Not a member? - Register and login now.
All registered users can read our entire magazine archive.

George T. Stagg Bourbon and price differences

All your whisky related questions answered here.
Related whiskies : George T. Stagg

George T. Stagg Bourbon and price differences

Postby corbuso » Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:42 pm

I have heard of lot of good stuff about the George T. Stagg Bourbon and wanted to give it a try. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to get it here in Europe and the price difference is quite huge: About $50-60 in the US and $200+ in Europe. Could anyone explain to me this difference in prices? For other bourbons, the difference between the two sides of the Atlantic ocean are much lower.
corbuso
Gold Member
 
Posts: 878
Joined: Tue May 24, 2005 11:56 am

Re: George T. Stagg Bourbon and price differences

Postby lohssanami » Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:38 pm

What are the laws in the UK in regards to alcohol over 70% ABV? I've heard that 70% is the point that alcohol is classed as a Hazardous Material in the US so the transport of this bourbon might contribute to the price.

I grabbed this list of Stagg releases from Wiki:

2002: 137.6 proof/68.8% ABV
2003 (Hazmat): 142.7 proof/71.35% ABV
2004: 129 proof/64.5% ABV
Spring 2005 Lot A: Kentucky release, 130.9 proof/65.45% ABV
Spring 2005 Lot B: non-Kentucky release, 131.8 proof/65.9% ABV
Fall 2005 (Hazmat II): 141.2 proof/70.6% ABV
2006 (Hazmat III): 140.6 proof/70.3% ABV
2007 (Hazmat IV): 144.8 proof/72.4% ABV
The 2003, Fall 2005, 2006, and 2007 releases have been nicknamed "Hazmat," because their extremely high alcohol content precludes them from being taken aboard commercial flights.


The older releases are highly sought after, which would make the releases less than 70% a high price item also.

I also checked Bacardi 151 on TWE, and it is listed at £59.99 for a 1 Liter as opposed to $32.99 USD for the same at my local store here in the US. This is a difference of over £40.

In addition, Stagg is a much sought after bourbon here so demand might also play into this price.

Just my thoughts...
User avatar
lohssanami
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1597
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 11:17 am
Location: Northern California, USA

Re: George T. Stagg Bourbon and price differences

Postby Willie JJ » Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:50 pm

I find the price differences to be perverse and unjustifiable Patrick. I suspect the importers are just cashing in on JM's regular pronunciation that Stagg is the world's greatest whisk(e)y.

Having said that, if you can get a bottle without having to sacrifice a limb, it is worth trying.

Cheers
User avatar
Willie JJ
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 4562
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:31 pm
Location: nr. Edinburgh

Re: George T. Stagg Bourbon and price differences

Postby Wave » Mon Jun 30, 2008 8:21 pm

lohssanami wrote:What are the laws in the UK in regards to alcohol over 70% ABV? I've heard that 70% is the point that alcohol is classed as a Hazardous Material in the US so the transport of this bourbon might contribute to the price.

I thought the same thing though that doesn't account for the earlier releases of G T Stagg that were under 70% ABV. It really doesn't sound like fair trade to me as we get rare single malts here usually at or around the same price as in Scotland. I have to agree with Willie that the importers are cashing in on the hype. Stagg might be worthy of that hype but it's hype nevertheless and it shouldn't be priced as such.


Cheers!
User avatar
Wave
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1860
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 6:57 am
Location: Illinois, USA

Re: George T. Stagg Bourbon and price differences

Postby lohssanami » Mon Jun 30, 2008 8:43 pm

I can't speak of the sub-70% releases, but why would the Bacardi 151 be just as disproportionate? The Bacardi 151 is approximately 4x the price as it is in US. The Stagg is approximately 3.5x the price as the US. The older GTS releases sell on ebay and such here for 2-3x the price of the current release.

The Absinthe's distilled in Europe are all at affordable prices (30-40 GBP for 70cl), but it just seems that the high ABV imports are higher.

No doubt the popularity, supply, demand and awards contribute, but I think it has some degree of effect due to the high ABV being imported. Does anyone recall the price of the Spring 2005 GTS when it debuted in the UK?
User avatar
lohssanami
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1597
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 11:17 am
Location: Northern California, USA

Re: George T. Stagg Bourbon and price differences

Postby corbuso » Mon Jun 30, 2008 9:32 pm

lohssanami wrote:
The Absinthe's distilled in Europe are all at affordable prices (30-40 GBP for 70cl), but it just seems that the high ABV imports are higher.

No doubt the popularity, supply, demand and awards contribute, but I think it has some degree of effect due to the high ABV being imported. Does anyone recall the price of the Spring 2005 GTS when it debuted in the UK?

The duty in Europe (and UK) is based on the amount of Alcohol, but from 60 to 70% abv, the duty would not account to more than £5-6. So , for the price difference, the reason is somewhere else. Guess the retailer is making quite some money on the way.
corbuso
Gold Member
 
Posts: 878
Joined: Tue May 24, 2005 11:56 am

Re: George T. Stagg Bourbon and price differences

Postby lohssanami » Mon Jun 30, 2008 10:19 pm

Here is a list of the bottles in the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection and the prices seen in the UK.

George T. Stagg (70.3% ABV Fall 2006 and 72.4% ABV Fall 2007) - UK £100 (3.5X US price)
Sazerac Rye 18 (45% ABV) - UK £70 (2.5X US price)
Thomas H. Handy (66.35% ABV 2006 release and 67.4% ABV 2007 release) - UK £85 (~3X US price)
William Larue Weller (60.95% ABV 2006 release and 58.95% ABV 2007 release) - UK £90 (3X US price)
Eagle Rare 17 (45% ABV) - UK £61 (2X US price)

I have found each of these on store shelves this year in the US for $55-60 USD.

Perhaps you guys are closer to the reason of price gouging, but I just didn't realize that Bacardi 151 was in such high demand in the UK.

Possible reasons then:

1.) Retailer Price gouging/Unfair trade
2.) Import/Transportation fees
3.) US Distibutors gouging the foreign markets (UK and Europe in this case).
4.) Supply and demand

I suppose it can be any of them, but I'm sure the more input we get on this thread, the closer we'll be to the answer. In the meantime, visit the US, and pick the bottles up here for less. :P
User avatar
lohssanami
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1597
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 11:17 am
Location: Northern California, USA

Re: George T. Stagg Bourbon and price differences

Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:30 am

I suspect the price differential is because there is no regular importer of GTS into Europe. Retailers have to source bottles and have them imported privately (from the same sources as the rest of us) and by the time they have done this and added on a fair commission, the price is high.

And they do it because people buy it at the high prices. If we didn't pay the prices, they wouldn't import the stuff and we'd have no GTS.
Deactivated Member
 

Re: George T. Stagg Bourbon and price differences

Postby oldrip57 » Tue Jul 01, 2008 4:43 am

Well, when the price approaches the cost of a trans-Atlantic airfare, drop on in and have a sip! I almost always (as I do currently) have one open and one in hand on the shelf.
Is it the world's greatest whisk(e)y? I doubt it. I've certainly had many I like better. Is it damn fine whisk(e)y? You bet!
Keep in mind, the number of barrels that meet the Stagg taste profile is finite. Buffalo Trace had many more barrels to choose from when they first introduced the brand back in 2002. In my opinion, the first three issues put all the latter ones to -- well, not shame, exactly, but detriment. Now, of course, BT is stuck with what they have left. It's my opinion that the brand either will wither away for lack of supply -- which might bear on retailers' prices -- or suffer from uniformity and the limited/standard availabilty of supply. It has never been age-stated, though usually around 15 years old. Expect that to decrease.
I don't know the answer to the exchange-rate problem. But, my opinion is that Stagg is not worth ANY price, but only one that you can afford. While a singular whisk(e)y experience, it is not, I think, one that will offer an epiphany for many.
oldrip57
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 168
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2007 11:12 pm

Re: George T. Stagg Bourbon and price differences

Postby Knolly » Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:44 am

oldrip57 wrote:Well, when the price approaches the cost of a trans-Atlantic airfare, drop on in and have a sip! I almost always (as I do currently) have one open and one in hand on the shelf.
Is it the world's greatest whisk(e)y? I doubt it. I've certainly had many I like better. Is it damn fine whisk(e)y? You bet!
Keep in mind, the number of barrels that meet the Stagg taste profile is finite. Buffalo Trace had many more barrels to choose from when they first introduced the brand back in 2002. In my opinion, the first three issues put all the latter ones to -- well, not shame, exactly, but detriment. Now, of course, BT is stuck with what they have left. It's my opinion that the brand either will wither away for lack of supply -- which might bear on retailers' prices -- or suffer from uniformity and the limited/standard availabilty of supply. It has never been age-stated, though usually around 15 years old. Expect that to decrease.
I don't know the answer to the exchange-rate problem. But, my opinion is that Stagg is not worth ANY price, but only one that you can afford. While a singular whisk(e)y experience, it is not, I think, one that will offer an epiphany for many.


Wow - awesome post and while I don't have a ton of experience in the older GTS bottlings, i totally agree with what you said. i just opened my most recent bottle, the 144% bottle and yes, it is a great whisky, but certainly not the best or most enjoyable one that I've had.

I think what's amazing about it is that at such a high ABV, it is surprisingly drinkable straight up - albeit in small doses :). Intense is how I would describe it...

However, from a day to day enjoyment point of reference, the regularly available Buffalo Trace 45% bourbon is excellent and much more approachable than Stagg. Stagg is really a novelty - yes, it is awesome and a great achievement and something that's certainly worth owning if reasonably priced, but at $200 / bottle, I can think of a lot of other bottles that I would pick up first.
Knolly
Silver Member
 
Posts: 493
Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 9:31 am
Location: Vancouver BC

Re: George T. Stagg Bourbon and price differences

Postby lohssanami » Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:08 am

Indeed...a great description and summation by oldrip57. I will forever buy GTS at $55-60, but for $200, I would choose something else.

Knolly...you are right about how drinkable it is at such a high ABV. Unfortunately, I've only had the 2006 and 2007 releases.
User avatar
lohssanami
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1597
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 11:17 am
Location: Northern California, USA

Related whiskies : George T. Stagg

Return to Questions & Answers

Whisky gift and present finder