Every year, rare spirits drinkers in British Columbia wait patiently for BC Liquor to announce the line up of the annual premium spirits release. Inevitably the rare bottles draw intense crowds and intrepid buyers lining up days in advance to get their hands on bottles like Pappy Van Winkle.
Thankfully, the BCL will be continuing the tradition this year, but things are a little different and there are some new rules in place. Pay attention to the changes, because if you don’t you may risk missing out on that coveted bottle.
First, everything is going online, at least as far as ordering is concerned. That means no lineup’s and no dedicated single day for all the rare bottles. You can find the full brochure here.
There are three different elements to the online ordering system:
The first is an online draw for the chance to purchase a whisky from The Collectables; a range of extremely limited, older whiskies.
The second is the online pre-order segment for products that have limited inventory and are highly sought-after. Online pre-orders will start at 8:00 a.m. on October 23 through to 11:59 p.m. on October 25 on a first come first serve basis. Bottle limits will apply for all pre-order products. Starting Friday, October 23 at 8:00 a.m., you may place your pre-order online. All pre-order products will be available on a first come first serve basis with bottle limits. Here is the important part: there is only one pre-order per person. Once you have submitted your pre-order, you will not be able to submit another order for another store, nor edit your order.
Anyone who gets a confirmation for their pre-order can schedule a pickup at a location and time between November 14th to 22nd.
The third is on November 14th, the Premium Spirit Release Day, there will be a wide range of whiskies, rums, gins and cognacs offered for in-store purchase to intrigue any spirit lover. Participating stores will have special opening hours to provide early access to shoppers starting at 7:00 a.m. As well, they will not be permitting any line ups prior to November 14th.
For those that are looking for the annual Pappy Van Winkle products, there are none. BCL says “stay tuned” for more info on those releases.
So to be clear: for the rarest of the rare, there’s an online raffle draw; for the limited releases, you have to complete an online order form; for the remaining bottles, you can go in store November 14th.