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Should the pub advise you if you're going way up in price?

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Should the pub advise you if you're going way up in price?

Poll ended at Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:02 pm

Yes, it's a good idea to let people know what something costs.
14
64%
No way - caveat emptor - if you don't know the price, you should ask!
6
27%
It depends - allow me to explain my thoughts in a new post.
2
9%
 
Total votes : 22

Should the pub advise you if you're going way up in price?

Postby UUNetBill » Mon Dec 22, 2008 4:02 pm

Scenario:

Stopped by my local cigar/martini/whisky bar the other night to kill some time. Was looking over their menu with a somewhat limited selection of single malt scotch. Settled on a Glenmorangie 10. This bar has a choice of a 1.5 or 2.5 oz pour. I, of course, requested the 2.5 - only a few $$ more than the small one ($14 vs $10, as I recall.)

Later, when the crowd thinned, some space opened up at the bar, so I moved there to get a better view of the football game on the TV. It was then that I noticed some bottles that weren't on the menu, specifically two more Glemnos. They had recently added the Nectar d'Or and Signet to their offerings, but they hadn't made it to the menu yet. I have already sampled the Nectar, but hadn't tried the Signet so I asked for a small pour.

Imagine my surprise when my tab came and I found out that they were charging $31 for a small pour of the Signet! Now I know this isn't a cheap whisky, and since it wasn't on the menu, probably should have asked the cost, but at the same time I feel that the server probably should have at least mentioned that the Signet cost over 3X what I was currently drinking. I don't know that $31 is a bad price for the Signet, but if I'm going to pay that for a dram, I'd like it to be in a more controlled environment and in a proper glass (they serve their SM in flared tumblers.)

So I guess I'm just curious - in a case like this where there are new items available that aren't on the menu, should the server mention the price, or at least say something like, "Yes, we just got that in - it's one of our most exclusive offerings" to at least let you know they're very proud of it?

Thoughts? Comments?

Bill

PS - from what I could tell, the Signet was a nice dram - noticeable sweeter and fruitier than the 10, but I couldn't really get the full measure of the nose or taste in the environment I was in. :cry:
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Re: Should the pub advise you if you're going way up in price?

Postby Ganga » Mon Dec 22, 2008 4:46 pm

I'm going to get away from the phrase of your question. My experience is that most servers will let you know when your pour is over $20. They're usually saying things like "Do you know how much this costs?" Occasionally, there are the oblivious ones but I'd say roughly 85% of the servers seem to inform the customer unless they know said customer has been ordering things kind of things in the past.

PS. Signet is roughly $200 a bottle. The unfortunate things for you was really the glass in this case as much of the subtlties will have been lost.
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Re: Should the pub advise you if you're going way up in price?

Postby UUNetBill » Mon Dec 22, 2008 5:14 pm

Ganga - yeah, I think that's probably the biggest disappointment - I could tell there was something nice going on in that glass, but I couldn't tell what - I think if I was in my favorite whisky bar in Vegas without the cigar smoke and with proper glasses, $31 for the Signet would be right in line. . .but I kind of feel like I just wasted that dram. . .

Don't get me wrong, either - I'm not going to boycott the bar, and I'm not going to spread bad word-of-mouth, but I just wanted to get the feel of other's opinions. I'll certainly go back, but I'll also be sure to verify the price of a pour before I just order up.

Oh, well - live and learn - in almost five decades, you'd think I'd have figured things like this out!!

:D
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Re: Should the pub advise you if you're going way up in price?

Postby mikeymad » Mon Dec 22, 2008 5:36 pm

Bill,

Bummer that you didn't get the full experience for your Signet. A pretty different dram all the way around.

I agree that if a beverage is 'not' listed in the menu/list that they should mention the price, if it is not in line with the rest of the drams offered. At the same time I try to protect myself a little bit by asking 'I see you have the <insert great beverage>, what is that going for a dram these days?'

I go to a local place here (Noonan's) that the menu (book) selection is just about always out of date from what is on the wall. So I get use to asking about special beverages.

There is a flip side to this as well. If the beverage in question 'is' on the menu/list, there are some customers that would consider it an insult to be questioned about the price. Kind of like 'are you sure you can afford it?'

Turning :| into :x

Cheers,
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Re: Should the pub advise you if you're going way up in price?

Postby Rob B » Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:05 am

Given the mark-up the pub had added to the cost of the dram, the least they should have done is let you know the price before pouring. At least Dick Turpin wore a mask...
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Re: Should the pub advise you if you're going way up in price?

Postby UUNetBill » Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:07 am

Yeah, I'd have appreciated a "Oh, yes, this is one of our two most exclusive drams" or some such as a tip-off, but no go. Well, live and learn, I say!

:oops:
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Re: Should the pub advise you if you're going way up in price?

Postby pkt77242 » Thu Jan 01, 2009 8:05 am

I voted let me explain. I went to this new whisky and cigar bar and tried the Caol ila DE and Ardbeg Nam Beist a couple of weeks ago. They did not have a menu so I could not see prices, when I got the bill it was $40 total. Not bad but it would have been nice to know how much they cost since there was no menu. I think that since the prices weren't listed they should have let you know how much it cost, but if the prices are listed and you don't look well that is a different story. Actually now that I think about it the prices for my two drams weren't so bad.


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Re: Should the pub advise you if you're going way up in price?

Postby UUNetBill » Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:54 am

No, $40 isn't too bad for those drams, depending on the generosity of the pour. And it's easy to get into trouble in a whisky bar without a proper menu. . .and I think that's what got to me was that this place DID have a menu but these drams weren't listed. . .but like I said, caveat emptor.

And now I'm really jonesing for a nice pour of the Signet in a proper glass in a proper environment.

:D
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Re: Should the pub advise you if you're going way up in price?

Postby Knolly » Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:55 am

UUNetBill wrote:Ganga - yeah, I think that's probably the biggest disappointment - I could tell there was something nice going on in that glass, but I couldn't tell what - I think if I was in my favorite whisky bar in Vegas without the cigar smoke and with proper glasses, $31 for the Signet would be right in line. . .but I kind of feel like I just wasted that dram. . .

Don't get me wrong, either - I'm not going to boycott the bar, and I'm not going to spread bad word-of-mouth, but I just wanted to get the feel of other's opinions. I'll certainly go back, but I'll also be sure to verify the price of a pour before I just order up.

Oh, well - live and learn - in almost five decades, you'd think I'd have figured things like this out!!

:D


Hey Bill:

Just as an aside, what is your favourite whisky bar in Vegas? I'm ususally there for 1.5 - 2 weeks a year and need to find a decent whisky bar!

Regarding the Signet: I think it's a bit of both people's responsibility: The customer should know what they're ordering but at the same time the establishment should make it pretty clear as well.

I've gotten used to just telling the bar server exactly what I want, because more often then not they'll get it wrong. I.e. serving whisky in a tumbler instead of a snifter glass or even worse putting ice in it. Pricing is often a pain as markups sometimes seem different based on the brand (like once Laga 16 was about $10 / pour where as Ardbeg Ten was $16 / pour!). So, if it's not clear, I try and ask but I know that sometimes you're just like: "Oh, that's new - I should try it!" and next thing you know, there is a bill for an extra 30 or 40 dollars - ouch!

I personally think that both parties have a responsibility and that's why I voted for the 3rd option. However, I guess the only way not to get screwed is to make Caveat Emptor the default position...
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Re: Should the pub advise you if you're going way up in price?

Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Jan 02, 2009 3:52 pm

1. Yes, it would have been nice of him to warn you discreetly, but it's sort of the flip-side of "if you have to ask, you can't afford it"--if you don't ask, obviously you're not worried about it. A bartender who does not know you may well feel that it's a bit insulting to question your ability (or willingness) to pay.

2. This sort of thing was easier when everything was age-stated--if you see a 25, you know you're getting up there, and need to ask. (I once saw a Glenfiddich 30 on the bar and asked the price; the bartender couldn't find it, so he charged the same as the 18, and gave me a generous pour, to boot. Good deal.) Now, names are everywhere. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing: the reasonably astute whisky connoisseur knows that named malts, such as Jura Superstition, for example, are a way of avoiding an age statement on a bottle that contains a proportion of young whiskies, since most malt snobs would presumably look askance at Jura 4. It would be easy, then, to assume that Glenmorangie Signet is a similar product, with a similar price, which obviously it is not.

3. Why would you not ask for a proper glass? Surely they have a brandy snifter, at least. I'd be plenty peeved at spending $14 for an ounce and a half of Glenmorangie 10 and getting it in a tumbler.
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Re: Should the pub advise you if you're going way up in price?

Postby LagaDrinker » Fri Jan 02, 2009 10:34 pm

I opted for 1.

It should be done in a subtle and delicate way if possible, especially if your in a group
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Re: Should the pub advise you if you're going way up in price?

Postby UUNetBill » Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:56 pm

Knolly wrote:Just as an aside, what is your favourite whisky bar in Vegas? I'm ususally there for 1.5 - 2 weeks a year and need to find a decent whisky bar!

Well, I'm far from an expert on Vegas whisky bars, but I really enjoyed the bar at Stripsteak at Mandalay Bay - over 150 single malts and a very descriptive 50 page menu. Prices were reasonable and the bartenders were knowledgable and quite helpful. I'll be back at Mandalay next month and I'm sure I'll run up quite a tab there!! :wink:
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Re: Should the pub advise you if you're going way up in price?

Postby Knolly » Sat Jan 03, 2009 8:06 pm

UUNetBill wrote:
Knolly wrote:Just as an aside, what is your favourite whisky bar in Vegas? I'm ususally there for 1.5 - 2 weeks a year and need to find a decent whisky bar!

Well, I'm far from an expert on Vegas whisky bars, but I really enjoyed the bar at Stripsteak at Mandalay Bay - over 150 single malts and a very descriptive 50 page menu. Prices were reasonable and the bartenders were knowledgable and quite helpful. I'll be back at Mandalay next month and I'm sure I'll run up quite a tab there!! :wink:


Awesome - thanks! I'll check that out for sure when I'm down there again next year.

Cheers!
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Re: Should the pub advise you if you're going way up in price?

Postby Cam » Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:05 pm

I voted "always ask". For the most part I agree with Mr.T. I have found huge difference in pricing from bar to bar also a difference (in a few bars) in time of day (afternoon to evening).

Actually this post is to see if I can get onto the boards. Haven't been able to post for quite some time.

If it gets on then Matt has worked his magic.

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