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I'm leaving this pretty open-ended, so don't feel like it's wrong to post about random non-bourbon or rye stuff here. Below are the bottles I have accumulated, or would purchase if given the opportunity. There are good limited edition bottles, but I just don't think it's worth the time to look for them anymore, so I'm not listing pappy et al.


The Weller Line




None of these should be priced above $40. I would recommend trying all of them. I think they are the best value on the market, but it's basically impossible to find Weller 12 anymore outside of Texas. They are a victim of the pappy craze.


Stagg Jr. (any batch)




Want to taste something very, very similar to some of the most expensive bourbon on the market right now? Buy Stagg Jr., as long as it's <$70. It should not be overly hard to find. On the whole, it's an amazing value bourbon considering the proof, and I think it tastes wonderful.


Elmer T. Lee




Elmer is popular because it was recognized for being a really good value bourbon. It is not mind-blowing; it is merely very good, and it used to be easy to find for $23. Give it a shot for anything less than $40.


Sazerac Rye (baby saz)




This shouldn't be that hard to find. It should be no more than $40. I like it quite a lot as a value play, and it is nowhere near as harsh as some of the other ryes out there. One company in Indiana makes a huge amount of the rye whiskey on the market today, and they use a 95% rye mash bill that has a super strong dill taste to it. Baby Saz is nothing like that, but people are turned off to it partially due to that stigma. Try it, form your own opinion, etc.


Smooth Ambler Old Scout - Bourbon/Rye, cask or no




These are all sourced from various distillers, not actually distilled by Smooth Ambler. They're very good, but the price is creeping up. There's a ton of variation between different barrels, but on the whole I would recommend anything below $60. If you see the cask strength rye for anything less than $70ish, go ahead and buy it.


Elijah Craig Barrel Proof




I've only ever had a small pour of this, and have never seen a bottle for sale. It's really good, and nothing like the 12yr version one can find on any shelf. I would pay $70 for it. It has been as high as 140 proof, and it just does not taste like it. Phenomenal bourbon, released several times per year.


A Midwinter Night's Dram




This is a seasonal release, but I don't think of it like a limited edition whiskey, because it tends to be available for a while. It usually goes for $80, and I would buy it in a heartbeat at that price. It's a port finished rye that has gotten rave reviews. High West is another producer that hasn't released anything but sourced stuff (other people distill and sell to them), but that's not necessarily a strike against them. They, like Smooth Ambler, are just really good at picking barrels.


More later.

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I'm leaving this pretty open-ended, so don't feel like it's wrong to post about random non-bourbon or rye stuff here. Below are the bottles I have accumulated, or would purchase if given the opportun

There is a very good reason that they were all unblurry. He was in them and someone else was taking them.

One of the weirder labels:     It actually tastes pretty good, and I think the 100 proof version is $12-15/750ml. It's a bottom shelf brand named after one of the founders of Brown-Forman (Jack

MSRP is $80, you may be looking at Stagg Jr (which is a really good value at $60 especially considering CA COLA)


MSRP has no real basis in reality, the distillers are just using pre-craze pricing to drive up demand for limited edition bottles. this is what causes the lines at liquor stores--people can make a pretty good hourly rate.

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I did the math on the most recent Buffalo Trace Antique Collection release, assuming 25k bottles and $500/bottle (avg secondary price across all of the different types), that's $12.5 million in potential revenue vs. $2 million they're getting at $80/bottle.


This is an enormous leap I'm making here, but the effectiveness of that $10.5 million left on the table, as a marketing expense, is kind of insane.


It's also kind of insane to think about the $12.5 million figure relative to the hysteria you see across the country. I would have expected a bigger "market cap."

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Speaking of that. I have a bottle of Johnny Walker black that is 10 years old. It has maybe 2 pours out of it. I don't drink scotch at all, so it's for other people. Is it still drinkable? I have no idea how long open liquor lasts.

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I 2nd Guapo's question. I recently bought new Triple Sec because I was worried about the age of mine.

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Speaking of that. I have a bottle of Johnny Walker black that is 10 years old. Is it still drinkable?

Barely, but that has nothing to do with how long you've had it.


Liquor will keep forever if sealed properly. Liqueur's (things with sugars and creams and such) lifespan are measures in months I think.

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Fwiw, I just wanted to say that I appreciated the effort that Strat put into this thread. If I was man enough to drink bourbon straight; I would take his suggestions. Also, it would help if I didn't drink almost an entire 750ml of that Butfalo Trace over the course of a day. I don't like one drink.

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One of the weirder labels:




It actually tastes pretty good, and I think the 100 proof version is $12-15/750ml. It's a bottom shelf brand named after one of the founders of Brown-Forman (Jack Daniels, Old Forester, Southern Comfort, et al), but it was sold off to a competitor. To me, it's pretty odd that both parties are okay with the situation and signed off on it initially.




I've been to Bardstown, KY a few times, and the highway signage has this apocalypse appearance--dusty/dirty black stains. It's bacteria that grows as a result of the alcohol evaporating from the rickhouses (beam, heaven hill, willett).

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This bourbon thing has Beanie Baby elements to it.

Has it entered the 'full ego' phase yet where the uber-desirable brand/vintage has been crowned and the dumbest participants are hysterical in driving up the price to get (whatever that is)? Because that's when you know the pain is just around the corner...




Seems bourbon makers learned a lesson from the ammo market. Noting drives buying and hording like artificial scarcity.

I hope you're right, I really do. nothing would make me happier than to be able to find really good bourbon, whenever I want it, for non-ridiculous prices.


Elijah Craig 18--mentioned as being $39 in that article--was released this year at a new MSRP of $120. Larceny is a great wheated bourbon, but it isn't scarce, probably because it isn't from Buffalo Trace/Sazerac.


Not much else has changed since Dec 2014, other than the idea that one can go driving around and find stuff like George T Stagg in random places. there's too much money to be made... anyone involved in the process will be giving friends the heads up on when and where to show up for all the bottles (distributor employee, truck driver, owner of store, employee of store, etc). finding a case of George T Stagg at MSRP is like a $3k windfall.

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The same went for Starting Lineup figurines in the early 90's.

This is not sustainable. It takes nothing- N--O--T--H--I--N--G - for most any of these breweries to double, triple production capacity. Bourbon is straight commodity product. Overproduction will occur shortly, once the people apt to horde have gotten their fill and the panic subsides. Then, things return to a sane equilibrium.


Classic 'greater fool' market.

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the only problem is that there is no good way to artificially age bourbon. some distilleries do heat cycling but it isn't a perfect solution.


my thinking is that the craze dies down before supply catches up... mostly because I have never seen anything like this last the 10 additional years it would take for all the allocated stuff to be aged appropriately. if they were REALLY on the ball, the earliest production increases would have happened in 2010 or so.


I think scotch is a pretty reasonable comparison. I believe there is a Costco brand 18 year old scotch that costs like $40. there's literally no reason why that won't eventually happen for bourbon.

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Its entirely possible that bourbon manufacturers realized that there was a consumer surplus and they were leaving cash on the table relative to what their dumber customers were willing to pay (watch and guitar manufacturers realized this, too), but the 'scarcity' factor is horseshit.


It may never be cheap again but the mania we're seeing is classic greater-fool stuff and as sure as the sun rises, there will be a time when people look back on it and chuckle.

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