This Instagram Account Says You’re Paying Too Much For Quality Bourbon
Helpful insight for your liquor cabinet—and your wallet.
Whisky Magazine reported a couple of years ago that Kentucky’s bourbon production had skyrocketed 250 percent since 1999. With that kind of popularity comes a certain amount of opportunism, and there’s a chance you’ve been gouged for a shot of whiskey at some point, overpaying for standard-issue bottom-shelf stuff just because it has cachet.
Here’s how it works: users submit pics of bourbon on store shelves, then the profile owner or commenters will put their seal of approval on the price. Their ranking system regarding prices is dirt simple—thumbs up for a good combo of quality and price, thumbs down for whatever doesn’t fit that description.
As Gear Patrol notes in linking to Overpriced Bourbon, “In a world where official suggested retail prices matter, this wouldn’t be a very useful account; in the whiskey world, it’s invaluable.”
One bourbon has come to embody just how crazy the price range for the Kentucky-born whiskey can be—Buffalo Trace‘s Weller Special Reserve. Depending on where you go, it can range from perfectly reasonable to ridiculous. See embedded photos and captions below.
There are even odd price disparities on the same shelf, sometimes—like when two very close-together sizes of were about $20 apart. A price-per-unit that makes no sense at all.
Witness the same issue with a regular small batch bottle of Elijah Craig and a nearly-identical bottle (visually) of Barrel Proof. For $50 more you get a hell of a lot more ABV.
The targets for this account aren’t distributors but the individual stores, because state liquor taxes and markups obviously differ radically; often a whiskeymaker’s MSRP will be pretty reasonable, but the “S” really does just mean “sug.
Overpriced Bourbon has nearly 20,000 followers and counting and has even begun to offer merchandise. It seems like the kind of service that could extend to a number of different consumer goods, like coffee, clothing, or steaks or something. Give a follow and see where it goes from here.