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This is where I believe Jim Beam got it right. You see other distilleries have released new expressions outside of Kentucky leaving the bluegrass state dry. It didn’t make sense to leave your home state wanting their bourbon. Other distilleries have programs like this one. Angels Envy has the 500 Club. Old Forester has an email system letting you know the latest offerings even though the system often crashes and bottles flippers line the sidewalk ensuring you still miss out on beautiful bottles. Some craft distilleries have made it where you have to belong to their club to get there bourbon and they are having no problems selling every bottle. They have waiting list a mile long with fans, so the system works.
So did Jim Beam see some of those problems and correct them, why yes they did. No standing in line, no hunting, no worries about a computer system crashing and thank the lord no debating whether it’s a fair price or not. Now they did offer up just 500 memberships and limit it to just two locations but we are sure that this number and locations will grow. Now will we see other distilleries go this route. We could only hope that Buffalo Trace, Heaven Hill, Four Roses and Woodford Reserve will do the same. Will it stop the sidewalk hunters, probably not. What it will do is ensure people that actually open their bottles and drink the amber goodness inside get the opportunity to purchase this allocated bourbon at a fair and reasonable price.
A final thought is that Freddie Beam is taking the Beam Brand in a beautiful direction and is building his own Legacy as his father and generations like him have done in the past.
With that grab a glass, a bottle and pour a giant dram of your favorite allocated bourbon. Listen as Jim and I take another trip down The Bourbon Road while sipping on Little Book Chapter 1 and Little Book Chapter 5. Cheers.
Mike (Big Chief)