LATEST EPISODES

123 – Retail Pricing Wars… Part 2




In Episode 109 we featured two retailers and discussed if there is such a thing as MSRP pricing and how square footage, location, loyalty, and clientele all boil down into how rare bourbon is priced and sold. Eric Darland, a buyer in the D.C. area sent us an email and told us we completely missed the mark. Eric gives insight into the legalized mafia that is distribution, allocation of store picks, and pricing fairly.

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  • Let’s start with store picks and why are they so hard to get outside of Kentucky?
  • Do you think it’s unfair that if a store sells more lower tier bourbon they should have a shot at choosing barrels?
  • Are you losing customers if your store doesn’t have the top-tier stuff?
  • Do liquor stores really make that much money on limited releases by selling at 2-5x MSRP?
  • What’s the difference is pricing in the D.C. area vs Kentucky vs NYC?
  • So you are firm believer in supply and demand and pricing accordingly
  • So your store reaps the benefit of getting 2-3x value. What happens when Buffalo Trace ups their cost to you by 2-3x? How are you going to feel?
  • Would new MSRP pricing end the secondary market? Would we see BTAC bottles lined on the shelf at $600 a piece if that happened?
  • Booker’s Rye and WhistlePig Black Prince releases are good examples of proper pricing
  • Do distiller’s even care? The ultra-premium is less than 1% of their actual revenue.
  • Do you think it’s an unfair fight in regards to passion for someone that lives in KY vs DC?
  • Distribution is problematic. Some people suggested having Amazon being the centralized liquor store. What is an idea of how distribution can be fixed that levels the playing field across state lines?
  • What’s the future of how supply will equal demand?
122 – Entrapment, Jefferson’s Presidential, and Christmas gifts on Bourbon Community Roundtable #14




There’s been some sneaky releases lately from Diageo and Jefferson’s so we tackle those. If you’re short on Christmas gift ideas, we talk about some of those things you can give the bourbon lover in your life.

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  • In recent news, the folks at Diageo slid in a brand new Orphan Barrel release called Entrapment 25 year Canadian Whiskey. Anyone have thoughts on it yet?
  • Jefferson’s also released their 16year Presidential Selection. I heard about this release almost a year ago and completely forgot about it. But this is a unique one because it’s not like any other Presidential release. this one has some of the Jefferson’s flair where its been double barreled and they call it Twin Wood. Twin Wood got its name after Master Distiller Trey Zoeller chose an 11-year Bourbon to be re-barreled in freshly charred oak for another 5 years. Around 10,000 bottles are available today in markets across the country at an MSRP of $199.
  • The bloggers on the roundtable did their sleuthing and found out that PVW15’s red foil this year was a bottling line mistake. Blake had a special name for it.
  • The holidays mean one thing, as “the bourbon connoisseur” of your family, your obligated to bring a few bottles over to share with family. What are those bottles?
  • Christmas season is quickly approaching. Each person gets to discuss what they believe are the top gifts. This could be from a specific bottle, to ice molds, to clothing.
  • Be on the lookout for a special Black Friday deal on the Bourbon Pursuit facebook page as well!
121 – The Science Behind Bourbon and Yeast with Dr. Pat Heist




Many of us understand Bourbon 101 and 102 knowledge, but what about level 400? Dr. Pat Heist of Ferm Solutions joins the show to explain what is chemically happening when you’re producing bourbon and gives an in-depth look at yeast and how it becomes one of the most critical components of the process. You will learn all about the breakdowns of enzymes during mash cooking and species of yeast for distilling. If you’re a science buff, this episode is for you.

 

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  • What does Ferm Solutions do as well as how big Wilderness Trail Distillery?
  • What was your first real job out of college and how did that get you into spirits?
  • Are you tailoring yourself to craft whiskey or do you help with big names on the market as well?
  • Talk about the science behind corn
  • Is there really a difference between red corn or blue corn vs the traditional white/yellow corn? Difference in flavor? Economical?
  • Talk about pesticides and GMO for the grains
  • What about barley, rye, or wheat? Is the breakdown of the pathogens different or the enzymes?
  • Go a bit more in depth about what the scientific differences between sour vs sweet mash
  • How does yeast compete? What about the sanitary levels and how that contributes?
  • What are the differences in the species of yeast and which ones are typically used in beer and spirits production?
  • True or False. Does yeast contribute 15% to the flavor of a bourbon?
  • What are the differences between low-gravity and high-gravity fermenters?
  • What is the cause of a mutated yeast? Jim Rutledge discovered it at one time when it was a part of some limited edition offerings at Four Roses
  • When you’re monitoring the yeast during fermentation, what are you looking for?
  • When I was at Castle and Key they talked about doing yeast forensics to find a closely resembled strain. Is this actually possible or just marketing hype?
  • Gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. What does this even mean?
  • When does the yeast stop playing a roll? When it’s in the barrel? out of the barrel? in the bottle?
  • Is yeast like a fungi where it can reproduce when it get puts back into a normalized environment?
  • What about beers that go bad?
  • One last question about corn, how long do you age corn in a silo to dehydrate corn and remove moisture?
120 – High Volume Online Retailers with K&L and Ace Spirits



Retailers need an edge to stay competitive in today’s market. Listen to Louis Dachis of Ace Spirits and David Driscoll of K&L Wine Merchants on how technology is making their business grow on national level and you get a lesson on distribution and why there are shipping restrictions to different states in the US.

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  • Talk about your stores and the markets you serve
  • How have you seen the bourbon market effect your business? What’s the good what’s the bad?
  • How does having a very prominent online presence given you an advantage?
  • Do you see your barrel picks making its way out of state because of online orders? Do you feel that impacts locals?
  • We know allocated items in bourbon are coveted right now. How are you dealing with this surge? Do you reward continual shoppers, even online shoppers that are out of state?
  • Is there a better way to get products into the hands of consumers other than the three-tier system?
  • Why are there so many law restrictions on shipping alcohol across state lines? Why can’t we have a uniform federal ruling that allows shipment across state lines?
  • This goes into global shipping. For example: A Malt like Springbank 21 (700 ml) at Masters of Malt retails for $220ish. Even if I bought only one bottle and paid $40 for ship on the 1 bottle, it is still cheaper than purchasing the 750 ml US version for $390ish. Where do you think a savvy consumer would buy? How will US retail stay competitive in the global marketplace at this rate?
  • In an ideal world where you can sell more volume online, what do you want to see changed?
119 – Whiskey Business with Matt Landan of Haymarket Whiskey Bar




With the current climate of overpriced rare whiskey, how do you turn that into a profitable business? Matt Landan talks about pivoting his coffee shop into Haymarket Whiskey Bar, a staple of bourbon country and Top 40 whiskey bar.

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  • Everyone who has visited Louisville probably knows but we are going to talk about the history of the bar
  • Do you think this is becoming a new landmark on the bourbon trail
  • How are you appealing to the local bourbon community?
  • You also do something unique with the price of your Van Winkles too
  • People on the forums also thought you ruined bourbon for maybe 30 minutes last year too
  • Talk about the new Vintage spirits law and what that means
  • You’re keeping up with it. what’s the latest news with it and where are they?
  • What are some potential pit falls?
  • How do retailers or people like yourself protect themselves from frauds?
  • What mistakes have you made trying to run a whiskey bar?
  • What advice would you give to someone?
  • How do feel about increased competition?

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