an similar quality/proof/taste option that's actually on the shelf. 

 

Not sure where the higher end EHTs go nowadays.  They probably go to the LS owners/employees, big spending customers (usually wine guys), store lotteries, a store's whisky club members, etc. There's no way to be competitive in that world anymore without total commitment, which I lack after a decade of hunting. 

Edited by jvd99
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My local offered a deal with minimum purchase of $50 not including the sought after item the other day. So I ended up grabbing my dad some of his Christmas beer he wanted and got myself a michters for $100. I'd do that again.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/5/2022 at 11:45 AM, IamMatt said:

In CA, Von's/Pavillions/Safeway/Albertson's does the 10% off if you buy 6 thing.  Four or five times a year they do a double discount weekend where you get 20% off if you buy 6.  Most of the stores don't sell anything special but some do,  So if you watch for the double discount weekend and know which stores sell what, you can bet Midsummer Night's Dram, Redwood Empire, Cream of Kentucky, and other better bottles at a discount.  Or stock up on the staples like Four Roses SiB, Michters, etc.

This weekend is one of those 20% off weekends at Von's/Pavillions/Safeway/Albertson's at least in my area.  Dunno if it is a regional thing but you might want to check your local online ads.

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