Now before anyone gets too upset, we understand that distilleries need to make money. And in order to make money they have to actually sell products, as most places can't afford to let barrels age for 4-8 years before selling anything. That being said, all too often new distilleries are releasing substandard bourbon, and charging ultra premium prices for that bourbon ($100 and over a bottle). If I purchase a bottle of bourbon for $80 or $100, I expect it to be an outstanding bourbon and something I would gladly share with my friends. If instead it's something that has barely seen the inside of a barrel, and the taste reflects that it's raw and unfinished, don't expect me to be a repeat customer of your distillery. It's my opinion that a distillery like that is simply trying to cash in on the bourbon boom, and doesn't care about it's product. A simple solution would be to taste it before selling, and if it's not up to the quality for the price you want, then the price needs to be reduced or the quality needs to get better. Customers won't continue paying for bad bourbon.
Another option that many reputable distilleries use to survive, and I would say thrive, is to produce other spirits (vodka, gin, etc) that can be sold much faster, while their bourbon ages. Other distilleries have decided to purchase older bourbon and mix it in their distillery and label it as their own, in order to produce something of a higher quality while waiting for their bourbon to age. This gives them time to refine what they want their bourbon to taste like, and gives them experience developing skills in mixing bourbons. All of these are good examples of how distilleries can make money and build a customer base, while having the time to develop quality bourbon.
We all want to see the bourbon industry thrive, but trying to shortchange your customer base is not a viable long term strategy.
Jarrod and Philip - Except where otherwise noted
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