The Secondary Bourbon Market never sleeps, day after day, week after week, month after month folks are moving bottles. Using all manner of abbreviations and acronyms, a bourbon language has evolved to facilitate these interactions, with folks clambering to "BIN" (buy it now) a well-priced bottle, with prices continuing to march northward toward a ceiling that feels like it may never be found.
In the hope of helping Bourboneurs everywhere with knowing what bottles are selling for on these secondary markets the Bourbon Blue Book was born. If you haven't used our free resource, just know it's the most accurate tool you'll find as it's updated weekly, based on actual sales, and it has more granularity than anything else out there. Not only does it tell you what George T. Stagg is going for right now, the Bourbon Blue Book breaks down the price of each year it was released, as a 2009 GTS is certainly not the same as a 2019 GTS. If there isn't data for a particular vintage, there just aren't recent sales to draw from. It also doesn't capture "old dusties" as these museum pieces are a niche market on their own.
What's Moving Now?
With that background in mind, from a volume perspective what are some of the most flipped bourbons on the market so far this year? Some of the bourbons below are mainstays on the secondary market, appearing in what seems like every other post. There are a number of other bourbons not on this list which have been popular on the secondary, but just have lacked the volume and are recent releases for the most part, including things like Heaven Hill's 20 Year release, Michter's long awaited 2023 drop of its 10-year-old bourbon (following a year off the market due to quality issues), and Old Foresters 117 Series Warehouse H. All three were released in March and have been trading with some regularity given their recent debut. The bottles below however encompass those that have traded hands the most during the first few months of 2023.
With 18 different releases under foot, it's not surprising to find this bottle on the list. Batch 18 however moved from "Stagg Jr" to just "Stagg." If you're looking to acquire one of the earlier vintages, these can fetch upwards of a thousand dollars. There are also a number of Stagg and Stagg Jr. store picks floating around.
Weller Full Proof
If you haven't already read our post on Weller Bourbon (it's a good one) then you should take five minutes of your life to do so, but Weller Full Proof is one of my favorites in the lineup. Given how quickly these get snatched up on the secondary it seems like it's a lot of other folk's favorite as well. Although a bottle isn't exactly cheap, I think that this pour certainly is worth the price point given how it stacks up against so many other bourbons.
Colonel E.H. Taylor Single Barrel
There appears to be no shortage of E.H. Single Barrel to go around on the secondary market these days, but good luck ever seeing one out in the wild. These trade hands in a fairly tight range with an uptick in the past year of store picks for this bottle, which at one time were fairly uncommon. This is a far cry from the yearly releases of E.H. Taylor, each of which is a unicorn unto itself. More on that in the Bourboneur Definitive Guide to E.H. Taylor.
Larceny Barrel Proof
There is no shortage to be had these days of Larceny Barrel Proof out on the market and folks are snatching it up about as quickly as it posts. It's a decent enough pour, but not sure that it commands the action it's been seeing as of late.
Wild Turkey 12 Year Distillers Reserve
Last year Wild Turkey brought back their 12 Year bottling, which was the return of a legend with a history that dates back to the 80's. For a chunk of that time, it was released in Japan before being discontinued, and now, it's back as of last year. You just have to be in Japan, South Korea or Australia to pick up a bottle. Perhaps that's why it's gotten a fair bit of hype as bottles have found their way back to the market here in the U.S. on the secondary...
Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel-Strength
A generally pretty solid pour, albeit stiff at barrel-strength, Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel-Strength bourbon tends to always have a presence as many of the distilleries other products do given Old Forester plainly put, makes great bourbon. That said, this particular bottling has had a lot more play than normal here at the start of 2023. I mean, after all, it's on my shelf...and I have a backup.
Weller Antique 107
Yep, another Buffalo Trace product...and a second Weller to boot! This year has seen a lot more 107 than I can remember in some time on the secondary. The boost seems to come from a lot more action in the store pick department with a pile of store picks popping up.
Elijah Craig Private Barrel
I have some Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon sitting on my shelf in the garage. I absolutely love the flavor, but I'm not the biggest fan of the ol' throat punch finish. That said, a few drops of water can tame most anything and folks have really taken a liking it would seem to this pour which has been jumping off the virtual secondary shelves like nobody's business.
George T. Stagg
George T. Stagg is hands down my favorite on the list. With the lack of a 2021 release given quality issues, the 2022 drop has been rip roaring and commanding a higher price than any of the other vintages over the past few years.
Hancock's Presidents Reserve
I'll have to admit that this one was a bit surprising to me to be on the list, but it's been popping up all over the place, some singles, some cases. This had a popular streak a couple years ago, and has since been interesting, but not that interesting for the bourbon community overall it would seem. Might be a coincidence or it might grow some legs and start moving up in pricing.
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