The only way to purchase alcoholic spirits in the state of Pennsylvania is through a state run liquor store. Last year, when the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) released their annual allotment of Pappy Van Winkle, it crashed their website. This year, in attempt to avoid a crash and in attempt to be fair to its loyal Pennsylvania customers, it’s trying a lottery system.
There’s no Pappy Van Winkle this time around but Buffalo Trace Distillery, the owners of the Pappy brand, are releasing 24 bottles of their Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection. This year’s PA allocation includes 12 bottles of French Oak Barrel Aged Bourbon 100 Proof and 12 bottles of French Oak Barrel Head Aged Bourbon. Each 375mL bottle will cost $48.49.
Lottery Allocation is for Consumers and Licensees
Because licensees constitute about one quarter of the PLCB’s annual sales, 25 percent of the each offering will be available to licensees, while 75 percent will be available to individual consumers. “Our licensees are important not only to our business, but also to the local and state economy as a whole, so we felt strongly they should have opportunity to buy a quarter of our supply without competing against retail customers,” said Holden.
We are talking small numbers here folks. This means three bottles for licensees and nine bottles for consumers for each of these releases. Wow, this is a lot of work for 24 bottles. Of course, if you are one of the lucky lottery winners, it’s all worth it.
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“In recent years, certain products have become very popular among aficionados, enthusiasts and collectors. When sold through our traditional online store in the past, the extraordinary demand for these products, which are often sold at prices far below what consumers find in other states, often led to products selling out within only a few minutes,” said PLCB Chairman of the Board Tim Holden. “In order to ensure that all consumers interested in a particular high demand product have a fair chance to purchase the product, we have developed a lottery system for our most limited products.”
Lottery Runs for One Week – October 5 through October 10, 2015
In order to participate in the lottery, interested parties must be registered customers at FineWineAndGoodSpirits.com with billing information on file. Following registration, participants may opt in to this debut lottery between 8:00 AM Monday, Oct. 5, and 11:00 PM Saturday, Oct. 10.
Separate lotteries will be conducted for each of these rare bourbons, and lottery participants may opt into one or both drawings. Purchase is limited to one bottle per participant, and if a participant wins a bottle in the first drawing, the participant will be removed from the following drawing.
Lottery drawings will be witnessed by an independent third party, and winners will be selected at random by a computer program.
The lottery is open to Pennsylvania residents and licensees age 21 or older who provide both a verifiable Pennsylvania billing address and a Pennsylvania shipping/store address at registration. Any registrant with an invalid or out-of-state address will be removed from the lottery.
“One of the concerns we’ve heard most from Pennsylvania residents and licensees is how folks from other states are able to buy up what vendors allocate to the commonwealth,” said PLCB Director of Marketing and Merchandising Dale Horst. “We are taking every step we can to ensure that these bottles will be sold to Pennsylvania residents and licensees.”
Participants will be notified by email when the lottery is complete. Future Limited-Release Lottery offerings will be announced through emails and posted on the website.