As the New Year gets its legs under it, in this post we’re taking pulse of some of the flops and pops on the secondary market. Entering the year, retrospectively, we have seen some softening of prices across the board. If you take Weller 12 for example, as we exited 2022 that bottle would have cost you 240 bucks on the secondary, and today they’re 50 bucks less. It’s not a homogeneous situation however, and a whole number of bottles have either held their own or increased in the current price environment. Nonetheless, the secondary still isn’t cheap and considering I bought my last Weller 12 for 45 bucks at retail a few weeks ago, there’s still clearly a healthy markup on the secondary. Weller 12 is but one example and a similar story plays out across a lot of the commonly available bottles passing hands on the secondary.
About as quick as a flipper can post a bottle pic and their ask, a buyer types “BIN” shorthand for “buy it now!” Just a few months back these bottles were trending down, and trading hands for around 120 to 130 bucks, then some guy in an ascot had to go and like it and they’ve trended north by twenty percent. Still within the land of reason in terms of pricing, but if you’re looking to nab one you better be quick on the gun as they disappear fast. You may also have to settle for buying a second less desirable bottle as a part of a package deal, as a lot of folks who are moving these are moving them as a pair as they know the demand pull and given the price point.
These had already seen an uptick last year, and then this year rolled around, and they’ve gotten even more popular and outlandish. A sourced bourbon that is double oaked using maple staves or spirals provides a unique combination that has certainly driven up interest amongst Bourboneur’s everywhere. People are comparing this to some of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection lineup in terms of quality. Expect to pay around 700 currently for your chance to own a bottle. Quite a statement piece from a Georgia based upstart located in an old mattress factory.
After not seeing any Michter’s 10 Year hit the market in 2022, the 2023 market has been a bit hotter in terms of interest and value. There’s nothing notably different about the juice as it’s still contract-distilled from Brown-Forman. The consensus is however that the bottles bearing a 23AXXXX neck tag are much more desirable than other letters, with 23 designating the year it was bottled and “A” designating the month, in this case being January. In terms of pricing, expect to pay a Benjamin more for a bottle carrying an “A” on the neck tag, or 450 bucks.
Light whiskey has been showing up a bit more on the market these days, and for those of you wondering what that even is, it’s defined as being more than 80 percent alcohol by volume (“ABV”) (but less than 95 percent) and stored in uncharred new oak barrels. By distilling to such a high ABV, it removes congeners that ultimately create a lighter taste profile and less burn on the tongue. Although most light whiskeys are distilled from MGP (shocker), Penelope’s 15 Year American Light Whiskey predates 2011 so it was technically distilled by Seagrams who operated the distillery at that point. This particular bottle has been slowly gaining some steam and is currently trading hands for around 160 smackaroos.
At one point commanding close to 600 bucks, this year's 135th anniversary release from Four Roses is finally starting to find its way back to reality now averaging around 440 bucks. The sixteenth such release in its annual limited edition special bottling it blends four batches that include three different recipes. Four Roses uses two different mashbills and five different yeast strains to create ten total varying recipes altogether. Each one of its yearly releases is unique and showcases the best of what Four Roses has to offer. I expect pricing on the secondary could erode a bit further has the hype train finds its way back to the station.
I’ve personally never really felt like this bourbon should be as coveted as it has been over the past number of years. I at some point was able to get one of these for retail. It was fine, but nothing to really write home about. In the past year it’s seen its value decrease by 25 percent or so and it continues to erode away bit by bit. Expect to pay around 300 bucks if you absolutely have to have this on your shelf.
A new release from Buffalo Trace in collaboration with country music artist Chris Stapleton, Traveller Whiskey shot out of the gate pretty hot, around 120 bucks and then just as quickly as it sailed up into the sky plummeted back down to earth like a lead balloon for half that. There’s a fun rumor going around that this is just Buffalo Trace Bourbon blended with Wheatley Vodka. It is after all a “blended spirit” but looks to be blended with Canadian whiskey by all accounts. This is basically a great mixer and should be available on the bottom shelf of a liquor store near you soon, if it’s not already.
With over one million searches this past year and updated weekly, the Bourbon Blue Book is the definitive resource on the web for tracking secondary values of coveted bottles of brownwater. Based on real secondary sales data it is not only the most comprehensive but the most up to date tool to ensure if you’re buying or selling a bottle you’re doing so being whiskey wise. MSRP is a thing of the past when it comes to sought after whiskey, and the line between retail and secondary is becoming more and more blurry. Make sure you’re bookmarking our page so you’re in the know on what a good versus not so good price is the next time you’re thinking about a purchase.
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