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LCBO weirdness

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@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound started a discussion

I just noticed that Compass Box Oak Cross has jumped $22 in price at the KGBO. It was $55 or so for the longest time and now sells for $77. Hard no from me. I thought I’d start a discussion where we Ontarians can post/complain about the weird, wacky machinations of our Liquor Overlords.

6 years ago

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@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@OdysseusUnbound

Last year Benromach 10 (43%) was $60. It is now listed at $80

A few years ago Lagavulin 12 was about $120 or so (I didn't pay for mine - long story - but I would probably not have considered anything higher at the time) now it's up 50%.

Not to mention Uigeadail more than twice the price as available in Calgary.

And then there's A'Bunadh... $20 cheaper than most prices in Calgary, when 2 years ago it was cheaper over there.

I think the only predictable thing about KGBO prices is that they will be unpredictable, and most often overpriced compared to other Canadian jurisdictions.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

Do any of my fellow Ontarians know if/when the KGBO gets/sells the Laphroaig Cairdeas releases? Is it also a lottery or do they just send them all to Summerhill without making them available online?

6 years ago 0

Astroke replied

@OdysseusUnbound The Caideas was usually easily found but because of the somewhat reasonable price it would sell out quickly. The last 3 years I believe it was available as I easily scored the 200 year anniversary bottle,

6 years ago 2Who liked this?

Astroke replied

Try the Aberfeldy 21 year. Was $195 at the LCBO for a long time and the same across Canada with the exception of Alberta ($155 + 5%). The LCBO raised it $100. Gouging clowns.

6 years ago 0

@OdysseusUnbound

@Astroke That’s crazy. I haven’t heard many positive things about Aberfeldy. Is the 21 Year Old any good? Is it worth the hefty price tag? Even Octomore seems a bargain at only $230.

6 years ago 0

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@Mancub
Mancub replied

@OdysseusUnbound

I just saw Oak Cross last week on clearance for $44. Masteron's 10yo went up to $125 from $100, which seems like nonsense to me, they sit on shelves even at $100. I passed last year when I saw it for $80 because all of the recent batches have been met with poor reviews.

Old Forrester Birthday Bourbon 2017 will be landing at the LCBO soon, 83 cases across Ontario. You can expect a price tag of $179 from what I've been told (well above MSRP). The Last time we got it I think it was $69, though that was 5 years ago.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

@nooch
nooch replied

@OdysseusUnbound I had a bottle of the aberfeldy 21 I got from Calgary for $140. Even that was overpriced. Not a lot of complexity there. Mediocre.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

@nooch
nooch replied

Seems to me the only ‘deal’ at the kgbo is Glenlivet 25. It’s $380, which is sig less than anywhere else I’ve seen. Halvsies?

6 years ago 0

@OdysseusUnbound

@nooch I don’t know...Glenlivet 18 wasn’t as impressive as I’d hoped. Glad I got it at just over half the current “inflated” price of $180. How’s the 25?

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

@nooch
nooch replied

@OdysseusUnbound no idea how the 25 is. I’ve had the 21, but at that point my palate was a bit, um, fatigued given that I had already sampled 15 whiskies that day. ;)

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge replied

@Mancub, $179 for Birthday Bourbon is ridiculous! Five years ago that stuff sat on the shelf with a price tag of $69.

I'm discouraged by the current trend in whisky. Perhaps the bubble will burst and a glut of long-aged and fully matured bourbon will be available in 8 - 10 years. During this decade I have gathered a few nice single malts, which I regularly share, and a small cache of select bourbon; however, the value for money has been in Armagnac and Canadian whisky. I continue to harvest the best Canadians I can find and anything else that is of excellent quality at an affordable price. I have a finite budget and I don't worry about justifying the purchase of a few "costly" bottles because I stay on target with my budget. What is my budget? I allow for $200/ mos and a $1, 000 annual binge. That is small potatoes in the long run as I often spent that or more while coaching youth athletic teams, many of those teams without any of my children on them....the upside is that bottles of fine whisky come without helicopter parents. wink

6 years ago 5Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@paddockjudge I regret that I am responsible for some of those binges. Despite the economic downturn and recent increases in Alberta, that remains for the most part the best place to find and buy Scotch and to some extent American and Canadian whisky.

Each year I find items that I can't leave on the shelf both for me and for those for whom I mule. It's been TOO LONG since I have been able to say that about the KGBO.

6 years ago 2Who liked this?

Astroke replied

@OdysseusUnbound Octomore is like $130 in Alberta. The 10 year Octomore is around $215 plus 5%.

6 years ago 2Who liked this?

@Mancub
Mancub replied

Looks like Peat Monster jumped to $77. Artist Blend is the only one that hasn’t seen a big increase, possibly soon to follow?

6 years ago 0

@Mancub
Mancub replied

@paddockjudge Have to agree with you on Canadian whisky and Armagnac. Have you tried anything from Château de Laubade? Their 1998 Bas Armagnac will be released in just a couple days (April 5th). I’m a sucker for vintage brandy. Then again, I had some Jamie Torres 10yo a couple weeks ago and was happily surprised (very good for $30).

6 years ago 0

@Mancub
Mancub replied

@Astroke Wow. $130 seems reasonable. I’ve always held back from Octomore since the $230 price tag puts it in a category with 20 year old whisky (in which I feel it’s age, in part justifies the price).

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

@fiddich1980
fiddich1980 replied

Purely speculation: Could the price increases at the KGBO be a attributed to a raise in minimum wage? Also, given that the KGBO is a provincial government monopoly with a unionized work force, mean an increase in prices. After all, alcohol(SIN taxation) has always been viewed as a luxury item by provincial and federal governments. Yet, they do nothing to promote farmers and distillery start ups. Consumers get shafted from all ends including the corporations that market the stuff. I just noticed that Mortlach 18 year old is now up $50 and Macallan fine oak 15 year old is up $15.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

@Mancub
Mancub replied

@fiddich1980 The LCBO raises prices on liquor every single day. It has become increasingly more noticeable as of late to us whisky drinkers, but they've always done this. I'm not sure there is a direct correlation to wage increase. I think they see stock decrease, especially around popular bottles and their mentality is to raise the prices because they are selling well. People are resigned to just paying more when they don't have other options.

Another bottle increase I noticed today, Auchentoshan Triple Wood just jumped to $95 from $80.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

@WtoW
WtoW replied

I was at a liquor store in Airdrie, Alberta last week and their prices went up 5% to 10% from December. Some high end and popular "web site" products has gone up by 15%. !!!!!!!

6 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@fiddich1980 Don't blame the unions, they already get more than minimum wage and they haven't recently negotiated an increase.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

@fiddich1980
fiddich1980 replied

@Nozinan I'm not blaming the unions, I'm part of one. It is just a fact that when money is involved the consumer ends up getting squeezed. I'm sure there are many factors which have caused this rise in whisk(e)y prices. The exchange rate, the whisky bubble, the LCBO's internal workings, corporate greed and the politics of the recent Federal and provincial budgets ... etc. Then there is the fact that internet and it's ability to communicate opinions of what is good and bad whisky in an instant has created such as high demand and markup on the stuff - be it good or bad.

6 years ago 0

@WtoW
WtoW replied

What I really like to know is how much tax we have to pay for each bottle of liquor, I heard as much as 80% on entry level wine & spirits.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt

@fiddich1980, yeah, but it sounds like @Nozinan is saying that the employees there were already making more then the minimum wage, so an increase in the minimum wage wouldn't have affected your KGB-LCBO-WTF's labor costs and wouldn't be a factor in price increases.

6 years ago 0

@MadSingleMalt

And don't blame corporate greed for high prices. Thank corporate greed for spurring these operations to create the stuff to begin with.

6 years ago 0

@fiddich1980
fiddich1980 replied

@MadSingleMalt I'll just keep buying their stock and collecting the dividend.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt

@fiddich1980, I'm not quite sure what point you're making, but current prices are indeed a reflection of current demand—which is to say that we are collectively willing to pay high prices, so the capitalistic organizations that produce this product solely to earn profits do of course set high prices.

And I don't follow the stock prices of Diageo or whatever, but I bet they've been a good investment over the past few years!

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt

@WtoW, that's gotta be public info, no? I'm sure someone here can tell you—or Google it for you.

6 years ago 0

@nooch
nooch replied

@MadSingleMalt it’s fraught. The lcbo can markup a certain percentage of what they pay per bottle. For scotch it’s basically double. They can’t play with their tax rate. They CAN play with the amount they pay up front so that markup is greater in dollars. Ie. they could pay $25 to a producer, but choose to pay $35 so they will get more revenue back (shelf price of $70 vs $50 for $10 more revenue from a single unit). They argue that the pricing is a form of a deterrent, but that’s bs because I can buy a bottle of 40% abv vodka for $30. So, they are hammering scotch drinkers because they can. It’s not a free market so they don’t have to compete with anyone price wise.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@nooch I disagree that they don't play with taxes. Indirectly they do.

LCBO is a Crown corporation. All profits go to general revenue. If they make a bigger profit, or it they increase the tax, it all goes to the government. So an increase in markup = an increase in tax.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

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