210 – Oversaturated Private Barrel Selections with Michael Gallier


We talk about private barrel selections being the new unicorns on this show all the time. But it begs the question, are we seeing so many private picks that the market is oversaturated? It seems like every week there is a new barrel in our city for sale, FOMO about some sweet sticker, or the secondary market has a crazy valuation on a normal single barrel selection. We examine all the components that go into getting single barrels such as the amount of influence from distributor reps, the amount of available barrels at the distilleries, and if you would buy from a big chain vs a small independent store. Will there ever be enough bourbon to go around and not over bloat the market? We’ll find out.

Show Notes:

  • This week’s Above the Char with Fred Minnick talks about Portugal.
  • What got you into to buying private barrel picks?
  • What’s the landscape of private picks in DC?
  • With the increase in stores wanting private picks, are some stores going to get shut out of the program?
  • Do you think distilleries should be taking care of the bigger accounts over the smaller stores that started doing picks earlier?
  • Is there a bias towards certain states?
  • Would you want to buy a private barrel pick from a big box liquor store?
  • Does the local sales rep make a difference?
  • What about restaurant picks?
  • Do you think distilleries are running out of barrels for their private barrel programs?
  • Is the market flooded with private selections?
  • What could distilleries do to give one store an advantage over another?
  • Let’s discuss stickers. Do they influence your purchase?
  • Should stores slow down barrel picks?
  • Why are some people spending so much for private picks on the secondary market?

Transcription:

0:00
Yeah, all I think all of our products are, which ones the few that we’ve gotten are like my daily drinkers. Yes, I’m with you. I don’t ever drink the rare stuff by myself. And nobody ever comes over. So.

0:26
Hey, everybody, welcome back. This is Episode 210 of the bourbon pursuit. I’m one of your host Kenny. And we don’t really have a whole lot of bourbon news to talk about. In fact, we have none but we have some sort of fun little tidbits information plus some things that we’ve been working on and what we’ve been doing. So let me tell you about them. So I had some information sent to me a few weeks ago by Chris Middleton over at whiskey Academy. And he said this after he listened to Episode 207 with Jimmy Russell and I sat down with them. Now, you know, it’s not often when you can stump Jimmy Russell and this was one thing

1:00
We had kind of talked about that’s really kind of a whiskey mystery. So let’s kind of dive into it. We talked about the name Ezra on the podcast, and we did that for a bit and somehow we stumbled on the topic of Ezra Brooks. Now, from my knowledge, I remember this being a fictitious name and brand but we got on the topic and it kind of just spiraled out from there. However, here’s some factual information on Ezra Brooks that came from Chris Middleton. So Ezra Brooks it is a whiskey brand that is a copycat brand of jack daniels Black Label Tennessee whiskey. It was created by Frank Silverman of the Frank Silverman and company in Chicago in 1957, or he sourced Kentucky bourbon under the Ezra Brooks distilling company is an NDP filed on July 30 1958, with Herbert Silverman as the chairman. Now this was all also under the Hoffman distilling company in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. There was no Ezra Brooks no distiller, owner investors, celebrity or a day

2:00
The thief from a whiskey cemetery. He’s a trademark Phantom. SO Hockley built the Hoffman distillery on the Salt River in 1880 joined II Kaufman. After prohibition, it was rebuilt with the brothers Robert and Ezra, who were brought in to run it. And those were the sons of Thomas repeat, hence the connection to the wild turkey distillery. Jimmy Russell was probably referencing the name from here and all likelihood It was not where the hazard Brooks name came from. Frank Sillerman unashamedly copied everything from jack daniels, starting with the square bottle to a similar black and white label graphic, the filigree even an image of an old distillery illustration, which jack Dino’s had on the back of the label, even the trademark name Ezra Brooks with similar syndication and personalization, so we’re men also attempting to replicate jack daniels unique use of charcoal filtration. As an aside, Ezra Brooks was America’s second charcoal rectified bourbon was

3:00
Since post prohibition, but the processes were very crude in simplistic it’s more of a gesture circulating some charcoal and the whiskey barrel for 24 hours. George decal, the other charcoal was launched in 1964. Silverman also plagiarized jack daniels unlabeled claims and copied some of the Jackie Mills print advertising messages back then. JACK, Dino’s went on allocation from 1956 to the early 1960s when the consumer demand exceeded the production under the maturation. So that’s a good little whiskey tidbit for you. So make sure you try to write that one down. Now you know the kind of the real history behind Ezra Brooks. So I want to give a shout out to our friends over for castle festival for hosting us this past weekend. We had a great time hitting up the bourbon lodge that was sponsored by Justin’s house at bourbon and the bird review to get some dusty pours as well as some air conditioning before heading back out into the crowd the jam with bands like Judah, the lion, the killers, and Nelly

4:00
Put on actually a real good show to bring back some those early 2000 memories for lots of us. You can catch our for castle updates on our Instagram and Facebook pages. Did you catch that thing we released on Tuesday this past week? Well, you can look forward to hearing those every week from now on. We’re excited to be launching whiskey quickie to give you a fun update in the middle of the week. The normal podcasts will remain unchanged, and hope you look forward to hearing more of them. If you want to catch the video versions, make sure you subscribe to our YouTube page. And you can see that sweet intro that we’ve cooked up. We’ve got no shortage of whiskey to review and we can get through quite a bit with only 62nd reviews. But if there’s something that you were dying to hear, send us an email team at bourbon pursuit calm. We talked about private barrel selections being the new unicorns on this show all the time. But that begs the question, are we seeing so many private pics that the market is just becoming over saturated? It seems like every week

5:00
There’s a new barrel that’s going up for sale in our city. There’s fo mo about some sweet sticker attached to a bottle that we want to get our hands on, or the secondary market has some crazy valuation on just another regular single barrel selection. We examine all the components that go into getting single barrels, such as the amount of influence from distributor rep, the amount of available barrels that are even at these distilleries. And if you would even buy from a big chain versus a small independent store, will there be enough bourbon to go around and hopefully not overload the market? will find out. All right, well, let’s get on with the show. Here’s Joe from barrell bourbon. And then you’ve got Fred Minnick with above the char.

5:42
Hi, Joe from barrell bourbon here, every release is intentionally unique and can’t be duplicated. Once it’s gone. It’s gone. Find out more at barrel bourbon com.

5:53
I’m Fred Minnick. And this is above the char as I walk into this beautiful store, surrounded by

6:00
port and scotch bottles. I went up to the owner in Lisbon, Portugal. And I asked him a question, sir. Where’s your bourbon? He said, Well, there’s no demand for bourbon here. Nobody wants it. I love bourbon, he says, but nobody really wants to buy bourbon and Portugal. A few days later, I walked into a lovely bar. There are plenty of ports and scotches and cognacs and the bar owner boasted is like yeah, we have the largest bourbon selection in all of Porto. I’m like, Wow, fantastic. What do you got? We’ve got bullet bourbon. He said, I was That’s fantastic. And then he had four roses and he had a couple of vintage Bourbons and he was very excited to even have jack daniels and Jim Beam. I think he had a redemption here and and an orphan barrel there in for sure. It was the largest selection of bourbon that I had seen in Portugal, and he made some nice cocktails. But at the end of the day, that was not

7:00
Nearly the amount of bourbon that I’m used to seeing, and even a random chilis in Boise, Idaho. Now I guess I shouldn’t expect to go to Portugal and see bourbon littered on all the shelves. Not at all. I don’t expect that one bit. But I was rather shocked to see that bourbon had not penetrated such a country field with culinary love and wine and port. So perhaps I’m naive to think that bourbon should be served throughout Portugal. But let me tell you why. When I walk into a foreign country, I look for bourbon. It’s because I think of the distillers in the 1950s and 1960s, who are trying desperately to get these countries to pull down their tariffs except bourbon overseas. See, in that time frame, bourbon was not a unique product in the United States. And so places like United Kingdom, Argentina, Brazil, Spain, Portugal, they were all terrifying bourbon because there was nothing unique about it and the world. Also want

8:00
Give scotch and easy pass so it could help rebuild the United Kingdom. And so when I look at the shelves throughout the world, I think of the toil of the distillers in the 1950s and 1960s, and those in the 1980s, who were just kind of hanging on by a thread, just trying to bring bourbon back. And while I could easily say that, you know, bourbon and Portugal means less bourbon and Boise, Idaho, it’s really not that simple. You see, the more bourbon grows, the more production we will have. And if we can get places like Portugal to carry, I don’t know, three to five Bourbons, and every store or restaurant, that’s a win for Kentucky. That’s a win for bourbon. And at the end of the day, I think it’s a win for you too, because that means they’re going to work harder to make better bourbon. And that’s this week’s above the char Hey,

9:00
If you have an idea for above the char hit me up on Twitter or Instagram, that’s at Fred Minnick again. That’s at Fred Minnick. Until next week. Cheers

9:11
Welcome back to another episode of bourbon pursuit Kenny and Ryan here tonight talking about a particular subject that means a lot to all of the bourbon crazies, the bourbon nuts out there because this is one topic that Ryan and I I think, I mean Gosh, we’re we’re hundreds of episodes into this now and we start rolling back the the clock and the dials and we go back in time and I remember when Ryan was all like, Well, why would you chase unicorns when store pics are the are the real thing that you want? You know, this is this is a privately selected barrel. It only has a finite amount of bottles in it. And now it seems that the game is even getting ruined for store pics in that all right, Ryan. Yeah, now you got to start your own private label. Rare

9:58
because it’s

10:00
I guess I was probably what two or three years ago I said that I was just burnt out by the whole camping and lotteries and all these, you know, limited releases and then the store pics was like my, you know, I was like man, those are the just like you said, but now it’s gotten to the point where like you said every stores doing one every groups done one they got a sticker on they got this that that and then it’s like, all right, what’s you know what’s rare about these anymore? But I mean, they are still rare because you are selecting your own barrel but uh, you know, same time I think they’ve kind of lost their luster a little bit, but I don’t know, they’re still unique. Yeah. And I think I think again, harder. Absolutely. And I think the good thing is at least with this certain topic, because there’s there’s a lot of ways that you can take this, you know, we’ve had, we’ve had you know, as I mentioned, Ryan talked about this a lot. We had Matt Ray, Walt Aiden, English the WWE wrestler talk about it. We had we had Brett from brick

11:00
banter on here we talked about sort of, you know, who can you trust when somebody’s actually picking out a single barrel we’ve also had Jamie Ferris on the show before where he’s had over 70 single barrels at one time in the store. So the single barrels they’re not nothing new however, the craze is starting to really rise in popularity amongst you know, everywhere to the point where people are quickly selling out a single barrel pick that their total wine just got somewhere in Houston because somebody posted they’re like, Oh, can I go get that let’s go run and go get it real quick. So it craze the craze is starting to reach capacity. Yeah, and the crazy thing is not to keep going on a banter on our our banter.

11:46
The the the people that have been doing these are you know, for so long and that started doing these to bring interest in these single barrels are getting squeezed out. And that’s kind of the the crazy thing about it. It’s because there’s such a demand.

12:00
The groups that you know, really bought into this and kind of made distilleries famous for it.

12:05
Because they’re just a group, they’re not really had the buying power of big liquor stores. So we can get into this a little more, but it’s just, it’s an interesting environment. It’s still unique and very cool environment. But there’s a lot more at play now. And so you kind of gotta weave in and out how you can end it. Alright, so we’ve talked enough. So let’s introduce our guest, Michael.

12:27
So our guest is Michael Gallagher. Michael is a bourbon enthusiast and brought this topic to us as a way to kind of spark a conversation of what’s the market going to be like now and what’s it going to be like, even in the future? So Michael, welcome to the show. Thanks, guys. Thanks for having me. So before we start diving into the topic, you know, I we always have to get your bourbon story kind of where did you come from? How did you grow up in this? This this brown water wasteland or whatever it is nowadays? Well, when I was growing up by my parents and really drink it off, so I didn’t really start getting

13:00
into it and probably until like, five years ago, and, and I didn’t live it up here near DC for about eight years now. And being right across the line, the wild west of DC until I have a couple of liquor stores actually like the frequent because it’s a lot easier to get stuff. And that actually helped me broaden my horizons as far as like the range of, you know, flavors and tastings that you can get from it. I mean, I’m not an expert in any means when it comes to figuring out like, whether these are way marzipan or what you know, we just play one on the podcast.

13:35
We ride on Fred’s coattails on that

13:39
so yeah, I built a collection of myself it’s just been a nice happy that I’ve enjoyed so what’s your your collection up to this point? I probably got around 150 bottles which is probably like nothing compared to what you get but dang that’s about there with me. The problem is I drink on like, like this slowly keep diminishing but Kenny Hello

14:00
He’s a hoarder he’s got that’s not true because every time you come over I crack one open and then you just leave and so I’m I’m always stuck with all these bottles and only have like two pours poured out of them because you invite you don’t invite me back.

14:14
There’s a reason why that happens to for sure. I guess Michael kind of give us a little bit of an indication of like, What got you like looking into buying Perino private selected barrels that have been done either by stores or by groups or anything like that versus, you know, either regular offerings or trying to chase after unicorns. I think it was when I started collecting deeper it was more about availability I guess, because like you get to a certain point you can’t, you’re not going to find that many more new bottles. So it became more about the different flavors in like a four roses. You know, private select the different kinds of flavors you can get from you know, different recipes they have, which I usually found through the

15:00
Single barrel program that you know liquor stores and guys like you have done

15:07
and so what’s what’s sort of the landscape in DC as well because I know I know we’ve got friends that own stores around there and I know the way that as you’d mentioned the wild west of laws happened but what’s the like the landscape of private pics because I’ll tell you about the landscape of private pets here in Kentucky after you’re done

15:29
as far it’s just I think the the stores

15:33
if I’m understanding your question correctly did stores just happened to do as many pics as they can. I mean, I don’t they don’t usually get that many in they probably do like four or five years especially the my favorite store is that about which is good. Yeah, I mean, because the one thing that we you know, we kind of see around here is that there is

15:52
there’s an abundance. Right? I mean, I think I think there is something to be said about having this. Everything in your backyard. A lot.

16:00
These stores have had these relationships with the distilleries for a very long time. So when they want to go and do a private pic, it’s like yeah, sure. Come on in like we’ve been doing business forever. And then now it’s starting to the point well, okay, well, bourbon, the craze is starting to go up. So now we’ve got stores in California and Oregon and Washington and Iowa, New York. And I everybody wants to do them now. And so there’s, there’s this. They’re feeling this pressure. Yeah, there’s tension and the pressure. And so and with that pressure, I mean, we’re going to start seeing some people potentially get booted out and stuff like that. And I know Ryan, you’ve you’ve kind of seen it firsthand by you know, Guthrie, that’s been on the show before. with Todd he’s down in Bardstown. So, tell us a little bit about what that looks like. Yeah, so got there. A good friend of mine owns today’s we talked about before, but he’s been doing private pics for Gosh, I mean, it seems like it’s

17:00
least seven to 10, maybe even 10 years, ever since they’ve been first having it. And so, yeah, he goes to plot for Russell’s pics this year and four roses and they’re like, Hey,

17:13
we don’t have room for you this year. And, and it’s based because he’s a small store, you know, he doesn’t do a ton of volume. And so they’re basically catering to the bigger liquor stores that push the volume. And so it’s kind of like squeezing the little guys out, they kind of,

17:31
you know, embrace them at first and so it’s kind of like, all right, well, that doesn’t seem

17:37
very fair. Very right. And we seen it with good friend of ours. Read with 17 out be I mean, they’ve been doing pics for ever and Campari just told them that they weren’t gonna be able to do a Russell’s pick. And they I mean, gosh, they’ve done. I mean, how many barrels that we picked that day with them six out of how many I mean, we probably 18 maybe you could just tell read and emulate it.

18:00
relationship with Jimmy and Eddie. And it was like, you’re just going to shit on this relationship that’s like been there forever just because they’re a group and they’re not a big liquor store. And so there’s just been so many groups and so many liquor stores now interested in it that like, the way that these

18:19
bourbon companies are kind of determining who gets what is kind of alarming and shocking to me, and I’m not too happy about it, but I understand it is what it is. And it’s like you said at pressure, squeeze markets, so they do what they gotta do, but I think I’ll will All right. Well, remember that, you know, when about five, eight years, and all this stuff’s out again and there, you know, calling us back up. Yeah, Michael, kinda want to get your take on that. Like, what do you kind of see is the,

18:51
the anti, I guess you could say happening, of being able to say, well, we’re going to push out all these people that took it

19:00
The dance and we’re going to take care of the Benny’s and you know liquor barns in our backyard and going me wrong like they they get the cream of the crop for some reason I’ve seen liquor barn just regular like Buffalo Trace old Weller antique pictures that show up on Facebook. Holy God, I’m not I’m not kidding. They have you know, when we go we do our Buffalo Trace barrel pick they have four barrels when they do it. They have 12 1518 It’s insane, right? So they treat customers a little bit differently to do you agree that these distilleries should be taking care of their bigger accounts rather than everybody that kind of has been keeping them in the dance for a while, but is as bad as it sounds. I mean, it’s probably Money Talks, right? And it’s almost like, to the point where to get certain bottles, like comfort like they’ve done in the past is these liquor stores have to push the cheaper stuff or the bottles they want to get off their hands in order to get the chance to get into the selections what it almost seems like in and so I guess another question that that we kind of

20:00
Bringing around that you know it does go by location to. I’m reading a few things that are coming here in the chat. Bill Nall says that location matters. He was in Detroit and there’s a liquor store that had a barrel bourbon private pick. And it was, quote the only one in the state. However, here in Kentucky, you can go around to five or six stores and probably find one. Matt said the same exact thing he said in Iowa. There is only one for roses single barrel private selection pick for the entire state. He never saw it. He only saw there is only one Weller 107 barrel for the whole entire state of Wisconsin this year. So there is there is this sort of demographic, I guess, bias? I don’t know. Maybe that’s what it is like, what do you what do you all think? Do you think there is a demographic bias or is it because there’s there’s another underlying motive there? I guess it could be the idea of population density areas. I mean, I was not exactly a DC nuts.

21:00
DC is like this big city. But you know, DC, even DC like a liquor store that I usually go to only gets like four bottles, like a year, like four selections a year from different cup, and they’re usually the big one like whistle pig for roses and stuff like that. But

21:14
I’m not around with. Yeah, I mean, I think where these distilleries are aiming, they’re kind of probably starting to squeeze out the group’s more so than stores. Because a group doesn’t necessarily help them,

21:28
I guess, expand their brand or expand their reach. You know, we’re us whiskey geeks were already in we’re already buying their product. And so I think smaller stores and groups are going to get squeezed out first because like that, they just want to reach new customers and get into new markets and a group just not going to offer that especially one that’s here in Kentucky. I mean, because we’re going to, we’re going to buy them if they’re available and it’s

21:57
kind of, you know, limits the reach if

22:00
just selling to so I can understand that. But at the same time we’ve are the ones that are, you know, like, I hate to hate hate to keep saying bring it to the dance, but we’re the ones that brought you to the dance and so, so Hey, come on, give some love. No, Andy, just comment in the chat. He said, Well, groups don’t sell cases of fireball. Exactly.

22:22
Exactly. And so

22:25
there’s still a ton here in Kentucky. I mean, like you said, You got a liquor barn or total wine. I mean, they got the everyday Buffalo Trace and, like, even Barrow I mean, they’re pleather but well when I said it, I mean they fly off the shelf like crazy. I mean, it’s a it’s just a different landscape than it was two three years ago. Do you think they have like deals with those like when I was in I was in Kentucky and I went to the old forester their new area where they have their you do I guess you do your single barrel select there and they had like the plaques on the wall for the people that have done pics, and like total wines has like 20 stars.

23:00
Any star was like 10 bottles I mean 10 barrels. So yeah, yeah I mean there’s it’s amazing right? I look at it from from a business perspective and yes it does make sense that you you help the people that sell cases upon cases upon cases of just old forester 86 or 100 or the new right or whatever it is right it’s great to be able to take care of those people.

23:31
The flip side of it is is that when we start thinking about these big stores the the liquor Barnes the Benny’s

23:40
you know, talk about some some massive change the total wines now when you go into one of these liquor stores, and you know, we have him around here, I’m sure that you’ve got a a Costco around you as well. Even though I don’t know how big the Costco private barrel program is, even though they sell a shit ton of liquor but

24:00
What is what is your take? Like? would you would you feel comfortable buying a private barrel pic? Because it is that total line and you have no idea who did it? Or are you going to? Are you going to pass on it? Michael? What kind I want to get your ID on that. That Yeah, I’ve had that discussion in my own head a lot. As far as Do they really care about the taste? Or are they just doing the private select because it’s a private select and I know it’s going to sell more. I do like to tend to go to the to the groups but like you guys and that I trust like the you know, we kind of have the same flavor palette I guess you would say and I tend to stick to the smaller ones and stay away from the larger ones. Yeah, we do have costumes here in the DC whiskey read it is crazy about always posting like an update of what they have gotten each day. Yeah, I think the I guess the crazy thing about just Costco in general what’s what’s happened to the liquor sales because the words out that

25:00
It’s, it’s the cheapest, you’re going to find any state that you’re going to live that you’re going to live and be they they get allocated items. So I’ll never understand why they don’t have a bunch of barrel selections or anything like that going on, because I know that they’re running through a lot because that’s the anomaly. That’s the difference of a liquor barn and a total wine where they do have a lot of private selections, and they’re trying to really put that as a differentiator. I was gonna say, I didn’t even know Costco had or they don’t have private selections, right? Is that what you’re saying? You don’t see I’ve never seen any or, I mean, so I will take that back. There was one that happened here, I think it was or maybe it was another location, but they just had like a knob Creek, you know, nothing, nothing crazy. But that’s something that you typically don’t see. And so I guess another way to kind of look at this, you know, Matt FE says in here it says, Why should you crap on the little stores, you know, you still get a single barrel into the store and it’s still drives business.

26:00
But why why are you not going to help those smaller stores out? You all have a kind of take on that.

26:07
Well Could it be more about supply and demand kind of thing where they recognize that they got it they have to give these stores the largest stores their pics, but they’re running out of not necessarily they’re running out but they you know they probably allocate barrels of for their single barrel selection program and maybe they know that the big stores they have to take care of so that they the less store the smaller stores have less to go off of you know what I mean? Like you were saying earlier how you don’t get that many barrels to choose from. Right What do you think that algorithm is? A figuring out what like, what do you have to sell to make sure that you get access to buy something that’s way over my pay grade.

26:45
And my shareholder as bourbon pursuit.

26:49
podcast host but uh, yeah, I don’t know. I mean,

26:54
it all makes sense when as a business fan, I mean, you

27:00
Do this too. I mean, you have those accounts that do everything for you. They’re great customers, they pay on time. They, they, they’re just easy to deal with. And I’m sure it’s kind of like that with, you know, your bigger stores and with your district, you know, distributors and your bigger stores because it’s, it’s an easy relationship. It’s an easy flow. And it’s like, here’s a reward for versus smaller store. Yeah, it might be, but they might pay slow, they might do that. I don’t know. I’m just thinking outside the box here, but it you know,

27:30
it’s like the 8020 rule. You know, 20% of your customers bring 80% of your revenue and so maybe they really focus on those 20% and kind of squeezing out that 80% that right now, just because they are in such a squeeze. Yeah, yeah, I definitely see that as being a motivation factor in you know, you owning your own business. You kind of have a different take on this then I think a lot of other people will to where were you do you follow the money trail?

28:00
Then you’ve probably have people like me who are like, well, I want to I want to have this personal connection with my, the small little local store. You know, I know them I know who’s selecting the barrels, you know, when you go to a larger chain, you don’t necessarily have that connection. Right? You’re you’re talking to hourly, hourly employees that are just sitting there stocking shelves, like, you know, it’s very rare that you actually know who picked that barrel in the store behind it. Yeah, I mean, I think it’s just the business landscape or in in general, it seems like more and more small entities are either being gobbled up by the bigger ones, and it’s just become more in this business in more than any other it’s, as we’ve seen with pursuit series. It’s an economies of scale like none other and so,

28:53
you know, the local store, they might be,

28:57
you know, grave in heaven, but they might be you know, there

29:00
You’re going to be picky, they’re going to be a pain in the ass. And like, you know what we don’t like these four barrels are really words, total wine, they’re like, I just gives whatever, you know, it’s like an easy transaction for them, then they’re like, you know, it’s like, we like dealing with you all, because you’re not paying the ass and you’re not like, bitching about us on the forums, and you’re not doing this. So it’s like, you know, so I can totally see it from it’s all coming back. Megan says to me, because, like, but how long, you know, how motors are great, and I love having the relationship with God, they’re picky, and like, they will nitpick the shit out of you. Whereas our big commercial clients, you know, they’re like, as long as it looks good for the road, you know, and here’s your money. And here’s everything, you know, easy peasy. So let’s, I that’s the only way I can kind of relate to it in and you know, there’s there’s other thing that Matt kind of put in the chat and he says, Does it have to do it the representative that’s in those states too. And, and we’ve seen this firsthand, at least on the podcast side as we’ve been doing our own private barrel selections is that the rep actually plays a huge role in this like they Yeah, they are

30:00
They are got a bottle for you. Exactly. And that’s exactly what happens. Typically how this this works is that

30:08
depending on what region state of the of the nature of the US that you own, your allocated X amount of barrels, and you get to choose where these go and so it’s it’s a i don’t know i mean i guess if you’ve been a boss and then you’ve come into the into the year and you’re like, Okay, you’ve got 28% of raises that you can go you can figure out who gets 2% who gets 6% who gets whatever and so that is that is one thing is that a lot of these stores they they continually have to be really good to their reps to make sure that they’re always going to be on deck to be able to get one of these private barrel pics because that is a that is a real thing. That is it’s it’s all business and shaking hands at the end of the day to guess what else would tie into the with the reps is also the restaurants increasingly increasing number

31:00
restaurants around DC have done private slicks that I’ve seen, like even Blanton’s and Buffalo Trace and just for their just for mixing drinks to? Well, I think like I said earlier with the restaurants and bars, you’re, you’re putting your brand out there and exposing it to the public. And so like a high end restaurant like that, you know, diners are going to go for a high end experience, and they’re going to spend money on something like that. And it just helps expose the brand versus, you know, small store small groups doesn’t really do that for you. It seems like the distributor

31:37
because that is their role, which we don’t really truly understand what the role is, but

31:43
it’s a new it’s a continually moving target. Yeah, so like, but it would make sense that the distributor would, you know, the distillers like, all right, these distributors get so many barrels and then the distributor decides who they go to

32:00
Based on like you said relationships or sales or ease of business whatever and that’s I think that’s how it is but maybe not I don’t know and the way it should be probably

32:12
no I’m totally with you another angle to look at this is just the the boom of the bourbon market and what it is and you know we’ve talked about people getting pushed out just having the big guys come in and kind of small and the sort of stuff up and we’ve kind of heard it before firsthand that like oh like the there’s not enough barrels to go around. I kind of want to get you know Michael your take on this. Do you think that’s a cop out? Do you really think that four roses the you know, the Russell’s the everywhere, whatever the world’s here are actually running out of barrels for this particular program.

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34:31
You really think that four roses, the you know the Russell’s the everywhere, whatever the world’s here are actually running out of barrels for this particular program. I highly doubt that they’re running out of barrels. Maybe for the program. Maybe that is what they already said. Like they at the beginning of the year. They were like we’re not going to go beyond this. And they didn’t expect the increasing number of groups and like getting with these retailers to buy more and more

35:00
And maybe it will adjust over time over the next couple years, maybe they’ll realize that this is a big business opportunity for them. So they will increasingly I know that will it you know, pause a couple was it a couple years ago or their private selection? So as I pick that back up yet, but you know, yeah last year the first I guess re entry to the they’re going along with the the their own distillate now, so yeah, yeah, for sure. I think they did, like 97 of them last year, which is still small compared to a lot of people that Yeah, I don’t think there’s I think that these brands are just so using all their resources to,

35:45
I guess, fund all their everyday brands that they’re pumping out into the public is that and to be honest, single barrels are a huge pain for them. They take a lot of resources. They’re getting people, you know, they have a have a coordinator. They got to take a

36:00
lunch, they got to spend four or five hours with you, then they gotta dump that one barrel and make sure all the stickers are on that bottle and make sure they got to keep track of that barrel. And it’s like, like, probably just like the hell of this. I mean, this is

36:14
it’s actually bad business. Yeah, I mean, it’s just, it was probably something that got into like, because nobody wanted anything. They’re like, Oh, this would be great. We have all these extra girls, you know, come pick your own, like, and but now they’re probably like shit, why do we ever come up with that? You know, we’re shooting ourselves in the foot. But uh, yeah, that’s probably one way to look at it. It’s probably a huge labor burden to them to make it happen. And that’s why they’re probably not growing the amount of barrels that are allocated to more or less Selenium then because they’re growing their everyday brands and they just don’t want to put the resources towards it. Yeah, there is there is a lot of resources. I do mention that that really go into it. I mean, it kind of just reminds me of, so there’s a there’s a farm around us. That’s

37:00
button 3045 an hour away whatever it is called huber’s and it seems like people always want to go there and pick their own apples. And I’m kind of like Why don’t you want to go pick your own apples that’s it’s a weird thing for me to think of as like I just go to go to our grocery store and find a really good honey crisp apple. And I think that that’s probably like the flip side of what the everyday consumer sees versus what what we see because there’s probably some like person that’s really an apples and they want to go and choose their own apples and they it has a unique taste profile. But however the the better side of the businesses and well let’s just dump them on a truck and push them out and and get them out in the grocery stores because it’s just a better way to look at it. Well they only if they only put trailers of apples like two miles before you get to, you know, huber’s they have like two they have trailers of apples and pumpkins that you can buy before you can for like $1 to dollars less. If they only did that with barrels, you know, like for you get to the distillery. These are

38:00
thousand dollars cheaper discount girls right here?

38:06
Oh man, that’s that’s actually hilarious the way you look at it like that. So we kind of talked about the market of how big guys are kind of getting in squeezing the little people out of it. We’re looking at the business opportunity from the distillery side and trying to figure out you know, what is the algorithm of who gets to to get what however, I kind of want to kind of switch the angles here a little bit because one of the things that we’ve seen is that a lot of this has become pretty prolific. There’s everybody that’s trying to get into single barrels, whether it’s stores out of West Coast ne se wherever it is, everybody wants to come and do this because they they want some sort of differentiation or differentiation offering for their stores be able to sell to their customers.

38:55
And so Michael, I kind of want to take it to you is like do you see this as

39:01
Where it is becoming a flooded market of private selections that are out there?

39:09
Do I think there are too many I mean,

39:12
how how much how different Can I guess the question would be how different can like whistle pig pics be if I have five stores in DC area and I go to each one each one has a whistle pig pig because that is a bigger one than yeah it does it does get a little tiring. So that’s why I like to look towards the I like I’d like them to look towards the smaller ones like I love to go into Joseph Magnus and doing that pic because I mean even though it is MTP, it is nice to have a little something different than the you know, the bigger companies. And so I’ll will refute that a little bit because I did and I did a whistle pig barrel pick. I had I had five barrels. We chose two of them. We chose two of them that had two different taste profiles. And I think that’s just I think that’s the difference between

40:00
Maybe and

40:02
and maybe I guess I when I when I think about this maybe that’s what most people also don’t recognize is that yet they they’re not going to send out probably a bunch of barrels that they all taste the same like everything is these unique differences these these minute profile differences or anything like that.

40:20
So I’ve had the chance to be able to do it and whistle pig and I think there is some some variation against looking at it towards more of the collection aspect. As far as you know, if you’re collecting different models, I wouldn’t want 20 whistle pigs. It’s a so I guess that’s where I was coming from. Yeah, that totally makes sense. Because Yeah, you don’t want to I mean, it’s it’s hard to spend 80 to $100 on every single one of those bottles, like you’ve got to you’ve got to make sure it goes back to the fundamentals of Do you trust who’s picking it? Do you know who’s picking it? What’s the story behind it? But you know, Michael, I kind of want to put it to you in a different way.

40:57
You know, you had mentioned that, you know, you have all these

41:00
That that could be the same and maybe, maybe because they come from the same distillery but what could a distillery be doing differently to be able to give the stores one advantage over the other? When you say, Well, I’m going to go to a different store and I choose different things do you think you think it’s on the stores to not try to choose the another barrel from a, the same distillery and there should just be multiple variations or is it is it something beyond that? I guess it can be I love the way that four roses as their, I guess, their single barrel. I forgot which different program it is, but the fact that they have recipes, it’s nice to see. I guess it’s a telling thing for the consumer like this is going to be a different recipe. But otherwise, you don’t really know until you buy it and taste it. Because I mean, it’s not like you’re going to go to liquor store and they have a tasting tray for you to try. There’s compared to the store down the street. If you have like, you know, two different with whistle pigs. So you

42:00
You kind of like to just go forward, I guess if you were going to go do it that way, but

42:06
I mean, I kind of like the way the four roses has their recipe stuff on there. Yeah, yeah. And then you have someone like makers, you know, where they allow you to blend your own unique profile, which I think is very, very awesome. But you have to get 250 bottles out of it

42:25
in spend eight hours with them to get to that point, but uh, yeah, I mean, I don’t think it’s on this is still I think it’s on the store to pick the you know that that’s what it’s all about, you know, they gotta

42:41
let me they’re not going and picking unique barrel like they’re not saying like, well, let’s pick three different ones and send it they’re like nope, here’s the allocate ones. Here they go. Have at it. You know, they’re going to try to make this as less complicated as possible. But, you know,

42:56
but I’m worthy. I mean, the four roses and makers are the most unique experiences.

43:00
You know, we go to the Buffalo Trace and the knob Creek and it’s, they’re awesome. But you know that there’s very subtle differences in each barrel that you’re tasting. And so it’s it is hard to kind of distinguish that, except that me and Kenny have superior palates to anyone now I’m kidding. totally kidding. But uh Yeah, and it’s Yeah, it’s tough because they’re there is a ton of them. And I guess the only way you know people are talking about stickers. That’s one way to differentiate themselves. But then, like, I wonder if these distilleries in the sticker game it’s like, all right, well, it’s all about the stickers now. And it’s become less about our brand. And it’s more about the sticker game and it’s kind of taken away from our brand. So like,

43:44
in the stickers are cool, but they’re starting to get a little excessive as well. But uh, I don’t know. I’m just rambling. Sorry. That’s okay. Yeah, there is one thing I wanted to kind of mention that you would, Michael would say it like Well, let’s let’s go put

44:00
I’ll go buy a bottle from the competitor down the street and I’ll sample at my store man that’s that’s the craziest form of guerilla marketing there probably could be just like take a dump on your competition there. Yeah. But you know Ryan does bring up a good point I think we should we should talk about stickers because stickers or why would you even buy a barrel nowadays or buy a bottle if it doesn’t have a sticker on it? That’s that’s the mean it’s like fundamental at this point. So kind of you know, Michael kind of talk about you know, your experiences with the stickers and if it actually has any sort of influence on your purchasing habit. I mean, I won’t lie I can’t be a sucker for bottles especially I’ve the the old Fitzgerald decanter bottle back there for which is you know, it’s an okay, it’s, it’s okay, but there was $300 sleep bottle. Yeah, it’s asleep.

44:52
I mean, I enjoyed going I wouldn’t did the magnetic for you guys and I enjoyed naming it and coming up with the name and whoever did this.

45:00
Design stick I didn’t know who exactly what did that that was really cool as far as the Pentagon on it with the Department of bourbon but so it it’s got a cool factor to it.

45:11
But I mean do you think it’s you think it’s starting in the point where it’s jumping the shark or do you think we still got a week this is this is going to go strong still on to 2020 I think it’s gonna probably keep going strong. I think people like to have their their little spin on it.

45:26
Yeah, go ahead, run well, and I was gonna say it is play out. But Michael made a good point. It is fun to come up with names because that’s what I do. And

45:35
most of ours I tried to name that. Not all of them, but it is fun for the group to have their own unique name and, and because otherwise, it’s just, you know, they used to be laying like you got a little tag on the Russell’s bottle where you got like a little gold medallion. You’re like, well, that’s stupid. Like that doesn’t differentiate us so it is kind of cool. And I guess that I just don’t like when they take up the entire bottle.

46:00
Like, and they look all like goofy and like bright and I don’t know, like kind of take away from the bottle. That’s when I don’t like more work on the distilleries and have them make a special bottle for every single barrel pick. Yes, exactly. Now you’re talking my love language. Oh, yeah, just yeah, keep keep doing these little custom things every single time. Yeah, no, I mean, I’ll kind of talk about the sticker thing a little bit because, you know, I kind of I kind of look at what you all said and I think it’s, I think it is fun. I think it’s, it’s a unique way to be able to give something a name and and ultimately, when I look at it, I like to name stuff after that that kind of like put some sort of sentiment into it. I don’t I don’t name something because it just sounds cool. You know whether it has a Shawshank Redemption sticker whether it has all a Holcomb mania sticker on it or anything like that, because that that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

47:00
It just probably just sounds cool. Like it has to have some sort of story. And that’s, that’s really what I love. Because when you when you’re able to talk about it when able to drink about and drink it again, you can look at that sticker and you can kind of reminisce on that day. And you can tell the story to people you share it with, you know, like, this is why we came up with that name. This is what happened, you know, like, case of the Mondays, it was a Monday. And like, I was super hung over from a member guest and I was like, I’m really I’m in a case of the Mondays. You know, that I can tell people that, you know, it’s like, yeah, I guess the sentiment and Yeah, I agree. And what do you think it’s giving more sentiment to us? Or for people that have actually where they are picking it than it does for the consumers that are getting it?

47:43
Yeah, I can see their point. Yeah, I could definitely say that. Don’t you want to know why I was named that or maybe?

47:50
Well, I guess I want to know like, if I’m buying something like I was unable to make the tasting room confessions, pick from New Roof, but

48:01
They came with a name and I was like, Well what Tell me about the name? Why did y’all come up with that? And you know, and I wanted to know because I wasn’t there and so it was like I got to experience it through them because of the name. I don’t know. Sounds kind of dorky. You like the lore of it. Yeah, school. Yeah. No, I mean, there definitely is two angles to it. I think there are you know, there’s some that that definitely just speak to people because it’s a cool sticker. Like it just to take another new riff for example, like people are putting all the plays on the riff name like you’ve got, like, I’ve got a bottle called Ken Griffey Jr. It’s not like like Ken Griffey had anything to do with it. It’s not like the group were sitting there talking about baseball stats, when it happened. They just thought of a funny name and, and put it on a sticker, like that’s all it is like it doesn’t actually have any sort of connotation to the day or memory or anything like that.

48:53
However, there’s another slide of this when it comes to the marketing aspect when it goes on to the Facebook forum.

49:00
When people started learning about it i mean this is a real differentiator like do you all see that like if it wasn’t for going smash on a four roses bottle? Like what would that even be a thing that people elevate it to be in this 300 $350 private pick and it’s just another bottle for rose or the tipsy buffalo rather exactly

49:24
if somebody comes over and is trying like a Buffalo Trace especially like the one like your pic and they point out the fact that that stickers on there it’s different than the other and then I go into telling them out oh as group I’m part of that actually went and picked it so I mean non bourbon you know enthusiasts actually

49:44
get a kick out of it kind of story so yeah, not an hour like sharing all the barrel pics sweet like when people come over that’s the first thing I do is like our guys what barrel pics Do you want to drive because that’s like, I don’t know. I think that’s cooler to share those then

50:00
Just like I’ll try my Pappy 20 or whatever

50:04
I’ll take the Pappy 20

50:07
that’s what most people want they’re like I don’t give a shit about you

50:14
know as a you know, as an enthusiast it’s fun for me to share with people nothing they like like it to that I could be wrong

50:23
absolutely and so I kind of want to close this out on a on a another note when we’re talking about just you know private barrel pics and you know whether the markets saturated or not.

50:36
Is there a reason that anybody should slow down with with these when you’re when you’re thinking about a company’s or anything like that because it seems like there is demand it’s going to be happening. And I guess maybe not. I’ll rephrase that maybe not slow down from a manufacturing perspective

50:56
should should store slow down in regards of what they should be.

51:00
What a offer because maybe they’re trying to push other products just to sell just so they have these opportunities. And, and just to be able to sell a bottle. I don’t know like

51:11
I think bourbon enthusiasts are just increasing the numbers daily, so I don’t think we’re at the peak right now. So I think there’s still plenty of people to come into your liquor store and buy, you know, four bottles of fireball to go get drunk, and there’s a guy that wants to come in and get as many privates like the guys he can that you earn.

51:33
Yeah, no, I’m with you. I mean,

51:37
I think they should keep doing because I mean, they are fun and they, they’re, it’s the only way to get a unique kind of experience and bottle then, you know, the limited release game has just gotten so out of control. Like where it’s just, it’s always camping, it’s emails. It’s this it’s that and it’s even the store pics are kind of going that way. And so that’s what’s nice about

52:00
What we’re offering, you know, to our people, it’s fun for us to do that and offer to our Patreon people, but being in a bourbon group to like having access to this, so I mean, I don’t think they should slow down. I mean, the people are talking about new riff and you know, compared to like, bigger distilleries, and what I think this sounds boring, but that they should do a cost benefit analysis and maybe, you know, Russell’s and all the big boys, it’s really not beneficial to them to keep doing these. And whereas someone like new riff or a newer guy, they’re gaining a lot of exposure around it. And it’s really helped catapulting their brand and they should really embrace this. And it kind of reminds me of like, when I went to Napa, and like you go to like cake bread or Opus one, and it’s like, oh, these are these great, distinguished brands and you go and it’s like the lamest experience ever. But then you go to this like mom and pop winery, where you meet the proprietor and you like, and they’re like, it’s real intimate and, and I think that’s just how it’s going to be with

53:00
bourbon kinda as it keeps evolving is that you’re gonna have these big boys then you’re have all these little small guys and they’re going to have to offer unique experiences through private pics or coming to the distillery hanging out with you know the the distiller and creating that connection

53:17
yeah i think that this should keep on rolling with them as much as possible because I love them all right.

53:24
I lied I have I have one more question because because I keep thinking about this and I It reminds me of like a post I saw earlier. And I see I see things in the secondary market that are then just single barrel pics that are being sold for the extraordinary amounts. I kind of want to get your all state Michael first like are people dumb? Like do they need like a reality? Do they need to reality check to say like, this is just another barrel pick like That’s all it is. It’s not going to change your life. yet. People are spending exhausted amounts, maybe because of the sticker or maybe

54:00
Because it came from a particular group, like I want to kind of get your take on one of the same people that are paying $900 for CYPV was that it’s it is ridiculous.

54:11
Yeah, I don’t I can’t imagine ever buying products like going to a secondary market myself. I mean, I have a hard time buying other models in the secondary market. I just kind of take my chances in DC. Yeah, yeah.

54:24
Yeah, I’m with So Bill Nall says private pics play to the fo mo and fo mo is like, bourbon is fo mo it’s like the perfect product for fo mo it’s

54:35
you know, there’s in single barrels or even more of that because it’s like we only have this one barrel. There’s never going to be another one like it and this whoever picked it and it’s like it’s the perfect product for that and people. They like Rarity and scarcity and like if it’s the more rare and scarce it is, the more irrational they’re going to be about it. You know, it’s we are all done in this game.

55:00
We all got our like our bad habits This is like I shit for mine. Like there’s no rational reasoning behind this hobby or it does that

55:11
mean we go Kenny you go on these pics you go at even like we do pursuit series I mean there’s barrels of whiskey like, like, just like you don’t believe I mean there’s so much whiskey out there and you’re like and it is just another barrel whiskey but there is that connection to is there’s that Rarity about there’s that specialness about it that people just go ape shit over and it’s it’s just like anything you know, it’s like getting you like Porsches and you know you really want a Porsche or Mercedes and it’s like, well why the Volkswagens made by the same people and it says same shit you know that it’s a Porsche you know, it’s got the branding and everything behind it. It’s just, it’s marketing at its finest. You know, it’s, that’s that’s what we deal with. So that is the fun part about this because

56:00
It makes it unique, right? It makes it a it makes it a an experience that you’re able to buy a bottle and have a connection to it have a story behind it, you know the person or you know the group that that, that purchase that or that anything like that. And so you do have this connection behind that particular bottle and I think that is fun. I just think that we need to kind of like dial the height meter back, maybe maybe 20 decibels in regards to this because people just need to understand and Ryan, you said it best. You know, we have the opportunity. Anybody that goes and visits, any distillery anyone and you look around you look at all the warehouses. Just understand, it’s just another barrel of whiskey. It’s another one. Yeah, there’s there’s always going to be another one down the road. So don’t you worry about that, but not that one. But not that let’s see, that’s what you get. That’s that’s what that’s the hook. That’s what keeps you not your suit series.

56:59
You need all the

57:00
Rose yes absolutely but that’s that’s kind of what keeps you hooked in is like you like what if I miss out it is and the thing is Kenny we know that and I know that but it’s still I still can’t get past it and I don’t care because it’s the Chase is the fun that’s you know it’s just part of the fun hobby we were enthralled with no no, I’m totally with you. So let’s go ahead we’ll end it on that note because I think we we did enough insulting of pretty much the whole industry at this point. So this was this was a really good conversation So Michael, please

57:34
make fun of everybody including myself. Mike want to say thank you for coming on and giving you this. This this topic to talk about it was it was really good and I want you to kind of give a plug if people want to get in contact with your or anything like that. If they can find you any kind of social. How they can follow you there. I’m on Twitter. I don’t you know, not that funny but MIKG 316 1989

58:00
There we go. It’s all good. Yeah, follow him there. Follow us on all the social media channels, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, at bourbon pursuit. And always make sure that you leave iTunes reviews too, because we love iTunes reviews and only share with a friend because that’s what helps grow this show more. And All right, I’ll kind of hand it off over to you, buddy. Yeah, reviews are great. But telling your friends even better, because you can share this wonderful experience and call them down to you know,

58:29
after they get involved with it. So now Michael, appreciate the time appreciate the show suggestion. That’s what we’d love about the show is hearing from our fans and interacting with them. So if you have any things you want to talk about or hear about, let us know. And just we love hearing from you guys and we’ll see you next time.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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