Why is this 1792 release for wrc only, but the single barrel release in May was put on the shelf?I'm frustrated because I always got the 1792 releases from TWCP in the past no problems.I'm struggling to find reasons to continue shopping with you guys, as my loyalty and financial support is apparently not enough. Sorry, but wrc has only prevented me from getting everything in the past few months. Didn't really bother me until now...when you took 1792 away.:(
To answer the easy question first, back in May we did not have the WRC completely set and were not using it yet. We were just taking sign ups at that point.The WRC was set up to do just what you are saying to reward people for their "loyalty and financial support" instead of just putting it on the shelf where somebody that just comes in looking for the limited releases finds it and does not buy anything else. If we just put the 1792 Full Proof on the shelf, there would be no guarantee you would get a bottle either. The WRC gives you a better chance assuming you are a member?You would be surprised at how many people you see come in and peruse the Bourbon shelf and then just leave, they are obviously just looking for limited Bourbons. Some people will actually ask for all the usual suspects like Pappy and Elmer T. Lee and when you say we do not have any, they just leave the store. We get a lot of out of town shoppers from the Ritz that come just looking at bourbons. When you ask them if they need help, they say, we are just in town for a few days and they ask do you have "so and so limited bourbon". If we put things like the 1792, Elmer T Lee....on the shelf the regular customers have less of a chance of getting them.Not every limited bourbon will go through the WRC, some will end up randomly on the shelf. I would not be surprised if some 1792 Full Proof end up on the shelf too (in fact, I am 90% sure some bottles will see the shelf). 1792 is one that they usually send us a first allocation and then periodically they send us more cases of the limited releases over the next few months. Many of the Bourbon producers do that. Also, when I send out the emails for the 1792 many will not take the allocation and some of those will randomly hit the shelf. Again, we are doing this just to be fair. So far on the WRC we have only released a few bourbons and some of all of those actually ended up on the shelf. Again, assuming you are in the WRC, at this point you do not know if you will be allocated the 1792 as emails will not go out probably not until tomorrow, possibly still today. We do have more of this one than any of the previous WRC releases, so chances are better. It is still the early stages of the WRC, I hope you do not give up on it this early. Obviously, demand for Bourbon still continues to rise and allocations continue to get smaller, so there just is not enough to go around. We are trying to do our best to get them into the hands of our loyal customers. Reminder: if you are in the WRC, make sure you are giving your phone number each time you check out to make sure your purchases are being tracked.Hopefully this answers your questions. You can always also email firstname.lastname@example.org also with any questions too.
I for one love the wrc..I have a limited budget,but I buy all my spirits at your stores.If I agree that the club rewards the loyal customers as opposed to a stranger "getting lucky". Sometimes I get one of the premium whiskys...sometimes I don't. That's life!!! Things in the world of whisky have changed. Deal with it!!
Were the emails sent out yet? What is the retail price of bookers rye? I really would just like to taste it so I may try the secondary market. I can pull a few regulars who haven't been picked for any special, allocated, all that's been made, never gonna see that again, last barrel. We can chip in and split it. Maybe we could do that for the little guy who actually wants to drink it and not just look cool to his friends. Hey look at me, I got a bottle of ECBP am I awesome. I've never even seen stuff that I know you get like ECBP. I understand that you feel an obligation to give that to customers who spend 60 grand a year. Your not as transparent as you say. I understand that if ABC liqour store has it then chances are you had it. So you prob look at the other stores and get pissed when they don't have loyalty, it just goes on the shelf. In some ways I like your strategy and dislike others. I understand it's all about business. So when people talk about being loyal to TWCP they mean it, but if we stray away from you it will eventually hurt. I said to myself after 5 years of being loyal and the best I've ever got was a bottle of baby sazerac. I had to rethink it. I make 65,000 dollars a years. I have every barrel select bottle you've ever bought. I invested a good sum of money to not just whiskey but everything. If I want a side project beer I buy it from you. I know I could buy it from them but I don't. That's another scam, the hustle you have with Cory. Yeah we got the only bottles of that super special beer and people could just go to perennial and get it. They are releasing one for side project today. I'm not loyal to any shop anymore, I go for the best prices. I have a lot more I wanna say but won't. I think something like bookers rye ( it's prob over hyped so people are telling you they want it) I heard its around 300 dollars so that thins the herd. I wish there was a way guys could split bottles and share. I know people put you in spots to have to make hard choices, I just hope your doing the right thing for the good of TWCP
Btw..I'm not mad at anyone at TWCP or you. It's just the nature of what you have to do.
I also watch all the blogs, twitters, ect and that's stuff most people can't do so I've seen the patterns. If I lose my job because I spend more time reading your post, I'm gonna need a job.
There is a lot of stuff to digest and answer in your post. I will not have time to do it until later tonight or early tomorrow, but will respond to your points as best I can then. Quick answers, emails have not been sent. Emails will go either late tonight or early tomorrow also. Bookers is $269.99
From the first part of your comment. I am not 100% sure exactly what you are saying except it would be good if a bunch of people could split a bottle? We have an annual rare whiskey tasting in the Spring last year it included Pappy Van Winkle, Elijah Craig 23 year old, George T Stagg, Buffalo Trace Experimental and other whiskeys of that caliber. A way of letting more people get a chance to taste these bourbons. We will continue to do that, not sure if the Bookers Rye will be one of those for the next tasting or not. Even that causes some problems as only 24-25 people can come and people still get left out. We have no way of selling a bottle to a group of people for them to share, there is no logical way for us to do that. I know in our Beer Club, some customers share one account in order to increase their chances of getting beer because they know they will always share the bottle. The part about selling it to the people that want to drink it and not re-sell it is impossible for us to control. We cannot stop the secondary market and cannot somehow determine which customers are drinking and which are re-selling. It is really not up to us to tell them what they can do or do with a bottle once it leaves the store.The part about transparency, I do feel I am as transparent as I can be and I honestly feel more so than most stores in the area. I post the release of all the limited beer and whiskey and how it will be released. Some places will not even tell you the prices if you ask them and some gouge on the prices of the limited releases. You mention the ECBP, yes we got it and still have it, we also got in Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 22 Year old, some Rock Hill Farms and we have other stuff we have held back that have not been announced yet. Not hiding them, they will be released. Take the ECBP, we only got 3 bottles between all 4 stores. That is not even enough to give a bottle to the best customer at each of our 4 stores. These releases do take a lot of time, it would be much easier just to throw them on the shelf, but again we do not think that is fair. An argument could be given to give them to the top purchasers. But we thought it would be more fair to use a weighted raffle. We split the allocation in half, the first half goes to the top purchasers and the rest we use a weighted raffle. The more you spend the more raffle tickets you get, so your chances increase. But it still gives people that cannot afford to spend as much a chance to get the bottles too. We are already up to 700 people in the WRC, so with only 3 bottles of the ECBP most people are not getting a bottle. 3 people will be happy and 697 people will be upset and say the system is not fair. It is a lose lose situation. Yes, some bourbons will not be posted and you might say that I am not being transparent, but those are bourbons that we will sneak on the shelf 1 bottle at a time. Again, as a way to mix it up and let regulars find it on the shelf. That is one of the reasons some bourbons are held back because I am debating which way to release them or just because of lack of time to do the raffle. If I post that I am putting so and so on the shelf, people will rush in and buy and leave without anything else and the regulars doing their normal shopping will miss out. Today we snuck some Col Taylor out for sale for people to find and we did not post it. So, the times we are not transparent, is for good reason - trying to reward regulars that are shopping in the store. We put some goodies out the week before Father's day too without telling people.
continued...I can understand you being upset you are not getting the whiskeys you want, but the part that is completely off base is the Side Project "scam". I do not understand where you are coming from there? That seems a little harsh to say. There is no scam or trickery on Side Project releases. We supply some barrels to Cory and in return we get a barrels worth of beer. He usually makes batches of more than one barrel. He does not reveal how much he makes of each each beer to me, but lets just say he makes a beer with 1 of our barrels and 3 of his barrels. So we get about 200 bottles and he sells 600 bottles. There is no trickery here. I release our bottles through our Beer Reward Club and to my knowledge have never said this is the only place you can get it? If I implied that, I did not intend to (I possibly could have said at one point that we are the only place outside the brewery that you see Side Project beers, but I do not even remember that). I always know Cory will be releasing some either at Perennial or at Side Project. I do not announce when or how he is releasing his, because I do not know and it is none of my business. He does it different ways to mix it up also. It is Cory and Karen's business and we just feel lucky that he even sells us any beer at all. It is not my place to say that the beer will be available at Side Project and when it will be there. Also, sounds like you are saying you are coming to our store picking up bottles off our shelf of Side Project instead of going to get them from Perennial like it is easy to do? That is not the case, we allocate them out as we could sell them 10 times over, so I assume you are getting an allocation through our BRC. And you imply that it is easy to go down to Perennial "people could just go to perennial and get it" and grab a bottle, I saw people were lining up 8 hours in advance to get today's release, so it is not that easy. The beer is hard to get and I try to tell people that. I do not try to over hype. There is really no way to over hype a Side Project release--the beers are rare and extremely sought after, without even trying we could sell the bottles 10 times over (conservatively). I see stores post on their blog all the time "limited", "extremely limited" on each beer they post. And I am thinking the distributor said order as much as you want it is not that limited. I am very careful not to over use the term "limited". That is a pet peeve of mine when I see limited attached to everything. I like the Seinfeld joke "Or the Ford LTD. "LTD." Limited. It's a "limited" edition...what did they make, fifty million of those? "Yes, it's 'limited' to the number we can sell." We do appreciate everyone's loyalty and we try to reward it. We are all fighting for our piece of the pie just like everyone else. We have to fight with our distributors to get better allocations of these products. I always ask people if they have a better idea on how to release these limited items, nobody can really come up with one that is more fair.I hope this answers most of your questions and concerns. I have tried to address them as best as I could and as honestly as I could. We hope you continue to shop at our stores, but we do understand you have to shop where you get the best chance of getting the products you are searching. If that is not with us, then we understand.
(I am the original poster)So ok, I appreciate your effort in responding, and I understand what you are saying.What bothers me most is that WRC doesn't actually reward those who just buy whiskey. It lets everyone who buys wine, cheese, sausages, crackers, coca-cola, glassware, nuts, candy, etc. get credit for those purchases and rewarded in whiskey.The WRC is flawed in this regard because the person who buys tons of random products might get a rare bottle that they probably won't drink... They at least have a better chance than the guy who buys whiskey and takes the time to enjoy it.I buy about one or two good bottles of whiskey a month and don't go through it that fast.One other regular customer I see often, comes into my regular location every week or two and buys 8-12 bottles of wine.....belongs to wrc and makes sure the cashier gives credit, but never has whiskey in the cart.This person will probably get a really good bottle in the fall.I know you cannot go back and give credit for prior purchases, but my bar is full of bottles purchased @twcp over the past few years as I cultivated good, long relationships with your store(s) employees. Now in 2 short months, this program has trashed all of my hard work, while some guy who buys wine & potato chips gets bottles I wanted to try... rather hard to not be a bit sour about it.
I do understand your frustration. First as far as the older purchases, that goes for every customer that has been shopping here for 35 years too. So unfortunately everyone's previous history does not count but everyone is starting on a level playing field. So I think that part evens out as we move into a few months of the WRC and with each passing month. By the time we hit the Pappy release we will be about 6 month in to the WRC. On the other side, the guy buying the wine and cheese and other products is just as important of a customer and could argue the case that he is supporting the whole store and deserves the bottle too. That is why we did the weighted average in order to accommodate both. Just recently a customer in the beer club told me he buys his beer at our stores for the selection and to get the limited releases in our BRC, but had been buying his Titos vodka at the grocery store for convenience. One time he decided he should buy his Titos here to increase is chances in the BRC and at that point he realized we were $26.99 per bottle and the grocery store was $33.99 on his Titos. He was shocked and now buys all of his alcohol here. So the BRC helped this customer transfer all of his purchases from the convenience of the grocery store to our stores, and that is kind of the point of allowing all purchases to count. Another story from the beer club was somebody who only buys beer, but his company has a yearly party. They normally got their stuff at the grocery store for the party, but he volunteered to go pick it up for his work and brought the business to us in order to increase is BRC standing. So we feel we cannot take out the purchases of other parts of the store as we need that business also to survive. I do not think the person buying the wine is not drinking whiskey. I know a lot of our good wine customers get the whiskey to drink, not to sell. As we have just started the WRC, we hope you give it a chance at least until the fall when all the big releases happen and see if it works for you. The bottom line is that these whiskeys are very rare and very few people will get them. I understand people have to shop where they think their best chances are. We hope our system does that and we feel it is a fair system for everyone.We do really appreciate your support over the years.
"I understand people have to shop where they think their best chances are." -duly and unfortunately noted.
"duly and unfortunately noted."If you know of a place that has a better system that will give you a better chance to get the whiskey you want, I would appreciate hearing how they do it and how your odds increase. Thank you.
I'm glad wrc/brc is bringing in more money. As a fellow businessman, I respect it.The old system of " one per person" seemed to work just fine, as evidenced by my bar. I will heed your advice and shop where it benefits me the most
The 1 per person works on a lot of things. But when we get 3 or 6 bottles of some of these bourbons and sometimes only 1 or 2 bottles, that does not work. That is the reasons for the WRC. Not for the ones we get a decent allocation which we will still put on the shelf or do 1 per person. I still believe our system will benefit people the most and be the fairest. If other places just post and say first come, that is great if you are off work and can get there fast, but it does not benefit you if you cannot. I think you are pre-judging the system before you give it a chance. We have only released Highland Park Ice, Knob Creek 2001 Batch #1 and Makers Mark Pharoah using the new system. We will also be doing random pop ups for rare bourbon releases like we do with the beer. Our system will randomly choose people and a pop up window will come up when you check out at the register and will say you can purchase a bottle of "some rare bourbon". It is a system we started with the beer club and people have been enjoying it very much. Also, bottles will still appear on the shelves without notice for people to find when they are shopping. It is a way to be fair and try to offer out these rare bourbons in a variety of ways. As we do with the beer, some very limited ones will still appear with 1 per person online reservations every once in awhile without notice.Again, this is a way to give more people a chance at getting rare whiskey. We are trying hard to mix it up and give people a chance, that is all we can do. Again, and I mean it sincerely, if someone has a better system to allocate 3 bottles out to 700 people or more, I will entertain the idea. There is no ideal way, we just do the way we feel is the fairest. Try to think about it if you were in the same situation. You have 3 of something and you have 10 people who want it, how would you decide? It is a tough situation we deal with almost every day. We think about it and constantly throw around ideas. We started the Beer program a few years back and after a few hiccups in the beginning, it seems to be working better than we had hoped and customers seem to be happy with it.
The bourbon boom will soon come to an end and all those dusty bourbon bottle will again be dusty on the shelves. One thing I think will change is all the customers you brought into twcp because of your reputation and friendliness/customer service won't be there. The guy who came into buy a bottle of Jim beam and a 6 pack of bud but left with a bottle of Jefferson reserve and a couple different bottles of side project or second shift won't be back. I've heard a strong middle class makes for a strong country. I think the same is true for your business. TWCP will go back to the 1%, who were know have short arms and deep pockets. I truly hope that your able to maintain the character of TWCP along with the stocked shelves of well prices wine/beer/spirits. Oh I started buying $32 a lb cheeses and the $9.99 lb of parm ( great price and even better cheese) I won't go back to Kraft though.
This thread has been a fun read. A few questions for the original poster. Is your issue just with The Wine and Cheese Place and how they run their rewards program or is your issue with the Bourbon game in general? Why shouldn't someone who consistently buys a case of wine a week be valued as a customer as much if not more than someone who buys 1 maybe 2 bottles of Bourbon a month? It seems the great customer service and great pricing is what will "bring back" (why would they have left) customers if the bourbon boom does in fact end.
We are just trying to adapt out of necessity as the market changes. I will have been working here for 30 years in a few months and have seen the market change so many times. We used to have to allocate out Silver Oak Cabernet and Duckhorn Merlot 20 years ago. The market changed and now those wines are on the shelf now. A few years ago beer was insane but has cooled down because of so many choices now. People would fight for Boulevard Saison Brett, Founders Devil Dancer, Founders Imperial Stout and others that we now have on the shelf. Now it is Bourbons turn, if the bourbon boom does bust, we will adapt to that. I am not sure what else to respond to this post. I have tried to answer the questions and concerns the best I could and honestly. I know people do not like change, but we are at least going to try the WRC up until the Pappy release in the fall and then decide if it is working. If it does not seem to help, I will be the first to admit and scrap as it is a lot of work to maintain.I am not sure which bourbons your are upset about specifically and how you assume you will not be able to get those anymore. We recently put Eagle Rare on the shelf, Col Taylor still will make the shelf, Blantons will still make the shelf. There will still be a lot of Bourbon on the shelf. I still cannot stress enough that if we only have 3-6 bottles of something how will us not having the WRC help your chances of getting the bottles? I am trying to understand your concerns. Only 3 people can get a bottle - there is no way to get it to everyone.
(original poster)It doesn't matter anymore.I'm not mad at anyone. Just frustrated with the entire situation.Here's a legitimate question for Paul.Once someone gets an allocation through wrc, do they then have a time period where they are not eligible for awhile?For example did the #1top spender get emails for American pharoh, knob 2001, orphan barrels, whatever scotch you did, compass box, bookers rye, and 1792 full proof?For example, if I came in Monday and became the top spender (by buying a ton of wine), would I receive an allocation of every wrc release bottle as long as I held that top spot?
Wow. I hope everyone in here is a strong swimmer or has a life jacket, don't need anybody drowning in all these tears....
I think the blog gets screened. I guess I struck a nerve. It's not like I have inside info, I just say what I think. That's the thing that sucks about the Internet, anybody can judge you and your business. No body cares about my opinion!
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