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What's up with the price of Plymouth gin?

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.

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  1. 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

      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

        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. 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. 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

          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

            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

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

              1. re: Faune

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

          2. 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. Got Plymouth 750ml for $17 plus tax at winemarket in New Hyde Park earlier this month. They have other specials that you can print.
              http://www.winemarketny.com/

              1. 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

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

                  1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                    University Wine Shop on Mass Ave in Cambridge.

                    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                      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

                        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

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

                      3. re: sailormouth

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

                        1. 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. 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

                              Plymouth is also a new startup, 1793.

                            2. 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

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

                              2. 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

                                  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. 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

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

                                  2. 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

                                      Crunch,

                                      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

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

                                        1. re: JMF

                                          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

                                            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

                                              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

                                        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. 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. 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

                                            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

                                              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

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

                                                1. re: ncyankee101

                                                  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

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

                                                  1. 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.

                                                    http://1000corks.com/wine/Plymouth-Gin