It took just seven minutes for Arrow Wine & Spirits’ Centerville store to sell out of a special release of bourbon today, Friday Aug. 24.
The state-agency liquor store on Lyons Road store in Washington Twp. was one of only six liquor-agency stores in Ohio — and the only store in the southern half of the state — to sell a special limited-release, Ohio-exclusive bourbon from Maker's Mark. The event was set up by the Ohio Division of Liquor Control.
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The store received an allocation of just 54 bottles of the Maker’s Mark Ohio Select. Even with a limit of one bottle per customer, there were about three times as many people in line to buy the special bourbon than there were bottles available when the Arrow store opened its doors at 9 a.m.
The first two people in line arrived by 5:30 a.m.
“When I got here at about quarter to eight, I could barely find a place to park,” Arrow Centerville co-owner Denny Freyvogel said.
Some bourbon enthusiasts who missed out on the special release after standing in line were clearly disappointed and frustrated. But many found other bourbons to purchase, and picked up a few other items from Arrow’s beer and wine aisles.
“I was surprised how many people bought other things,” Freyvogel said.
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Each bottle of the special Maker’s Mark Ohio Select cost $65.36.
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The number of bottles that were available during this release were more limited than a similar offering in June of an Ohio- exclusive Russell's Reserve Barrel Program product from the Wild Turkey Distillery, which was also sold at Arrow. That Friday morning, more than two dozen people were already in line 45 minutes before the store’s 9 a.m. opening time, and the store’s allocation of the special bottles sold out in 90 minutes.
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The special Maker's Mark Ohio Private Select bottling. Photo from the Ohio Division of Liquor Control
The other five Ohio liquor-agency stores chosen to sell the special Maker’s Mark bottling were in Toledo, Akron, Medina, Port Clinton and Powell (north of Columbus).
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Here’s how the Ohio Division of Liquor Control Superintendent Jim Canepa described the special bourbon offer:
“We traveled to Maker's Mark's distillery in Lorretto, Kentucky and worked with the Private Select team, led by Scott Mooney, to select two barrels specifically for Ohio. These barrels are different than other barrels programs because we selected the finishing staves used to create the flavor profile of the finished whiskey.”
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“In the Private Select barrel process, there are five different types of wood staves that are added to the base Maker Red Top at barrel strength. A total of 10 staves are placed in these barrels which creates 1,001 different flavor variations. With the selected staves in place inside the barrels, they are rested for an additional nine weeks in a temperature controlled area. The final product has notes of vanilla, caramel and mocha over a little spice and smoke. I think bourbon fans will enjoy the final product when it hits shelves on Friday.”
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Prior to the June release, Jim Canepa, superintendent of the Ohio Division of Liquor control, said in a release about the special bourbon, “I hear you . . . Ohio loves bourbon!” And he promised more such special releases were on the way.
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Under Canepa’s direction, the division has been focusing on upping Ohio’s game in sales of spirits, with an increasing focus on educating consumers about craft spirits and adding new stores in under-served areas.
The division also recently awarded contracts for new liquor-agency stores in south Centerville and Mason.
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