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What's up with the price of Plymouth gin?

wontonton Aug 25, 2008 01:53 PM

My local store doesn't stock it, so I may pick up a bottle now and then when I see it on the shelf, but the price tends to fluctuate more than any other booze I've bought lately. I've seen 750ml bottles priced anywhere from $15 to $20, etc. until last weekend, the store I was in was selling it for $31.99! What is the deal here? Is it growing hype? The price set by individual distributors? FYI, the same store was selling regular old Gordon's for $10.99, so I said hell, and bought that instead.

  1. c
    chazzerking Aug 25, 2008 03:00 PM

    I would suspect a number of causes. first, the exchange rate keeps falling, causing the price of all imports to increase. ( not to get on a rant, but that's what happens when the government insists on financing a war by borrowing from foreign entities and cutting taxes at the same time) Second, Plymouth has been doing a bit of marketing in the US and has had some success with it. Third, because it is a good product, demand has increased as more people find out about it and as is almost always the case, when demand goes up, so does the price. Now, some places have also been pricing b greed, so I'm not sure about that $32 a bottle. I'm still able to get it here for $20.59 per. You might just check and see if the bottle you saw was a liter instead of a 750 ml. That would explain the difference, and they look so similar, you just about need to see them side by side to notice the difference.

    2 Replies
    1. re: chazzerking
      wontonton Aug 25, 2008 03:08 PM

      Yep, it was a 750. I had to check because I was so surprised by the price. It was also on the top shelf with pricier type stuff.

      1. re: wontonton
        Scortch Aug 25, 2008 08:32 PM

        I've noticed the same thing in the Boston area. I know that there's the possibility that the lower priced shops may be distributors or just trying to match their competitor's prices, but yeah, the climb to as much as $34.99 in the burbs seems pretty extreme. Thankfully it seems to be $16-$22 a bottle through most of town!

    2. MC Slim JB Aug 25, 2008 09:10 PM

      Plymouth smelled the money being made in the super-premium gin category by Hendrick's and Tanq Ten and their ilk, redesigned its packaging, and repriced itself upwards to appeal to free-spending dolts who equate price with value, the same suckers who shell out for Grey Goose and other brands of water-diluted ethanol in arty containers.

      A shame, really. I still buy Plymouth for its uniquely mild, mixable character, but that 60% premium over what it cost a year ago really stings, especially since the product itself is exactly the same -- only now we're contributing to higher margiins, shinier marketing campaigns, and a slightly sleeker label. Humbug!

      1. Faune Aug 25, 2008 11:01 PM

        I have notice the same thing too. I used to be able to find Plymouth by me: ~$15.50 for a 700ML bottle (old packaging). Now it seems that at most stores the lowest price you can find it for is ~$27.00 for the same amount (in the new Packaging). This is only over the past month or two. Unfortunately I expect the price will go up even more... but lets hope not :(

        4 Replies
        1. re: Faune
          Up With Olives Aug 26, 2008 10:25 AM

          Oh, how I miss that attractive former packaging. I'm not fond of the drab new label. I don't know what they were thinking, except "upscale vodka".

          1. re: Up With Olives
            quazi Aug 26, 2008 02:29 PM

            my thoughts exactly. It dismayed me so much I even took the time to send them an email with those same thoughts.

            But I guess the new label and press are working. You can definitely order Plymouth in more places than you could 2-3 years ago

            1. re: Up With Olives
              Faune Aug 27, 2008 02:02 AM

              Yeah, I know! it reminds me of Smirnoff or something. I liked the old bottle and bottle cap much better.

              1. re: Faune
                thew Aug 28, 2008 01:40 PM

                i actually like the new bottle design better. stylish elegance, minimal... i like

          2. p
            phantomdoc Aug 26, 2008 03:37 AM

            Bought 4 bottles this month for $17 + Tax At the wine merchant in New Hyde Park. Maybe I should go clean them out before they wise up.

            1. p
              phantomdoc Aug 26, 2008 04:04 AM

              Got Plymouth 750ml for $17 plus tax at winemarket in New Hyde Park earlier this month. They have other specials that you can print.

              1. sailormouth Aug 26, 2008 10:25 AM

                Funny, I just bought a bottle on my lunch break at a place where a few months ago I spent around $16, it went up to $29.99 for the 750 mL. When asked the guy at the checkout what the story was, he said a lot of things are climbing quickly, and as an example he said the beer prices are going up every two to three weeks. The Plymouth sloe gin was $31.99.

                Are there any attorneys on here? Are liquor coops legal?

                6 Replies
                1. re: sailormouth
                  BarmyFotheringayPhipps Aug 26, 2008 11:58 AM

                  Wait, you found the Plymouth sloe gin in Boston? Where? I've been looking everyplace!

                  1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                    sailormouth Aug 26, 2008 12:07 PM

                    University Wine Shop on Mass Ave in Cambridge.

                    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                      AbeFroman Aug 26, 2008 02:03 PM

                      BRIX in the South End has also been stocking Plymouth Sloe Gin. Strike fast though; the initial U.S. release this spring was limited to 1000 half-cases.

                      1. re: AbeFroman
                        BarmyFotheringayPhipps Aug 26, 2008 02:23 PM

                        It looks like they might have released some more, though, because I've been looking for a couple months at all my regular haunts, and then lo and behold, there were eight bottles at Blanchard's in Allston this afternoon! There's seven now. And based on the little nip I had out of the bottle when I got home, there may soon only be six. This stuff is incredible.

                      2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                        wontonton Aug 26, 2008 02:27 PM

                        It's also at Blanchard's in Allston, but it was around 38 bucks.

                      3. re: sailormouth
                        Xaga Aug 26, 2008 12:05 PM

                        Well Beer prices are going up because of Hops and weakening dollar. Anything owned by Anheuser Busch also went up after their acquisition by InBev. I think it's really just Plymouth looking to get more money. Most other imported alcohols aren't rising much. Or maybe Plymouth just has razor thing profit margins.

                      4. p
                        phantomdoc Aug 28, 2008 09:30 PM

                        Bought 2 more bottles of Plymouth tonight 8/28 at winemarket in New Hyde Park, $16.99 plus tax 750 ml.

                        1. w
                          white light Aug 29, 2008 01:12 PM

                          The lowest I've seen it around here (NJ shore area) lately is $22.50. A few other places I've seen it come in just shy of $30.

                          1. a
                            albinoni Sep 10, 2008 07:11 AM

                            It's not only Plymouth.

                            I just went over to Total Wine in Union, NJ to pick up some Swordsman-- a Beefeater-type import (the label, which shows a palace guard, looks like it was done in high school art class) that was a pretty good value when it was priced at 20.99/1.75L last year. A few months ago, it went up a dollar. Now it's jumped to $24.99, just $3 less than they're asking for Bombay or Beefeater. My guess is that Swordsman, as the new kid on the block, was heavily discounting the product to gain a foothold, and is now testing the results of this marketing strategy. Truth is, it's OK, but it's not up to the quality of the others. I passed, and I suspect a lot of others will also.

                            BTW, Tanqueray is now $34.99--on sale! Yikes.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: albinoni
                              phantomdoc Sep 10, 2008 09:35 AM

                              Plymouth is also a new startup, 1793.

                            2. p
                              perrywillis Oct 9, 2009 03:05 PM

                              Are there any less expensive alternatives to Plymouth Gin? Something as smooth and with some complexity?
                              I've about had it with the $30 . No matter where I check here in the Twin Cities area, I can't find a deal. Campari has gone through the roof at many places too.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: perrywillis
                                BustedFlush Jan 4, 2010 02:39 PM

                                I don't know what Boodle's is priced like these days, but it's fabulous.

                              2. s
                                svanhorn Oct 22, 2009 08:09 AM

                                I've found the same as everyone else. Plymouth is hard to find in PA. Up until about 6 months ago I could get a .75L for around $20 in NJ & DE. Then it went up to $30 in both locations. (& was listed in PA for $30 also). A month ago I found it for $20 in MD & was thrilled. Well that didn't last long. Went back last week to stock up again & it was up to $26. While I definitely like it better that Beefeaters & Tanqueray, NOT THAT MUCH. Of course it would help if they would bottle it also in 1.5L to save at least some $. If anyone knows of someplace that carries it for under $25, I'd like to know.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: svanhorn
                                  GinChevyChase Oct 27, 2009 07:26 AM

                                  I just bought it for 17.99 at the Montgomery County MD DLC Stores (On Sale), regular price is something like 22. Too bad it's so far away, but if you're ever in the DC area it may pay to stop in...

                                2. w
                                  white light Dec 26, 2009 08:17 AM

                                  I just found an old cache (ship labeled bottles) for $20.99 (it's usually around $30/bottle here now).

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: white light
                                    Alcachofa Jan 6, 2010 11:13 AM

                                    I hope to find a similar old cache. I miss the ship bottles. And dislike the new price.

                                  2. t
                                    The Big Crunch Jan 14, 2013 12:11 PM

                                    Price just jumped big time in Bethesda, Maryland, from around $26 to $32 a bottle. As this has been my absolute favorite gin, this really pisses me off :(

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: The Big Crunch
                                      ellaystingray Jan 16, 2013 04:09 AM


                                      Unfortunately the prices changes are real and unlikely to change anytime soon. The brand changed strategy a while back and with continuing exchange rate issues along with the fact you are in a control state, if anything they'll probably continue to go up in the forseeable future. Sorry.

                                      1. re: ellaystingray
                                        JMF Jan 16, 2013 08:01 PM

                                        They re-branded again last year and released a new bottle shape and label. Prices always go up at re-branding...

                                        1. re: JMF
                                          The Big Crunch Jan 16, 2013 09:39 PM

                                          I'm sure I'm in the minority, but I really liked the fancy art-deco bottle. Granted, I'm kind've a sucker for that style in general, but I think prefer it to the new packaging. That said, I like the new bottle as well...but that tall art-deco bottle...man, I thought that was pretty sweet :)

                                          1. re: The Big Crunch
                                            JMF Jan 17, 2013 12:40 AM

                                            We all have different tastes. I liked the original bottle, and I have a few empties, and one unopened one, and the latest one isn't bad at all. But the art deco just didn't do it for me.

                                            1. re: JMF
                                              Up With Olives Jan 22, 2013 01:32 PM

                                              Yeah, their last bottle didn't really say art deco to me, it said Premium Vodka. I do like the new flask-style bottle but with the price leap I'll only be drinking it in restaurants. Bombay is a much better deal now. Or if I'm going whole hog it's gonna be Junipero.

                                      2. re: The Big Crunch
                                        hawkeyeui93 Jan 23, 2013 10:27 PM

                                        Although I have only paid more than $25 for a bottle of gin a precious few times [Hendricks and Victoria Gin in British Columbia], I finally had to try Plymouth and shelled out $32 for a bottle in my local liquor peddler in Iowa. It was very good, but for my normal purposes [under $20], I will stick to my regulars: Bombay Original and Boodles.

                                      3. p
                                        perrywillis Jan 24, 2013 02:53 PM

                                        Locally it's going for $32-$35 in twin cities metro area. Sheesh, criminy! For that much, I'd go Junipero for $33, or up the ante to astounding Uncle Val's or a St. George for around $40.
                                        It's a shame. At the previous price point it was a tasty gin at a fair price. They just priced themselves out of my market.

                                        Beefeater is my go-to house gin for martini's, so not as effected as those who use it regularly. My sympathies for those that do/did.

                                        1. t
                                          The Big Crunch Jan 24, 2013 03:28 PM

                                          So, anyone got a cheaper gin that compares favorably with Plymouth? Here's my thing, and I know I might get harassed by the gin police for saying this, while I enjoy gin a good deal, I am not generally a fan of juniper heavy London Drys. Yes, I do keep a bottle of Beefeater around for some things like Rickeys (my city's "native" drink) and G+Ts where I'm fine with the heavier juniper bite, but for most drinks, I prefer the lighter juniper taste of Plymouth. This is especially true for martinis, but also for drinks like The Last Word and the Vieux Mot, which is my GF's favorite cocktail. New Amsterdam was alright to me, but tasted a bit too thin and overly sweet. Hendricks has its uses, but is, IMO, no substitute. The thing that kind of sucks is that I got into gin (and cocktails in general) about two years ago, and quickly settled on Plymouth as my gin of choice. It was relatively inexpensive and was the first gin I really liked, so I've never ventured much beyond it. I dunno, maybe I'll keep buying the stuff, but I'd be open to some suggestions for substitutes. Boodles? Blue Coat?

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: The Big Crunch
                                            hawkeyeui93 Jan 24, 2013 03:50 PM

                                            My two mid-priced favorites [$20 or less] that might work for you are Boodles and Bombay Original [not the Sapphire]. My two cents is that New Amsterdam has a saccharine-like citrus taste and otherwise lacks any juniper-ness. Hendricks is too floral for the drinks I enjoy, and I can drink Beefeaters, but it is a little more expensive than Boodles and Bombay Original in my market [North Central Iowa].

                                            1. re: The Big Crunch
                                              OldFashionedWhiskey Apr 3, 2013 02:57 PM

                                              You might want to give Citadelle (France) a try. I get it for $17 in NJ and I don't think it has an equal at that price.

                                              1. re: OldFashionedWhiskey
                                                ncyankee101 Apr 4, 2013 01:29 PM

                                                I second the Citadelle, my favorite lighter-tasting Gin.

                                                1. re: ncyankee101
                                                  The Big Crunch Apr 4, 2013 01:39 PM

                                                  Cool to hear. It. It's $22.39 up here, which is $12 a bottle cheaper than Plymouth! How would you say it fairs in a martini?

                                                  1. re: The Big Crunch
                                                    JMF Apr 4, 2013 03:42 PM

                                                    Citadelle is a pretty big gin. A lot of botanicals in it and very well crafted. But, maybe too much going on for some to enjoy in a martini. But then again, some folks like big gins in their martini's. I like to use it in a lot of cocktails, and really like it on the rocks.

                                            2. shaogo Jan 24, 2013 03:38 PM

                                              35 years in the booze/restaurant industry here.

                                              I've seen prices fluctuate like this before.

                                              Another current example is Russian Standard vodka; introduced at a low price point; customers say "delicious!" -- Now, they're advertising heavily in print and on television; so beware, the price hike is right around the corner.

                                              On another market category, Budweiser's product "Bud Light Platinum" (an stronger-alcohol "lite" beer) was introduced in select markets last year and the distributors (at Budweiser's command) sent out information that retailers "ought to sell this Premium-brewed product at a premium price point" (in so many words) but that retailers would enjoy a wholesale price point that was the same (alright $.02 a case higher) than regular Budweiser. They're going to raise the wholesale price as soon as the product takes hold in the market.

                                              The Plymouth deal is very similar. It's a very good product (but not gonna compete with Wet, 10, or at all with Hendrick's). It's time as a value-priced product has apparently ended, at least under the price controls where you're located. You'll pay more.

                                              Slightly off-topic: it astounds me that inferior products like Absolut Vodka, Patron and Patron Cafe survive so well merely 'cause they're advertised so heavily.

                                              In the Spirits category, if it's heavily advertised (and publicized) -- and priced in the 'luxury' category, that doesn't always mean it's a good quaff...

                                              1. c
                                                chmichener Mar 30, 2013 03:11 PM

                                                I'm a longtime Plymouth fan, and it wasn't just because it was by far the smoothest, best-balanced, cleanest tasting gin - and the best with a dash of bitters, vermouth, Lillet, whatever - but because it was priced right in the middle (or sometimes lower than middle). And it was also somewhat hard to find, even in so-called martini bars. A year ago, it was somewhere around $24. a fifth in NE Ohio. Now it's $34.95 - exactly the price of Hendricks in my nearest state liquor store. (I love Hendricks, but it's not as "pure" and agreeable on a daily basis as Plymouth.) I've never seen anything like this sudden price escalation. I guess it's the new marketing with the "cool" lime green bottle (though I liked the sleek, art deco look of the blue and white label), and maybe because so many people have discovered what a superior gin this is. But I simply can't afford it any more. The other night I made a few Lillet martinis with Plymouth for my guests and damn, if that green bottle wasn't empty before dinner! Maybe they'll get that stupid Grey Goose/Belvedere market, but they would have been better off going for the Ketel One bracket - up a notch from where it used to be, but not over the top.

                                                1. JMF Apr 4, 2013 03:43 PM

                                                  It's up to $35 in NYC area now. It was a great gin when it was $17 a 750 ml., but...

                                                  1. d
                                                    dkthomasson May 4, 2013 07:48 AM

                                                    I live in Washington DC and the price here is $32.99. But I searched and found stores in California and Texas with prices below $20. I don't understand why there is such a wide variation.


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