By @paddockjudge on 25th Jul 2018, show post
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@Hewie whoops - not sure what happened with that last message. Gremlins at work in my phone methinks
3 months ago 0
A contrarian view point on How Fucked Up is The LCBO:
As @paddockjudge's thread states "Share your tales of woe, concerns, outrage, bewilderment ..."
From the LCBO side:
atrocious lack of production knowledge (beer, wine, spirits)
poor customer service from both on-line customer service reps. to poorly trained floor staff
their inability to co-ordinate product releases
a flaky APP and Website (@Nozinan clear your cache)
the shady dealings of management and agents
messed up warehousing and logistical system
piss poor product pricing
avoidance and inability to answer basic customer questions, "why do you recommend this The Macallan?"
or (from myself) having to inform a sales rep. about a wine or spirit (flavour profile and uniqueness) because he/she doesn't drink alcoholic beverages
the dirty condescending looks when you return a product, you know "why do I have go through the bureaucracy of processing your return"
inability to co-ordinate policy regarding product purchase limits on product releases
ghost product listings
Observations and Recommendations:
I've had the luxury of being at home the last few weeks with a bit of a health issue. I've been keeping a look out for a few products which have been released.
Laphroaig Cairdeas Triple Wood was released a few days ago in stores maybe a case of six bottles to about ten stores. They sold out quickly. Then the following day over
120 bottles released on line and few more store releases. The 120 on-line were sold out by noon. Day three, saw another 62 bottles on-line and a few more store releases.
The on line sold out by noon.
Another product I was watching came up on line and sold out within minutes.
This is not an isolated occurrence @BlueNote experiences with the BC Spirit Release and @cricklewood's experiences are similar - products that sellout the minute once released for sale.
It was rather bewildering. Who do I blame for this manic whisky craze? In the words of the NHL Nashville Predator Fans "It's all your Fault".
How to increase your chances of getting a limited release bottle:
Those on Connosr(geographically close) start forming relationships with fellow members and co-ordinate purchases and product information among your cliche. Yes, it's not about exploiting them besides, you may never get invited to another tasting. All trades are fair and reciprocal.
If your a lone wolf take @Nock's policy regarding ECBP "don't leave any on the shelf".
Someone is always willing to pick up spares in your possession. If not return it to the LCBO as a last resort.
2 months ago 5Who liked this?
@fiddich1980 It's like deja vu all over again. You could easily substitute BC Liquor Stores for LCBO.
The whole business with the almost instant sellouts on these special releases has a bad smell. On the day of the annual Spirit Release, they opened the major stores at 5:00am. By 8:am anything of note and/or affordable was sold out. Rumour has it that much of it has already been appropriated for restaurants and bars. This, even though they state that nothing will be sold or held before opening time on the first day of the sale. If you don't live in Metro Vancouver and aren't willing to camp out half the night before, you are pretty much S.O.L.
2 months ago 3Who liked this?
@BlueNote I hate to say this in public but, you don't follow me on Connosr:
If I were to strategically buy from the BC Spirit release it would not be in Vancouver. I would book an overnight stay in Victoria and hit the BC Liquor Store on Fort Street. I think there would be less competition.
2 months ago 2Who liked this?
@fiddich1980, well said. That is quite the précis of LCBO performance..... they do get it right once in a while, but not often enough for me to start a thread “ How Great is that LCBO!”
2 months ago 4Who liked this?
@fiddich1980 I'll rectify the follow situation right now. Somehow I thought we followed each other.
Good point about getting out of Vancouver for the Spirit Release. I should have thought of Victoria as I have friends over there. We don't live in Vancouver, we are on the Sunshine Coast which is still on the mainland, but accessed by ferry. That's what makes it difficult to get a look in on the Spirit Release offerings. BC Liquor Board really couldn't care less about us outlanders.
@fiddich1980 that's a precise summary of the major issues with the LCBO.
Through the lens of the disastrous LCBO I have come into a new appreciation of the SAQ, there's still plenty to complain about but I have come to appreciate the little things I took for granted.
It still blows my mind how little spirits/wine training the LCBO provides as well as the lack of sampling options in stores other than the few which have a tasting bar.
I have to say I was impressed when I went to the Crossroads branch of the LCBO to return 5 bottles in exchange for 2 they had listed as available.
The agent refused service to someone ahead of me not because he was under 19, he looked mid to late 20s, but because the ID was fake. I was really worried that she would find something wrong with my ID but she accepted it, and had some trouble with a couple of bottles listed but not in stock (the packaging might have changed) but got someone to help her and took care of everything. Courteous and professional.
Why do I bring this up? Not to refute anything @fiddich1980 or @paddockjudge have written, but to point out that if competent service sticks out in my memory, there's a reason for it...
@Nozinan I am sympathetic to the floor staff at the LCBO. They are civil servants working 5 hour shifts and are barely getting ends to meet.
The post was about just how crazy and manic the demand for "limited releases" has become. The LCBO is par for the course "It not their fault". We're (Ontarions) are getting what we pay for when it comes to the LCBO. The fault is ours. Anyone who wants a special release bottle needs to start hunting for those bottles pro-actively and in concert with like minded people. This is what sites like reddit and connosr have the potential to become. Maybe more social and interactive than what was previously possible.
@Nozinan He was probably under 19 - otherwise, why would he have fake ID?
2 months ago 1Who liked this?
@fiddich1980 I'm sympathetic to the staff as well, but any retailer - especially one that is a monopoly - should feel more responsibility to properly serve their customer base. As a film distributor, I deal with Cineplex on a daily basis, and ever since they became a monopoly they have been more and more difficult to deal with; and I know a lot of people who feel they are better served by independent cinemas who work harder to please their customer base.
Yes, I see that obtaining the special release whiskies in Canada is very much already going the way of obtaining Pappy Van Winkle. This I saw coming with the first release of Lot 40 CS and the first release of the Northern Border Collection. I then gave it 2 to 5 years to develop. It has been 2 years at this point. Getting the high end bottles was so much easier 10 years ago when only @paddockjudge was buying them.
Next step: masses of irate customers making demands of the politically controlled monopoly distribution systems. Step after that: all limited release bottles by lottery.
Carpe diem. Get them now if you can. You are now in about 2012 in the US for BTAC and Van Winkle. By 2014 the odds on obtaining any of these became "slim and none".
And, it was in the third quarter of 2012 when the prices of Van Winkle and the BTAC whiskeys went vertical on the secondary market price charts. .
@Victor speaking of BTACs. This was advertised on radio in Calgary. 200 people showed up (including 4 people associated to me) at one location and were given raffle tickets. By the time my BIL’s number was drawn everything good had been distributed. But at least it was fair.
The store is selling Lag 16 for under $100 as well. Great compared to KGBO.
@Nozinan this is the sad state of current affairs. I remember seeing about 7 bottles of Van Winkle 12 yo sitting on the shelf at Summerhill in Toronto in about 2011. At the time I thought to myself, "These Canadians do not know what this is. If this were the US these would be gone within a day's time, and there would be zero bottles of Van Winkle 12 on that shelf." At the time I didn't want more of them enough to buy any of the bottles. With what I know now I would have bought them for later barter.
The LCBO appears to want to get into the spirit (pardon the pun) of black friday. From tomorrow until Dec 4 they are having a sale on some of their product. Three that I saw are: Laphroaig Quarter Cask (regular price 8 9.95 - sale price 79.95); Jack Daniels (regular price 34.95 - sale price 29.95); and Cardhu (regular price 82.95 - sale price 74.95) By the way, Carhdu sells for under 40$ in Fla. There are also some Canadian rye on sale as well. I don't believe for a minute that anyone will be lined up at the door to crash the 10am opening.
@PeterG7 Before factoring in the Black Friday sale (which starts at 2 am here and there are no previews but EVERYTHING will be 5-40% off), Zyn can beat 2/3 of those - QC is $72, and Cardhu 12 is $69. Check out the price tomorrow and add $9 per bottle for shipping and you'll see the KGBO remains as "competitive" as ever.
@PeterG7 Laphroaig Quarter Cask was a staple of my cabinet for a few years....back when it sold for $72 at the regular KGBO price. And it used to go on sale for $66-$68 regularly. And this was only 2-3 years ago. My how times have changed. Cardhu 12 is a nice, sweet, simple malt, but even the BLACK FRIDAY SALE PRICE at the KGBO is more than it's worth. The Lagavulin 8 Year Old at $80 is mighty tempting though. But I noticed today that the Nick Offerman Lagavulin 11 Year Old is coming. Maybe I'll wait a bit before spending my KGBO gift card. Oh, and my 40th birthday is coming, so maybe I'll wait until after then too....
2 months ago 0
@Nozinan The ZYN sale started now. Still a possibility of adding more but this is a big time sale on right now.
@Astroke It certainly is... I am picking up a Corry for half the price it would cost me here.
@OdysseusUnbound - snap up the Offerman when you can if you're interested. I noticed they're already going for over £200 here! I could almost get two Laga 12s for that price ... crazy!
So between the Zyn sale and some LCBO scouring, I've managed to score most of this year's Northern Border Rare Collection except the Lot 40 CS. Any idea how / where I can get one? I fear the LCBO is too fucked up to even try, and when I ask staff they get deer-caught-in-the-headlights-face.
about one month ago 2Who liked this?
@talexander ....they've seen the light. Slow roll out.
about one month ago 0
@talexander Have you tried it? Are you sure you want one?
@OdysseusUnbound grimace is too mild
about one month ago 1Who liked this?
@OdysseusUnbound No, but I still want one. Anyhoo, I did manage to get one.
@paddockjudge Like a lot a us I bought one to complete the set. Did load up on AP CS though.
@Astroke, I'm focused on W23. I never thought I would see the day when there are too many good Canadian whiskies to load up on all of them...that day has arrived.
Uh oh. Guess things are slowing down in the LCBO auction world....my series of low bids may have paid off....except now I'm broke-ass!!
about one month ago 4Who liked this?
Guys, I'm gonna need some help drinking all these new bottles..........
about one month ago 5Who liked this?
@paddockjudge Angry at me or at Corby? I’ve only had one taste of this year’s Lot 40 CS, but I’m fortunate enough to have a sample for further tasting from @fiddich1980 (or was it from @Nozinan ?). First impressions was that it was interesting, but very different from the typical Lot 40 character. Lots of different aromas and flavours, and not all of them pleasant (for me). Nevertheless, I think it’s commendable that Dr Don is pushing boundaries and taking chances; it’s just that they aren’t all going to be winners.
As to Wiser’s 23, I’m probably going to pass. I’ve learned to read between the lines and interpret Jason Hambrey pretty well, and while his review is glowing, I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t like it. Lots of double column distilled base corn whisky (strike one), aged in a variety of barrels (i.e. plenty of experienced casks, strike two), and an statement that’s not necessarily honest according to Jason Hambrey (not a deal-breaker on its own, but here it just may be strike three). Of course maybe I’m completely wrong in my reasoning. Maybe I would like it, but I’m not spending $150 for something that doesn’t look like my jam, at least on paper. YMMV.
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