Henry McKenna was once an affordable bottled-in-bond bourbon that rapidly sold out when it won best whisky in the world at the San Francisco Spirit Awards. It went from affordable ($30s US), to gone, to now being difficult to find for under $50 US.Read More
Elijah Craig is a wonderful example of why the obsession over age statements is currently overblown. Elijah Craig, made by Heaven Hill Distillery, is their darling premium straight bourbon product. In previous years, it carried an age statement of twelve years. As the demand for whisky increased, the stock of old barrels became an issue. Heaven Hill couldn’t keep the age statement and still continue to release Elijah Craig while also expanding the line into older age statements.Read More
Larceny is in the category of a wheated Bourbon, a sub-brand of the Bourbon category that's glorified by big hitters like Maker's Mark, W.L. Weller, and of course Pappy Van Winkle. Most bourbons use a combination of corn, rye, and malted barley in their starting recipe. Wheaters use wheat instead of rye. It's still a bourbon, but a different take on bourbon.Read More
With murder, theft, and bribery highjacking the whisky news, this year’s headlines have read like they were ripped straight out of the latest Netflix crime drama. Just last week, there was a fatal stabbing over a box of bourbon. Earlier in this year trucks carrying Pappy Van Winkle were stalked as they left wholesalers with drivers being offered bribes for cases of whisky.Read More
This whisky, in many ways, exemplifies a well-aged oaky bourbon—it’s the sort of bourbon I’d love ten years ago. Today’s whisky world has changed, though. I’m often forgetting about Elijah Craig’s existence in my whisky cabinet, which largely contributed to the low whisky cabinet rating. Subtle bourbons can be wonderful; but subtle should still be interesting.Read More
Georgia Moon Corn Spirit is bottled in a hipster-ish mason jar at 40% ABV, and, according to the bottle, it’s less than 30 days old. This moonshine sells in the US for between $6 to $12 (Instagram followers confirmed buying it for $6 in NYC!). It looks like it was made in the deep south at a rusty old distillery running out of someone's bathtub. Despite some misdirection, it’s actually made by Heaven Hill Distillery (behind incredible bourbons such as Evan Williams and Elijah Craig).
The Heaven Hill connection likely explains why Georgia Moon Corn has appeared on LCBO shelves. While it’s great to see the LCBO importing unique barely aged white dog, I do take issue with the price. In Ontario we’re accustomed to paying more for our liquor. Typically, though, the uplift is somewhere between 75% and 100% as compared to the same whisky sold in the US. The LCBO is charging a whopping $32.95 per bottle for Georgia Moon Corn. That's 5.5x more than the cheapest price in the US or 2.75 times the most expensive price.
Even by LCBO standards, selling a $6-$12 product for $32.95 seems excessive. As far as I can tell, the cheapest 750ml 40% ABV spirits available at the LCBO are Canadian Club and Cutty Shark. Surely Georgia Moon Corn Spirit could have been priced in that same $25 range. But would that even be the correct price?
Putting Georgia Moon Corn in the same pricing class as very affordable Canadian whiskies and blended scotches misrepresents the quality of this product. Ideally, private markets establish price based on competition. Government monopolies have no such burden. To me, that places the burden of pricing spirits correctly on the LCBO.
I don’t know how the LCBO decides on price. It is possible that there are existing agreements that prevent the price of Georgia Corn Spirit to go any lower. However, if that’s the case, do the consumer a favour and don’t include moonshine. At the current LCBO price-point, it’s ridiculous. In fact, I’m not even as annoyed at the price as I am at the fact that those same shelves could, instead, be filled by any number of excellent $18 whiskies uplifted to $32.95.
Are there other oddly priced spirits? Let me know bellow!
Side-note: The LCBO imported the cheaper 40% ABV Georgia Corn Spirit. There is a 50% ABV Georgia Corn Spirit that’s generally available for around $14 in the United States. The LCBO also included Georgia Moon Apple Pie Corn Spirit at $29.95 and bottled at 35% ABV.