126 – Bitcoin, Community, and Bourbon of the Year with Bourbon Community Roundtable #15

In this final Bourbon Community Roundtable of 2017 (it’s the 15th edition) we look at the unique rise of trading bourbon for bitcoin weighing out the pros and cons, a look back into how the bourbon community has changed for the worse in 2017 and we cap it off talking about our favorite Bourbon and Rye releases of the year.

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Show Notes:

  • In recent news, we’ve talked about different ways of trading for bourbon. I’ve traded landscape work. I know Ryan has traded his services for boxes of Jefferson’s before. But the new trend is bitcoin. So before we get into the pros and cons of doing a bourbon trade with bitcoin, who has taken the leap and bought some?
  • It’s really hard these days to find a good forum that doesn’t start lashing out or people that post their life’s collection of pappy that create a whirlwind of comments. At one point Bourbon Info Exchange and Bourbonr were good places you could go for just normal discussion. But lately, it’s become a game of who can make the poster feel like a douche. I’m honestly a bit appalled by it all. It has ruined the sense of community. there was once a time when you could try and become educated but everyone is quick to jump on ridiculing people now. It’s certainly not a friendly community any longer.
  • Ok.. the time has finally come. Our Bourbon of the year choices. lets have a discussion about this because I know not everyone has tasted everything.
  • Surprise Barrel for our fans!!!
125 – The Export Market with the British Bourbon Society

If you think the bourbon frenzy has gotten bad here in the US, well you don’t know what it’s like to live outside the borders. This episode features Ed Rosie and Andrew Watson, members of the British Bourbon Society, as we we discuss the transition of scotch drinkers to bourbon, the European search for dusties, and how it’s nearly impossible to get your hands on store picks which we take for granted.


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Show Notes:

  • How did you get into bourbon
  • What is the British Bourbon Society all about?
  • Talk about the current state of affairs with bourbon in the UK.
  • How much have you seen the EU pick up on this? Are there dedicated bars? Are bartender cocktails changing?
  • Is it cheaper to have your booze imported from a different country?
  • Have you taken all the dusty bourbon out of Europe?
  • I have friends from the UK and when they visit they tend to bring extra suitcases for shopping because things are just cheaper here. How do the prices compare to the US with taxes?
  • How often are you making pilgrimages to go shopping?
  • At this point, Trump is making more enemies across the globe and within our own country. Back in July, the European Union talked about a retaliatory tariff on steel imports. They said there would be heavy taxes on American whiskey. And the senate majority leader is Mitch McConnell who represents Kentucky, so it’s no wonder why they would go straight for the groin. As bourbon begins to boom and flourish in export markets this could really hit home as every distillery is in hyper-growth phases. Fred Minnick had an article on the NYTimes that really touched on the subject. I want to get your opinions on what this tax could potentially do
  • What’s the difference in the legalities? still a 3 tier system?
  • You also have some interesting export only bourbons you have access to. Wild Turkey 12 year. Blantons SFTB and Gold and Reserve. But what do we have in the US you wish you had every day access to?
124 – How to Create Barrel Picking Groups with Eddie Noel of The Bourbon Cartel

Have you ever wondered what these bourbon barrel picking groups like The Bourbon Mafia, 1789b, T5C, and The Bourbon Cartel are all about?  Eddie Noel, who has a history of founding multiple groups, will guide us into what it takes to form a barrel picking group with the types of individuals needed, the commitment of joining one, and the secret to getting private barrel selections when you don’t have a store to get you in.

  • Eddie, how did you get started with bourbon?
  • Before we dive in, explain what a barrel picking group does. It should be self explanatory but you know.
  • We’ve talked about barrel selections being a great avenue for terrific bourbon, do you agree?
  • Talk about your history with barrel picking groups
  • Lets talk about the mentality of barrel picking groups. What do you need to know going into creating one?
  • How hard is it to create one?
  • Is it difficult when stores want to keep the barrel themselves?
  • What do store owners get out of it?
  • Who are the types of individuals you seek out?
  • Do they need to be in the same area?
  • Does it help if the members are from Kentucky? (Local to the distilleries)
  • Does having a connection to a store owner make it break it?
  • If you do have that connection, how big should a store be or the volume that needs to be sold to determine how often they can be selected?
  • Is there ever an over abundance of selections? Could it hurt your pockets if you aren’t careful? Can you split barrels with a store so half go to the group?
  • Are there ways to get barrels without knowing a store owner?
  • What are some of the rules of the group?
  • Amy Halter from Patreon: For Eddie Noel, are there ever differences of opinion on which barrel to select, and if so, how does a large group handle that?
  • Are there certain distilleries that treat barrel picking groups in favor versus traditional store owners?
  • Talk about some distilleries you are visiting outside of Kentucky
  • What do you think about finished barrels?
  • Are craft distilleries easier to get on their select list rather than the big dogs like Wild Turkey, Four Roses or Buffalo Trace etc?
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!


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