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Apr 28, 2007 06:00 AM

Best Bourbon Selection - retail sales?

I'm looking for recommendations for the best bourbon selection in a retail store in the DC area. I live in Falls Church and work in DC. I'd go to MD if need be. I'm looking for a very hard to get bourbon (George T. Stagg) so I'm thinking a retailer with a big selection that will be able to get it when available. I like Schneiders in DC and the VA ABC stores actually do pretty well, just looking for other options. Any advice appreciated.

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  1. Potomac Wine & Spirits on Wisconsin. I get my 1792 Ridgemont Reserve from Steve over there - and he'll get you anything at a very, very good price.

    1. Hello- I have a Maryland Beverage Journal (Lists all liquor and wine available in state and from which wholesaler). George T Stagg is distributed by National Distributing in MD. Try Corridor Fine Wine and Spirits in Laurel, MD. (Disclaimer: I am affiliated with that store) and they can special order for you if the wholesaler has in stock. Also-biased opionion, but the store also has a good bourbon selection. You can also try to special order from the VA ABC if Stagg is your drink and you want to order that. They have a website: which has the Stagg listed for 51.90/bottle.

      5 Replies
      1. re: jabanero

        Thanks, this is very helpful. VA ABC lists it in their special order catalog but tells me they can't get it. Strange. I'm not sure if the store manager just isn't trying or what the deal is. Just not very helpful -- feels very much like I'm talking to a state employee, not a businessman. I'm going to try the special order contact in Richmond or wherever he is in the 804 area code.

        I'll also check out those stores, thanks for the advice.

        1. re: VNovaCat

          George Stagg, and the rest of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, are released in extremely limited quantities each Fall. The bottle or two that the select number of retailers in each state receive usually sell out in 24 hours or so. Stagg currently goes for about $400/bottle on the secondary market. The less popular bottles like Eagle Rare 17 go for around $200.

        2. re: jabanero

          Corridor is one of the best liquor stores I've ever been to, and I have the good fortune to live right across the street from it. It's about the size of a typical Office Depot or other big-box store, and they have literally everything. There's an entire AISLE of whiskey, not mention all the other stuff.

          The only drawbacks are:
          They don't have a lot of cold beer. There's a ton of beer, including some very, very, niche stuff, but little of it is cold.

          And if you're under 25, they photocopy your driver's license every time you buy something. It's a minor hassle, but I really don't like them doing it. It wouldn't be so bad, but I've never managed to get a straight answer from them about why they do it, which is really annoying.

          1. re: GregChiasson

            They claim its an Anne Arundel county law, but I've never heard of another place doing it.

        3. Schneiders is very good, Ace Beverage on New Mexico is good as well and the owner is a huge bourbon drinker I believe. VA is terrible for purchasing liquor. Also, don't forget that will ship to you.

          1. Unfortunately you are in a high demand area so unless you are one of those folks who got the pattern down, and do this for a living (calling liquor stores the day Buffalo Trace Antique Collection arrives, pretend they are holding the stuff for you, know a lot of people working in stores and go from store to store so you can sell on Craigslist for a markup)you are going to be like the rest of us frustrated about the process. The best thing to do is to ask around who works in a liquor store or owns one. Then buy all your liquors from them and ask them to do you a favor when the stuff comes in. I spent (5+)thousands a year at Montgomery County liquor stores, even bought 400 bucks of Yamazaki at White Flint store to try to get on the waiting list for Parkers which they supposedly had a dozen and no dice on ANYTHING. It's really sad. You don't want to shop at Corridor or chains like Montgomery cause they don't care about you from Joe....unless you know their managers personally and got an inside tip. It's not a transparent or fair process, lots of people from liquor stores sell it under the table for a lot more money. I don't mind paying the hyped up market price for this stuff, but don't know whether it's real or not when it's the craigslist. Yes, I have a bottle of George T Stagg in wrappers unopened bought for 81 dollars because a guy working in a liquor shop owes me a favor, but seriously those things are reserved for favors and never hit the shelf.

            My conclusion, yes I like my bourbon but believe the hype has overpriced bourbons above most fine scotch. You can get a Macallan 25 for cheaper than Pappy 23 and much better buying experience. The problem with me is I actually like Pappy 23 better, so decided to pick the best of the 40 regular bottles I have opened, which is Jefferson, can't even find the sad...