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KindAwareness3073 t1_j8412ao wrote

It was about their love of money, not bourbon.


marshall18 t1_j857fl7 wrote

Exactly. Their love of flipping a $250 bottle for $2,000 is what got them in trouble.

Too bad this I just a drop in the bucket. This is happening in every town across the county with the people on your local bourbon “enthusiast”Facebook groups buying up all your favorite bourbons and selling them back to you at a 100% mark up. Retailers that hold onto these bottles and sell at huge markups as well as flippers claiming to be bourbon enthusiast, are the ones ruining the bourbon market.


p001b0y t1_j8624jc wrote

As a former bourbon drinker, I automatically assumed they meant Pappy Van Winkle, which sells for thousands a bottle, is produced in limited quantities, and is basically only available if you are friends with a liquor store owner who sells a lot.


katarjin t1_j86716v wrote

Never seen a bottle of it in my life. Always sold before it even gets to the store


IreallEwannasay t1_j868csx wrote

My job has like 15 bottles in the cellar. It's a whiskey bar and the people who come in usually know their shit. They never ever order it.


p001b0y t1_j86cavk wrote

I’ve heard of $100+ shots of Pappy but never seen it either. I was a fan of Four Roses not a big enough fan I wanted to drop $3,000 on a bottle.


[deleted] t1_j86do1x wrote



p001b0y t1_j86ewgn wrote

Yeah. I meant I wasn’t much of a fan of Buffalo Trace. I worded that badly. I was a Four Roses fan so never really had a desire to try Pappy’s.


Risley t1_j88sq7k wrote

Is buffalo’s trace Good?


jaxn_slim t1_j89g85r wrote

Buffalo Trace is great. They have a large portfolio of solid bourbons and ryes.


[deleted] t1_j87sns5 wrote



Witchgrass t1_j88l1wh wrote

What would you consider really good stuff


TahiniInMyVeins t1_j89wj7r wrote

Not the person you’re responding to but:

Friend of a friend had a liquor store hookup and got some Pappy. Broke it out for a small circle of friends the last Christmas before he moved to Zurich. While I was touched by the gesture the bourbon was… fine. I liked it but didn’t think it was worth anywhere near the hype or price.

I no longer drink much brown liquor and on the rare occasion I do, it is rum or single malt. But I would pick Blantons or Basil Hayden over Pappy, and pound for pound I’d rank Angels Envy above them all and certainly the best bang for the buck.


Witchgrass t1_j8cllbs wrote

I never tried it when I did drink and now I don’t so I probably won’t ever. I liked Basil Hayden’s and the price was right though.


TahiniInMyVeins t1_j8enc1m wrote

I am drinking less and less these days. Honestly if someone put a couple fingers of Pappy in front of me right now I’m not sure if I’d drink it. You’re not really missing out.


IreallEwannasay t1_j88oq38 wrote

Sp I've learned. We have a thing where the bartender at the various restaurant get to choose a bottle to take for Christmas or New Years and I was so tempted to take one of those which are gathering dust in our wine cellar. I chose Azul mezcal because that's my drink and you see, I am an alcoholic. Pappy reminds me of my old sugar daddy who was an architect from Kentucky. Country as shit but Einstein level genius. He'd fly home anytime they were released and bring back a few bottles.


ankylosaurus_tail t1_j86hl58 wrote

Yep, that's what it was, and a few other rare bourbons, I think also made by Buffalo Trace. The officials who have given quotes claim that they were drinking it themselves, not reselling--but that's obviously the smart thing to say, since it's a lesser crime.


sgtpandybear t1_j87pkfy wrote

When I was working at a horse track here in Kentucky they would pay $57 a bottle for 23 year Pappy.


aboatz2 t1_j8ax7l1 wrote

I'm not seeing anything to indicate they resold the bottles. The accusation is that they acquired limited volume bottles using their connections/position, which they would've otherwise not been able to acquire.

It'd be like officials requiring Ticketmaster to give them first access to all concert tickets. Even if they paid full price & didn't scalp them, they're still abusing their position to obtain something with a limited supply which they may not have been able to acquire had they waited for the general sale, & which denies the public access to those goods & services.


BigALep5 t1_j8dkcj7 wrote

The liquor stores here in Michigan always get my friend with last bottle of peach crown left can't find it anywhere 55$ and he buys it!!! 😑


Martholomeow t1_j84sc0e wrote

the article makes it sound like they were just buying it for themselves, not to sell it


KindAwareness3073 t1_j85vved wrote

Sure, sure they were. I mean why sell it for thousands of dollars when you can just drink i, right?


Thr0waway3691215 t1_j87bp1u wrote

There's a pretty big ethical problem that comes with diverting valuable and highly limited liquor to yourself when you're the regulatory board for liquor.


SatanicNotMessianic t1_j873a1v wrote

The article says that that’s what the people being investigated claim. Taking it for themselves is a less serious charge than reselling it for a profit.


ottomaticg t1_j8435df wrote

For those not familiar with Oregon liquor laws.

The State owns the distilled spirits in each store. The OLCC appoints liquor store operators who are responsible for the stores' daily operations. The liquor store operator and personnel are part of a small business operation and are not state employees.

Prices are regulated so a bottle that sells for $1000+ on open market can sell in the hundreds in Oregon. If you can find one.


MoreGaghPlease t1_j84t548 wrote

This is exactly what economists would expect to happen when a price ceiling is set below equilibrium price. The government said ‘you can’t sell above X’ and so supply dropped significantly and third-parties sought to arbitrage at the equilibrium price. It results in a loss of total surplus, and a wealth transfer from sellers to third parties (and a wealth transfer from sellers to some small subset of consumers unaffected by the arbitrage). Or in simple terms: the public didn’t get to buy as much of this stuff as it otherwise would have, and third parties were able to skim part of the profits of what they did buy.


MyWALife t1_j854uz7 wrote

> the public didn’t get to buy as much of this stuff as it otherwise would have,

That may have been the original intent.


MoreGaghPlease t1_j85i5yk wrote

The price ceilings they have are way above the price of 'bottom shelf' liquor. So as a policy objective, much of what it does is likely just redirect consumers to less expensive spirits.

If the goal was to limit overall alcohol consumption, they'd more likely do it with a price floor than a price ceiling (i.e., you must price above $X)


photofluid t1_j88i7eh wrote

High prices can hurt brand value.

Also, wealth transfer can be fair, via a lottery system for example.

Lastly, not all supply bottlenecks can be solved by higher prices.


Send-More-Coffee t1_j8739dg wrote

Counterpoint: I want to be able to buy booze that has a reasonable markup compared to its production/shipping costs. Not all products need to counter their scarcity by finding equilibrium, their scarcity can simply result in hype. Economics doesn't have morals, and makes poor policy as a result.


derf82 t1_j84x692 wrote

Moreover, bottles this rare are typically offered by lottery where you have to win the right to buy it.


bazillion_blue_jitsu t1_j848wdw wrote

There are places where they never had prohibition, and people can just distill their own.


Teripid t1_j84jkh1 wrote

Yes but a 1989 bottle of Grandpa's bathtub gin, while rare likely won't fetch much at auction.


rustymacdonald t1_j84r9cf wrote

Fuck, this is a terrible headline. Why is the focus on painting corrupt officials as passionate liquor afficianados rather than, you know, that they're corrupt?


MillyBDilly t1_j84slfm wrote

Because an ethical headline and journalism doesn't presuppose guilt.

The report facts hence the reason "criminal probe" is in the headline.


rustymacdonald t1_j84vcdy wrote

It still veers far from "facts" by stretching to paint the accused in a sympathetic light. If you want to talk about what is ethical journalism and not making a presupposition of guilt then the headline shouldn't be making excuses for people accused of corrupt behaviour before all the facts are on the table.

It's still a terrible headline running reputation defense for the accused that does not match what is contained in the article. If they were being "ethical journalists" and sticking to the facts the headline would read along the lines of "lawmakers accused of using influence to obtain rare products before the public can access." That's a fact-based recap of what is happening, unlike what was written which reads as "maybe this was wrong but can you blame them when they are really big fans?"


Projectrage t1_j86etof wrote

Can’t wait for them to audit the Oregon lottery and Travel Oregon in our state.

Nepotism is major fault of corruption for OLCC. Lots of old Portland families have their rich kids working there. It’s a way to have influence and power.


whynotjoin t1_j8972vz wrote

The Oregon Lottery has an annual financial report that includes a report from an independent auditor I believe, and winners are public information as well I think. Not sure on Travel Oregon.


Projectrage t1_j89dpup wrote

If they dug a bit deeper. There’s some shenanigans.


wopwopdoowop t1_j83v8ke wrote

> The practice consequently deprived well-heeled whiskey aficionados among the public of the tiny-batch boutique bourbons.

Obviously it’s bad that government officials took kickbacks, but this line was just hilarious to me. Won’t somebody think of the poor whiskey aficionados!!


gopoohgo t1_j83wh2f wrote

Some of these bottles MSRP for $100-$200.

They sell for $1-2k on trading/auction sites.

Using your government office to benefit yourself should absolutely be stamped out


whiskeytango55 t1_j84msh8 wrote

The article suggests they're just drinking it.


Notthesharpestmarble t1_j84v4he wrote

The article suggests they said they're drinking it. An important bit of nuance when someone has just broken trust.


NUDES_4_CHRIST t1_j8547a6 wrote

Or used it to gift to family members. Willing to put a paycheck on them reselling it for extra income.


ontopofyourmom t1_j866pos wrote

They're probably drinking it. Financial corruption is not really part of political culture around here.


Notthesharpestmarble t1_j875r11 wrote

Pardon me for disagreeing, but that's a pretty naive take. Like saying you've never encountered a cougar in the woods, so there must not be any.


ontopofyourmom t1_j87kd9w wrote

I've lived in this state for 43 years and worked for political campaigns.

I mean it absolutely is corrupt here, but it's more like giving your friends big nonprofit contracts. Not bag-of-cash stuff.

Different places have different political cultures.


gopoohgo t1_j84ph82 wrote


Getting Dom for the price of 3 Buck Chuck is still wrong


whiskeytango55 t1_j84qnle wrote

Not as bad though. Improper and unethical but maybe not illegal


ottomaticg t1_j842jpj wrote

Can the governor now look into reason all the Blanton’s, weller and e.h. Taylor disappear before hitting the shelves?


urbandood t1_j84j40y wrote

I know the answer to this. Store owners will call their “best” accounts and will offer them the product before it comes in. So even though the state website will say it’s available, it will be spoken for and not available to the public.


urbandood t1_j84k2sg wrote

Specifically, the manager at Progress Liquor at 8616 SW Hall Blvd, Beaverton, OR 97008 told me this is what he does. So fuck that guy. I was able to score a bottle of Blanton’s in Astoria but the owner would only sell me one, not the two I asked for.


derf82 t1_j84ytz7 wrote

> but the owner would only sell me one, not the two I asked for.

Good. There should be limits.


urbandood t1_j85j1yy wrote

Limit the amount any single account can buy to 1 per unit of time, and I’m good with that.


DuncanIdahoPotatos t1_j84ko78 wrote

Texas, not Oregon, but we can’t keep Wellers on the shelf here either. My local liquor store owner told me when I asked, that they keep it in the back now, and you have to ask for it. You still have to know that’s an option, but at least it IS an option.


sowhat4 t1_j85rdhd wrote

What would happen if you went to where it was produced, bought the bottles, and then drove to Oregon with it? Is that against the law? (I'm assuming you don't sell it and just want it for personal use.)


Adult_Content t1_j88l9ka wrote

The distillery has buying limits and not all products are available in the gift shop. You have to check their website to see what is available that day.


justforthearticles20 t1_j84t10i wrote

I love it. I remember when retailers did the same thing with Cabbage Patch dolls.


PuellaBona t1_j8575cy wrote

I have no idea how those things got so big. They're creepy af.


HauntedCemetery t1_j85pnuf wrote

People literally got trampled to death in the frenzy to buy tickle me elmos. Zeitgeist makes people stupid sometimes.


PuellaBona t1_j862ifo wrote

Ooh, geez. I forgot all about that. Ridiculous times.


November19 t1_j84p51n wrote

Isn’t that how all allocated products work? That’s not nefarious.


urbandood t1_j84phiv wrote

I asked if I could get on the list and he said no, so there’s that.


November19 t1_j84qtl7 wrote

Yeah it sucks, but generally people aren’t going to sell you rare and desirable stuff unless there’s something in it for them. Giving you the opportunity to buy it is seen as doing you a favor, so it’s generally limited to industry friends and really good customers.

It means everyday schmoes get shut out, but that’s just the way it works with allocated products.


MillyBDilly t1_j84rq3a wrote

In this case, they are selling to people who ill pay more then the store is illegally allowed to charge and the owner is taking the extra money under the table.


urbandood t1_j84rstb wrote

I have less of an issue with good customers, huge issue with “friends” getting preferential opportunity to purchase rare goods. I know there’s gray market kickbacks going on. That should be criminal.


corn_sugar_isotope t1_j84wajn wrote

Getting back to the story though, these were state officials that have some control of the distribution stream - and used that to profit personally. Have not read this link, but I recall several were fired recently.


MillyBDilly t1_j84rke6 wrote

well no. Ideally all the produce goes to the shelf, and it's first come first serve.

Holding aside for their best customer is code for charging more then they are allowed.


Boollish t1_j84xgo5 wrote

I mean, there are right and wrong ways to make sure everyone can get a chance at trying a product.

The actual Buffalo Trace distillery puts you in bourbon jail for 60 days when you purchase, so you can get one bottle of any product, the have to wait 60 days to get another. To me, this feels like a very reasonable way (though I've seen some crazy shit people have done to dodge this limit).

At this point, the bourbon retail race is dominated by flippers paying managers under the table and then immediately relisting in Facebook or Discord or any other app. So the "big accounts" are just the resellers.

Sure, flipping alcohol is super illegal, but the liquor industry is very large and is making a killing on the hype, so there is a tremendous incentive to not prosecute.


SpaceTabs t1_j84ruvr wrote

The reason is assholes are buying it up like toilet paper in the pandemic. They sell it on Facebook fairly openly.


derf82 t1_j84y5en wrote

Those disappear in pretty well every control state. Heck, here in Ohio, I can’t even find plain Buffalo Trace.

The only places where they make it to shelves are were they are charging hundreds of dollars over MSRP.


teslaistheshit t1_j84gbn4 wrote

Wow liquor sales are Oregon’s third largest revenue source. That’s why this is such a hot topic. It might also help explain why Buffalo Trace products are so much harder to find on the east coast.


JimsEats t1_j86uvb3 wrote

It's big, but nowhere near third largest (page A7).


teslaistheshit t1_j86vrfk wrote

Ah thanks. Personal income tax by a large margin and everyone wonders why Texas and Florida keep growing


whynotjoin t1_j897jmm wrote

Personal income tax tends to be the largest revenue provider in any state with it, and generally the other fees and taxes may be comparatively lower

It’s also why you tend to see things like much higher property taxes in states without income tax.

Also - as an overall trend Oregon is growing. It just gained a congressional seat.


Skill3rwhale t1_j84php7 wrote

TBH as a native Oregonian I have always thought the OLCC and the way we do things with liquor was ass backwards in many ways.


MillyBDilly t1_j84sf2l wrote

It's actually fantastic. I love it.

But I came form a long proud line of alcoholics(personally I hardly drink) and a state where liquor is sold everywhere.

All alcohol should be treated that way. Bear, wine and so forth.

Knowing alcoholics aren't prowling the streets drunk driving a 2am to get a bottle is nice.


There are many advantage to this system. I guarantee you, when it's gone a lot of Oregonians will want it back. Of course, once gone it will never come back.


Kurtotall t1_j84t6jl wrote

Pappy Van Winkle. Next to impossible to find at retail price.


jawshoeaw t1_j85eod4 wrote

retail price is the only price it can be sold in Oregon liquor stores.


Sea-Veterinarian3547 t1_j84n5yu wrote

Liquor Sales reps gonna liquor sales rep and take a little off the top.


jawshoeaw t1_j85eaiy wrote

He's not a sales rep. State owns the liquor. The state employee purchased the liquor at MSRP which is the only price you can sell liquor for in Oregon AFAIK.


TheElbow t1_j84or84 wrote

This sounds like everyone I know who chases hard-to-get whiskey, but on a higher level.


strywever t1_j85t8m2 wrote

Self-dealing politicians? Say it ain’t so!


PrickASaurus t1_j8676gd wrote

Weird… the government of Oregon has a monopoly on the import, distribution, and sales of liquor. And that was exploited but corrupt government employees. Wonder how that happened.


TahiniInMyVeins t1_j8681lm wrote

I skimmed the article but missed the name of the bourbon… guessing Pappy Van Winkle?


maomeow t1_j87bx5v wrote

OLCC don’t fuck around, that’s for sure


fragbot2 t1_j84rlki wrote

You'd think they'd at least mention a couple of the brands but nothing.


whyreadthis2035 t1_j86jdhx wrote

How many stories start “I was just having a few shots”


jns_reddit_already t1_j873abt wrote

It's all about the Pappy Van Winkle. Honestly, there should only be one capital crime - violation of the public trust. If you steal from the people, or use your position for personal gain, you should be hanged in the public square.


DizzyBlonde74 t1_j8bsoq0 wrote

What makes pappy van winkle so sought after.


jns_reddit_already t1_j8bx90g wrote

James Carville talks about it as something saved for closest friends. Having never had it, I can only imagine. Sad thing is it’s so expensive you can’t even be sure you’re getting the real thing even if you do manage to get your hands on some. Maybe move to Virginia and win the annual PVW lottery?


kstinfo t1_j841uis wrote

Good times while they lasted.


Hard2Handl t1_j84m8bm wrote

Oregon doesn’t trust people to pump their own gas.

It is a disaster of a state.


Has_hog t1_j84qhng wrote

Providing jobs for people is a disaster to this imbecile -- what a dumb take


Ultraferret107 t1_j83v4hh wrote

Not bothering with the article cuz i'm tired. Misuse of funds?


NorwaySpruce t1_j83ygsg wrote

My understanding is they would buy up the good stuff before the public had a chance to. Kinda like that Adidas executive whose son was buying up new sneakers at launch and then reselling them cuz he got first crack at it


BraskysAnSOB t1_j83zlnf wrote

They weren’t reselling. They were fired for using their position for their own benefit. Still wrong, but just wanted to clarify.


EbbyRed t1_j84ieeu wrote

Would have taken you less effort to read for 10 seconds than to type a comment.