Friday, October 24, 2014

Bourbon season begins with very high demand!

The perfect summer of 2014 has just wrapped up were seemingly every weekend throughout the season was filled with wonderful weather and people here in the northeast took full advantage. Lots of trips to the beach, "staycations" and/or visits to the area by travelers seemed to be very common. Even the boat traffic to our town via the Long Island sound seemed to be at an all time high. Over the last couple of weeks the leaves have begun to change, the nights are a bit cooler and rain has been more common. The record breaking Rosé season has now wound down (except for our die hard four season customers), and the phone has been ringing off the hook for this seasons newest facinartion... Bourbon!

Bourbon is in the throws of a Renaissance as quality and craftsmanship have become the name of the game. Many of the same consumers that have given rise to the craft beer movement are turning their attention to Small batch Bourbons and Ryes. In this, the world of Bourbon... High Rye, Wheated, and Single Barrel are becoming the norm as Wild Turkey,  Evan Williams and the like, The labels that carried the industry through its last high time, are fading with the generation that made them popular.

Today's fans are much more selective and perfectly willing to pay for the quality that they are after. In fact, in this time of "right now" in our society, The wait list for some of the rare jewels like Pappy, Stagg, Sazerak, and a number of others in our store can be as long as 8 or 10 YEARS for a single bottle and in this lone category people are willing to wait! As more and more people discover or hear about these whiskeys the demand continues to get stronger. In direct response to the growing demand for Bourbon, distilleries in Frankfurt Kentucky have more than tripled. Increasing from 10 to 31 over the past two years.

Does this mean that the demand will be satiated is the next couple of years?
Will there be more of these great small batch Bourbons available as they ramp up production?
Can we count on the prices holding?

It is really hard to tell...

There have been some good signs in the industry and some not so good things happening too. As I said earlier in this post, People are willing to pay for quality. The big problem is that just like anything else, the more you make, the less attention to detail... There is a reason that we see the type of quality that is available. If producers lose focus on what is driving this movement, quality, we will all lose.

It is our job (as we see it) to help guide our customers to good quality products. Wine, Beer, Whiskey or whatever your particular desire is, we want to help you to make an educated decision and one that works for your particular taste profile. To do that we taste a great any products and we have seen a trend that has the potential to derail the whole movement. Everyone wants to be in the game!
Too many people trying to introduce another label that is inferior in an attempt to make a quick buck. Companies rushing product to the market rather than waiting until it is ready. This is exactly the WRONG way to do it.

The good news for our customers is that instead of just putting the next hot name on our shelves, we taste and contemplate what has merit, what deserves a spot. The number of new products that come through our front door can sometimes be a bit overwhelming but we feel like we do a pretty good job or making our selections. We read about them and do our homework, Renzo is on a number of tasting panels that help to sort through the many choices for the industry.

Sounds like a fun job (and it is) but we do run interference for a lot of what the big companies and less scrupulous producers are selling that appear like something it simply is not. The good news is that there are a good many Whiskeys that are well made and available and spending a few minutes with one of our staff can usually get you something that will fill your needs and perhaps give you some answers about this explosions of names and styles.

Come by, join the movement and see what all the rage is about. You will be happy you did!



  1. When is the next small batch whiskey tasting class going to be held?

    1. We are waiting to see what our allocations look like and then we will be able to better determine. I think it is safe to say that ticket to the class will be available as xmas present and the class will be held sometime after the holidays.