Allocated and Rare Bourbon Lottery

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  • December 8, 2019
    2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

(Note that this event was originally scheduled for December 1, but has been rescheduled due to owners’ family health issues.)

The Problem
It wasn’t but about 20 years ago that you could walk into any good liquor store and buy most any bourbon you wanted, right off the shelf. Well, bourbon has become immensely popular in those past 20 years, and the really good stuff is just not readily available because everybody wants some.

So, when a distributor informs us, for instance, that we can buy one (1) lone bottle of Pappy 23 year and we’ve got dozens of good customers who want it (not to mention owners and staff). What are we to do?

Most stores have a plan to offer these rare or highly allocated whiskeys only to their best customers. While that’s certainly fair to the top customers who spend a lot of money, it’s not fair to others who’d like to purchase one of these unique whiskeys. Then, on top of that, most other stores grossly overinflate the pricing, figuring they’ll sell those few bottles to their best customers, so long as those customers are willing to overpay.

Our Solution
We at Susan’s Fine Wine and Spirits don’t do that. First, we choose to reward our best customers in other ways. But we also don’t like it when a vendor price gouges us, so we refuse to do it to our customers. So, instead we price these products as if they were regularly available on the shelf and hold a lottery to see who will purchase them.

This year we have a total of about 60 bottles of rare and allocated spirits. We’ve grouped them together into “buckets.” There will be one bucket for the one Pappy 23 by itself, then another bucket for Pappy’s younger cousins, Old Rip Van Winkle 10 an 12. There will be yet another bucket for some Weller special releases, and so on. Note that some buckets might have up to a dozen or so bottles — some the same; some different — or one bucket might only have one bottle.

On the day of the lottery, every gift card purchase will be given lottery ticket, with one ticket for each $5 on the gift card. Note that the gift cards are good at full value for any regular purchase at any time; there’s nothing restricted about them. So, there’s no fee required to enter the lottery. There is a limit, though, of 60 lottery tickets per person ($300 gift card).

You then place your tickets against the buckets from which you’d like to purchase one or more of the bottles in that bucket. You can put all your tickets in one bucket, or you can spread them out; the choice is yours. Beginning at 4 p.m. we’ll draw tickets by bucket for the lottery. If your ticket is selected, you may purchase any bottle that remains available in that bucket. Use your gift card if you want, or save that gift card for another purpose.

You must be present to win; if a ticket is drawn and nobody claims it, it’s discarded and we draw again. Note that we’ll be offering free sample pours of many fine whiskeys (but none from the lottery) as well as offering some interesting cocktails for sale. Of course, glasses of beer and wine will also be available for purchase.

As of the evening of December 4, we now have the final list of items that will be available by lottery:

  • Pappy Van Winkle 23-Yr Family Reserve, Bottle #K2340 (1)
  • E H Taylor Amaranth Grain of the Gods (1)
  • Old Rip Van Winkle 12-Yr Special Reserve Borbon, Lot B (2)
  • Old Rip Van Winkle 10-Yr Bourbon (2)
  • George T Stagg Bourbon, Barrel Proof (4)
  • Eagle Rare 17-Yr Bourbon (1)
  • Thomas Handy Sazerac Rye, Barrel Proof (1)
  • Weller CYPB (1)
  • Weller Full Proof Bourbon (1)
  • Kentucky Owl Small Batch 10 YR Rye (5)
  • E H Taylor Barrel Proof Bourbon (6)
  • Angels Envy Finished Rye (100 PF) (6)
  • Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon (Mult)
  • Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon (Mult)
  • McKenna 10YR Single Barrel Bourbon Bottled in Bond (4)
  • Lock Stock & Barrel 18YR Rye (2)

In addition, the following specialty hard-to-get allocated items will be on display and available for purchase, first come, first served.

  • Kentucky Owl Confiscated Bourbon (6)
  • E H Taylor Single Barrel Bourbon (Mult)
  • Weller Special Reserve 90 PF Bourbon (6)
  • Weller Antique 107 Bourbon (4)
  • Eagle Rare Bourbon (5)
  • Sombra Ensamble Mezcal Artesanal (3)
  • Little Book Bourbon- Chapter 3 / The Road Home, 2019 (5)

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This post was written by SFW&S