It’s a Mad, Mad World…

And I’m getting sucked into it.

You don’t have to look very far into the world of whisk(e)y blogs, online retailers, and certainly not the secondary market, and you will find that the whiskey craze has reached epic, if not dare I say, idiotic proportions.

Prices are rising fast. Aged-stated products are being killed off faster than characters in Game of Thrones, and new products are being added with outrageous price tags. The latest sign of ‘the end times’ was revealed a little over a week ago. Although, I first learned about it earlier this Spring.

Knob Creek

I was on a private tour of the Jim Beam Distillery with the Evansville Bourbon Society. We had just selected a barrel of Knob Creek and were walking into the dining hall to grab lunch. As we entered I saw a glass case containing Jim Beam and Suntory products which I had never seen before. I asked our guide about the products and he gladly explained. At the end of his spiel he told me something for which I was immediately excited.

“We will be releasing a Booker’s Rye later this summer. It will be an extra-aged, cask strength. limited release rye whiskey.”

Yum! I was elated! Until…

“It will be $300 per bottle.”

No longer excited. In fact, annoyed.

Jump forward to a little over a week ago when the news hit the general public. While I’ve learned more since the news broke and I see how the product is both unique and took a lot of work and time, $300 for any whiskey is just simply beyond my reach.

Yeah, I have the money. But, I’m not spending it on a bottle of this even if it is great!

While I’m not questioning whether or not I can continue down this path of whiskey love and whiskey blogging like my good friend Sku (I’m glad he is not totally giving up), it is the sign that I will be soon relegated to the bottom shelves of the liquor store if something doesn’t give. My dreams are already predicting the future.

I woke up a few nights ago in cold sweats. I had just had a dream in which I was perusing the liquor store aisles for something special, something unique, something new. I have these dreams often. However, this one was different. It was a nightmare.

I didn’t find anything in the aisles which warranted a purchase and that’s not the scary part. Wait for it…

Wait for it…

Here it is.

When I approached the check out, my last shot at finding something on the shelves behind the counter, my eyes caught a glimpse of a Jim Beam White Label Cask Strength.

“Hmmm, when did that come out?” I thought.

“Can I check out that bottle?” I asked the clerk.

He turned around, grabbed it off the shelf, and handed it to me.

It was one of those small 100ml bottles. I looked it over.

“Do you have any larger bottles?” I asked

“Nope. That’s it. And, if your interested, I would get it. They are extremely allocated and that’s our last bottle.”

I thought as I looked again at the diminutive glass bottle.

“How much is it?” I asked (the all important question).

“The price is on the back.”

I turned the bottle over to reveal the small sticker containing the price…


“Aaaahhhhhhhhhhh!” I woke up screaming.


2 thoughts on “It’s a Mad, Mad World…

  1. I hear you, Joshua, loud and clear. The demand for brown spirits and the marketing people are creating this phenomenon. Just a few years back clear spirits ruled and whiskeys were so abundant that we found ourselves in a true buyer’s market of long aged products at bargain prices.

    Then this thing that Buffalo Trace found in an old Stitzel-Weller warehouse came along and was named after one of Bourbon’s legends, Pappy Van Winkle, and the niche market craze came into being. And now here we sit staring at these skyrocketing prices based on a marketing gambit that worked…


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