Tips on hunting the finest bourbon.
- Craigslist. There are plenty of douchebags who attend bourbon lotteries only to immediately attempt to flip their winnings for an outrageous sum of cash. If you’re willing to pay a premium for outstanding bourbon, this is a great option.
- Safety Tip: Beware of overly-friendly sellers offering free go-karts with the purchase of your coveted bottle.
- Cold-calling. Maximize your time by inquiring about 5-10 bottles per call, maybe more if you have the stamina. This tactic demonstrates that you hold an insatiable thirst for rare bourbon, and that you “know your shit.” Anything less than a thorough 10 minute conversation is a piss-poor waste of time. Pro Tip: Kindly, but Firmly ask them to double check the shelves after they state they are out-of-stock. Many liquor store employees are novices in regards to what distinguishes one bourbon from another. On one occasion I had an employee tell me that he had an endcap devoted to Elmer T. Lee, and when I arrived I was discouraged to see that the employee had confused ETL with Evan Williams Brand.
- Speak directly with the owner. As noted in the previous tip, most liquor store employees are unreliable at best, and can’t tell the difference between whiskey and whisky. If you don’t get the answers you like right away, ask for the owner. Once they’re on the phone, ask probing questions to verify they are indeed the proprietor. “How long have you had the place?”, “How many kegs do you slang e’ry (Nelly pronunciation) month?”, and “What is your net annual income?” are good for starters, however feel free to tailor them to the individual store.
- Avoid stores that don’t incorporate their full name on the store signage: This tip also rings true if you are in search of a reputable massage therapist. If the storefront sign only reads “massage” in bright read letters, you are in luck if you are in search of a light touch massage or a Lake Street handshake. In the case of liquor stores, a sign that only reads “LIQUOR” usually serves as a front for money laundering or other suspicious activities. Other places to Avoid: Online auctions, Joy Park, Nationwide Bourbon groups on Facebook
- Bourbon Lottery. Be sure to arrive late just outside the allotted number of tickets. After standing in line for about 15 minutes, try to locate a former high-school football or hockey teammate and pretend to “catch-up” on each others social media profiles. Once you make a connection about some insignificant play in a game, continue to stand next to your former broski. If someone attempts to call you out for budging, just stand at attention and scream “I’m listening to the fucking song.”