Midyear 2024 Allocated Bourbon Review

May 14, 2024
Midyear 2024 Allocated Bourbon Review

As we near the midway point in the year, we here at Bourboneur thought it would be a good opportunity for reflection on the secondary bourbon market which has seen some softening on pricing over these past five months as we look in the rear-view mirror.  Softening to the tune of nearly ten percent year to date as a matter of fact.  Those are welcome numbers for anyone who is a price taker and looking to pick up a certain bottle here or there.  The secondary market is not homogeneous in terms of price impact though, so while some bottles may have declined commensurate to the price the overall market has seen, some have gained over this same period, and some have outright flopped.  In today’s post we’ll review what bottles are commanding attention and what bottles are fading fast.  As always, this is a snapshot in time based upon the significant data we have available through the Bourbon Blue Book™ which provides weekly updated pricing based on the to-and-fro’s of the market.

Generally, Available and Worth a Pickup

The couple bottles below I’m going to suggest are worth a pickup at the current pricing out online.

Smokewagon Private Barrel

smokewagon private barrel

Smokewagon seemed to turn on a tap this year and released barrel after barrel after barrel of their Private Barrel stash.  When I first saw one out and about on the shelf, I picked up a couple.  Then saw it again, picking up one, then just kept seeing it…eventually deciding I had plenty.  It lingered around on shelves for what seemed like forever given how much had hit the market and you can now essentially pick it up on the secondary for cost plus shipping…maybe even less!

EH Taylor Single Barrel

EH Taylor Single Barrel Bourbon

Having dropped some fourteen percent so far this year in pricing, amidst the backdrop of an overall market pullback of some seven percent E.H. Taylor’s Single Barrel Bourbon has been a weak performer from the Buffalo Trace lineup.  This bottling appears to have found a bit greater supply on the market – as witnessed by more bottles are being listed on the secondary.  Coupled with lower consumer demand price erosion has been aggressively chipping away at the value.  Additionally, the brands barrel proof offerings from this past year and the year before have taken a good hit on pricing as well.  With Buffalo Trace expecting to double output on E.H. Taylor (as well as many of their other lines) I expect the years ahead may see some good days for buyers and perhaps, just maybe, greater findability out on a shelf near you!

Buyer Beware, Elevator Going Down

These bourbons comprise a group of bourbons which have been in a steady state of decline.  You can look at them as either being a “value buy” given the erosion in pricing, but in truth, the hype train has left the station, and the quality of the pour may not command durability in pricing.

Willett Wheated 8 Year

Willett 8 Year Wheated Bourbon

Willett’s 8 Year Wheated bottling came out of the gate at nearly four hundred bucks on the secondary back when it debuted on the market, but today can be picked up for just a little north of half that amount.  I personally think this bottling has gotten a bit more hate than it deserved; it has a relatively unique floral nose and flavor profile to it IMO and frankly, sits in a slightly different category for me compared to a number of things presently on my shelves in the garage bar.  That said, the long-term trend has been down and the general consensus from the community is that the suggested retail pricing is not in line with the overall market demand on this.  If you however have some extra capital to put work and don’t mind the price tag, its likely you’ll find this to be pleasantly fine.

Four Roses 135th Anniversary

Four Roses Small Batch Limited Edition 135th Anniversary

At one point commanding close to six hundred bucks, the Four Roses 135th anniversary release has been in a slow steady state of decline since its debut.  is finally starting to find its way back to reality now trading in line with the past few years small batch limited edition releases, all of which trade hands for around three hundred fifty bucks.  The sixteenth such release in its annual limited edition special bottling it blends four batches that include three different recipes.

Gaining Steam on the Secondary Bourbon Market

This group of bottles are currently enjoying a rise in pricing and a staggering volume of people who are posting up in search of “ISO” requests on the daily.  Lucky for you if you’ve got one – I’d open it and drink it – but if you’re looking to flip it you’ll find a large audience hungry at a shot at owning one.

Jack Daniels Coy Hill

Jack Daniels Coy Hill Single Barrel

In our recent post on Jack Daniels Coy Hill whiskey, we highlighted the significant demand on the market right now for this bottling, with pricing directly correlated to proof, with a range of proofs available between 137.4 to 148.3.   Other news on the wires is that an additional release of the very popular Coy Hill offering is expected this year sometime (tbd).  I fully anticipate the 2024 release to add gas to the fire, not that this needs much more heat, but the added hype should drive pricing north possibly further.  For me, I’d much rather pick up a Jack Daniels Single Barrel Barrel Proof that, although isn’t as high of proof, isn’t far off for a fraction of the price!

Elijah Craig C923 Barrel Proof

Elijah Craig C923 Barrel Proof

Last year, Elijah Craig announced they would be taking what had been a twelve-year bourbon and removing the twelve-year age statement that would differ by release.  At nearly fourteen years in the wood, Elijah Craig’s C923 batch has received a fair bit of buzz, even finding its way onto a guy with an ascot’s list of top bourbons.  One reviewer even noted that this juice was special enough that it could have been relegated to either a Parker’s Heritage or Heaven Hill Heritage Collection offering.  It’s been a quick seller on the secondary with prices continuing to march north and more and more positive reviews flooding in from all corners of the interwebs.  Expect to see this paired up with something miserable that you don’t want to buy, which seems to be a trend lately to help folks move some less desirable bottles.

Old Fitzgerald VVS

Old Fitzgerald 2024 VVS 13 Year Bourbon

Hitting the market with great fanfare, the third ever VVS release, short for “very very special” celebrates the label’s brand itself, marking the 25th anniversary of Heaven Hill buying the old Bernheim Distillery and Old Fitz brand back in 1999.  Read our post on the Old Fitzgerald Brand for an in-depth review of the label, releases and history.  Although this started showing up all over the secondary for a week or so, posts have slowed and in their place is a lot of ISO’s.  Given the fits and starts of this hitting the secondary, and the hype of a new VVS, I’d suggest holding tight on picking one of these up if you’re in the market.  Pricing is all over the place and needs time to consolidate and drop.  I’ve seen a couple of these go for around eight hundred bucks, but the current Bourbon Blue Book™ average is nine hundred sixty…stay the course and hold off for cheaper days!

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