It's the time of year when lots of things are hitting the market, but some of the big drops haven't happened yet. Last week we highlighted the upcoming Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2023 Release, which we all await with tepid anticipation each year. Despite all that, there's still an awful lot of buzz day in and day out, behind the scenes on the Secondary Bourbon Market. In today's post we highlight ongoing trends and help unpackage the ever-changing world of what's hot and what's not.
A Lackluster Showing
Old Fitzgerald 19 Year
There's not much love to be had for the Old Fitz 19 it feels like lately, which has seen a steady erosion in interest since it's drop last fall. Intriguingly, it now trades hands for less than the 17-year-old prior release. It's still a spendy bottle at the end of the day but a great pour. I sat this past week belly up to a little tapas bar in Denver enjoying a couple snorts of this and I'm a fan. I wouldn't be surprised if we see this trending back north in terms of pricing given the age statement and the quality of the pour.
Heaven Hill 20 Year
As a part of Heaven Hill's Heritage Collection, released this past March their ultra-aged corn whiskey initially barreled out of the gate commanding prices on the secondary which a corn whiskey could only dream of, fetching nearly 1.7k when it first hit the street. That story has changed remarkably however, and having seen what the top of the line looks like for a corn whiskey, it's not worth that kind of coin. It's enjoyed a precipitous fall since it hit the market, and it's a unique experience worth having, so don't shy away from a sip, but just don't break the bank for one either.
Running in Place
Russel's Reserve 13
I was pretty excited two weeks ago to pick up one of these for retail...I of course already had one, but I felt like just having the one, it would be lonely, so I clearly needed two. With several batches now underfoot, I'd say that this has found its niche in terms of pricing and has settled into a groove much like a Weller 12 or an E.H. Taylor Single Barrel. It's a quality pour at the end of the day and should have some consistency in pricing moving forward.
Stagg and Stagg Jr. (various batches)
With about twenty different releases of this juice underfoot (not including countless store picks) the volume of and interest in the Stagg line on the Secondary has never been greater. Although pricing has been steady as you go for this bottle, given the interest this may be one to keep an eye on.
Jack Daniels 12 Year
Jack Daniels may want to brand a lot of their releases as "Tennessee Whiskey" which is fine, but let's be honest, at the end of the day, they're following the same playbook, and this is a bourbon. Jack Daniels has been on a tear over the past year and a bit pushing on the edges of the brand, and they've certainly won me over with some of their recent releases. This definitely isn't the Jack Daniels I remember...albeit haziliy, from my youth! The distillery apparently plans to continue increasing the age of their bourbon releases moving forward, with their 12-year expression released this year alongside their 10 year and am really looking forward to what future releases may bring.
Blanton's Straight from the Barrel
Blanton's always seems to find its way onto a whole variety of these types of lists, but today we're chatting about it's rough riding cousin, that clocks in at barrel proof. With the continued push for higher proof bourbons, it's not entirely surprising that this is getting a bit more press. The pricing on these bottles continues to move north a bit at a time and well exceed what I recall the going rate to be just a year or two ago.
Parker's Heritage Double Barreled Blend
Keeping up with everyone else, yet another multi-barreled bourbon on the market this time from Heaven Hill, marking the 16th edition from the distillery. Clocking in at a hefty 132.2 proof, it's assertive and bold and leaves an impact. If you like George T. Stagg, this is probably your huckleberry. There's a lot of this juice floating around on the secondary at the moment, and it gets snatched up just about as quickly as it gets posted.
Maker's Mark Cellar Aged
It's a bit early to tell where this will land with folks, but from what we've seen so far and what we know of Maker's this is probably going to be some great juice. This has already started popping up on the secondary market, albeit in a limited fashion given it's just starting to hit markets.... which is interesting given the release isn't supposed to officially happen until September. Nonetheless, there are some of these showing up and they're commanding a pretty hefty price at 2.5x msrp in some cases.
Bourbon Blue Book
Keep tabs on what the market is pricing bottles at with the free resource we've developed to track the ebbs and flows of coveted bottles of brownwater on the Secondary Market. Link below...
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