This is Part IV of the Whiskey Jar’s Series, The Bourbon Future. In Part I, I made a bunch of grandiose predictions about the future of Bourbon. In Part II, I discussed the grain to glass movement and the increase in disclosure about what goes into bourbon, which is bringing increased competition into the bourbon marketplace. In Part III, I discussed contract distilling and how it adds quality supply into the bourbon marketplace.
In Part I, one of the predictions I made was:
Anyone, anywhere in the U.S., will be able to have whatever bourbon they want delivered to their doorstep; depending on location, this make take days but in some cases it will only take hours.
One of the greatest barriers to bourbon connoisseurs getting the bourbons they want is the three tiered system of manufacturing, distribution, and retail. Manufacturers determine which distributors and indeed states get certain whiskies, distributors determine which retailers get certain whiskies, and then the retailers determine which customers get which bottles.
Case in point, as a Four Roses fan, I was extremely disappointed that Four Roses Small Batch Select was not going to be available in my state. Rather than being released nation wide, it was released only in Kentucky, California, Texas and Georgia. Why Georgia? The others make sense, but whatever. Given the limited distribution and the high demand for this new release, this became bourbon impossible for me.
Except, I checked in with Bounty Hunter Wine & Spirits, an online retailer, and they had it. So, I ordered two bottles, and a bottle of David Nicholson Reserve, a 100 proof Luxco bourbon that is generally only available in Missouri, because it was only $35 for a bottle and why not. I had read about it and wanted to try it.
By the way, if you are looking to purchase Buffalo Trace Antique Collection whiskies or Pappy Van Winkle, Bounty Hunter can get it for you, albeit at secondary prices. They also have other great bourbons available at regular retail prices. They also do their own barrel picks, which is how I discovered them in the first place.
Being able to buy bourbon online is already a thing. Moreover, when I wanted to send a bottle of Laugavulin Distiller’s Edition to a client in the UK as a Christmas gift, I used Amazon. Amazon is already in the whiskey business. The question is how long will they ignore the American market.
Certain commenters on my first Bourbon Future piece doubted online shopping for bourbon would ever really happen because of our country’s spirits distribution system. I disagree. To think that the alcohol industry is impervious to disruption by online shopping is the acme of foolishness. That disruption is coming. It is not a matter of when. It is a matter of time.
So, on to the David Nicholson Reserve bourbon, a bourbon I bought online because I can’t get it in Louisiana.
On the swirl, this medium amber whiskey leaves a thin film with smallish legs. I am thinking this is a 100 proof version of the seven year old Old Ezra. On the palate, my taste buds confirm my suspicions. Nice vanilla and caramel sweetness, some herbal rye, some oak, some roasted almonds. Angustora bitters and a hint of sambuca on the finish, which is fairly long. This bourbon had a medium but mouth coating mouthfeel.
This is a great and fairly inexpensive 100 proof bourbon at $35. I highly recommend it particularly if you like Old Ezra. That, and it won medals at the San Francisco Spirits Competition, which is one of the few competitions that doesn’t give away medals to just anybody.
And if you can’t find it near you given that it is only available in Missouri and Illinois just buy it online. That’s the Bourbon Future.