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 looking to get their hands on bottles like Pappy Van Winkle.
In year’s past, this would require waking up at an ungodly hour to stand in line in the wet and cold to hopefully be early enough to snag that extra rare bottle to add to your collection. But, since the start of the pandemic, the BCL has switched to an online ordering system that is much more effective, and quite frankly fair. This year, the online ordering system will be available between October 28-30th.
Here’s how the online system works:
First, You can find the full brochure here. You’ll want to review what’s available, how many you can buy and whether the bottle is part of either the draw, pre-order or general release as each will require you to do slightly different things.
The first is an online draw for the chance to purchase a whisky from The Collectables; a range of extremely limited, older whiskies. These are the cream of the crop, like the 50 year old Glendronach for $38,000 or the Dalmore collection set for a whopping $200,000! Buyers can enter online from October 28 starting 12 noon until October 30 11:59 p.m. PST. There’s only one draw entry per person and selected winners will be notified via email for pick up at the 39th & Cambie location.
The second is the online pre-order segment for products that have limited inventory and are highly sought-after. Pre-orders are open from October 28 starting 12 noon until October 30 11:59 p.m. PST. Pre-orders will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis. Bottle limits will apply for all pre-order products. 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. Once orders are placed, orders can be picked up between November 13-17th.
The third is the general release on November 13th, 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 8:00 a.m. As well, they will not be permitting any line ups prior to November 13th.
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 13th.