When limited releases of hard to find bourbons get released, it can difficult if not downright impossible for the average consumer to get their hands on a bottle (of course, we know bourbon aficionados are not average people!) You generally have to be a regular customer, know who to ask, when to ask and then be prepared to pay a pretty penny for the luxury of getting your hands on a bottle. Last year, when the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) released their annual allotment of Pappy Van Winkle, it crashed their website. This year, they decided to try a lottery system instead.
Buffalo Trace Experimental French Oak Barrel Aged Bourbon & French Oak Barrel Head Aged Bourbon
The PLCB was allocated 12 bottles of Buffalo Trace Experimental French Oak Barrel Aged Bourbon 100 Proof and 12 bottles of French Oak Barrel Head Aged Bourbon. Each 375mL bottle was $48.49. That’s it, 24 bottles for a 44,743 square mile state with approximately 9 million people age 21 or older.
To help alleviate a run on liquor stores and to try to provide an equal and fair way to distribute these 24 bottles of the “water of life”, the PLCB ran its first ever liquor lottery and we have the statistics on the results.
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PLCB Declares Liquor Lottery a Success
The lottery ran Oct. 5 through Oct. 10, 2015. The lottery attracted a total of 7,180 entries. The complete breakdown of the entries are in the charts below. Winners were selected on Oct 13. Because licensees (restaurants and bars) constitute about one quarter of the PLCB’s annual sales, 25 percent of the each offering was available to licensees, while 75 percent will be available to individual consumers. In an unexpected twist, one winning consumer declined their purchase, necessitating a second drawing on Oct. 16.
The PLCB says that their debut of the limited release lottery was a success and they plan on running a few more before the holidays. Future lotteries will be announced by email to those registered at FineWineAndGoodSpirits.com, as well as on the PLCB website itself.
And the winners are…
Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection 100% French Oak Barrel Licensee Winners
- 1536 Inc, DBA Stateside Restaurant, Philadelphia
- Embury LLC, DBA Acacia, Pittsburgh
- Barrel of Monkeys LLC, DBA Harris Grill, Pittsburgh
Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection French Oak Barrel Head Aged Licensee Winners
- Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association LLC, DBA Hollywood Casino at Penn National Racecourse, Grantville, Dauphin County
- Rolling Rock Club, Laughlintown, Westmoreland County
- Garsacks LLC, DBA The Blue Dust, Homestead, Allegheny County
For privacy reasons, individual names of winners were not released.
Statistical Snapshot of Lottery Participants
Here’s a statistical snapshot of the Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection Lottery, including licensee and individual consumer entries:[table “” not found /]
PLCB conducted four drawings on Oct. 13 per below, and one winner declined his purchase (Wait what? WOW!) of the 100 percent French Oak whiskey, necessitating a second Lottery on Oct. 16 for the remaining one bottle of 100 percent French oak.[table “” not found /]