Our Private Barrel Program

Posted on: 04/10/18 3:09 PM

Welcome to Gordon’s Private Cask Program!

It all started back in 2007, when one of our vendors made us aware of a new trend in the industry where a retailer or bar/restaurant could purchase an entire cask of whisk(e)y and have it bottled for sale, exclusively through that business. 11 years ago, the idea was pretty bold. Of course, single cask American whiskies like Blanton’s had been selling successfully since the ’80’s and, even before that, independent bottlers in Scotland had been active in the space. But, selling the entire contents of a cask of whisk(e)y called one word to mind for us at the time: risky. This was because, buying a cask meant selling at least 30 cases of one item (the quantity of cases depended on a number of factors like where the whiskey was made, length of aging, etc) and these weren’t $15 bottles either. We’re talking at least $40/bottle and, sometimes, considerably more. This was by no means a home run.

What helped us to get over the mental hump and seize this opportunity was a combination of factors; 1) The quality of the barrels made available to us was fantastic and, we thought, superior in many cases to the single barrel bottlings released widely to consumers and 2) the instant point of differentiation these private casks provided to the retailer who bought them. And anyway, what’s the worst that could happen…we wouldn’t sell a single bottle? Like that had any chance of happening! After all, we had employees, including your’s truly, chomping at the bit to snatch up multiple bottles.

So, we carpe diem’d. One whole barrel of Buffalo Trace (42 6pks) came our way in the spring of 2008 and we got down to the business of selling it. To our surprise, the entire quantity took all of 4 months to move out the door. Wow, we had a winning concept on our hands! The only problem was that the number of distilleries selling single barrels was low (one or two) and, usually, when they sold you one, that was it for 6 months to a year. Gradually, however, more distilleries jumped in the game and made some of their finest aged product available to stores like Gordon’s. Since our customers seemed to appreciate the novelty, soon we were selling entire barrels of Four Roses and Eagle Rare…at the same time. The endeavor was beginning to take on a life of its own and we couldn’t have been happier with the results (both the sales and the whiskies!).

Fast forward to today and we think you’ll find our single barrel program to be one of the best in the country. Sure we’re biased but, this past decade has taught us a lot about sourcing single casks; what suppliers to partner with, which single casks actually bring “the goods”, who we can lean on to get that one barrel that wasn’t meant to be sold to only one store, etc. We pick all our private casks through blind tasting to ensure we don’t unduly bias our palettes or our buying decisions. At this point, we’ve traveled all over the world (literally) in search of the best of the best and even branched out to other spirits categories like Armagnac and rum! We can confidently say that every exclusive Gordon’s bottling is the real deal – fantastic single cask whisk(e)y (or other aged spirit;) at value prices. So, dive on in, the liquid is (very) fine.

Simply put – Follow our Single Barrel Program, Enjoy Phenominal Whiskies, and Earn Points to our Rare Whiskey Raffle event!

Gordon’s Private Barrels

Posted in Whiskey List By Ken Gordon