Pennsylvania liquor board to raffle off rare Bourbon

Pennsylvania’s Liquor Control Board (PCLB) is to host its first limited-release liquor lottery later this month in a bid to make limited-quantity wines and spirits and rare whiskey more fairly available.

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The lottery will take place on 13 October and will feature 24 bottles from Buffalo Trace’s Experimental Collection, including 12 bottles of of the Bourbon producer’s 100 proof French oak barrel-aged Bourbon. Each 375 ml bottle will cost $48.49, according to the PLCB, with purchases limited to one bottle per person.

Previously the PLCB hosted a first-come, first-served sale of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon, which was so popular it caused the website to crash.

“In recent years, certain products have become very popular among aficionados, enthusiasts and collectors”, said the PLCB’s chairman of the Board Tim Holden. “When sold through our traditional online store in the past, the extraordinary demand for these products, which are often sold at prices far below what consumers find in other states, often led to products selling out within only a few minutes. In order to ensure that all consumers interested in a particular high demand product have a fair chance to purchase the product, we have developed a lottery system for our most limited products.”

The sale will see 75% of products available to individual Pennsylvania residents, and 25% reserved for on-trade premises.

“Our licensees are important not only to our business, but also to the local and state economy as a whole, so we felt strongly they should have opportunity to buy a quarter of our supply without competing against retail customers,” said Holden.

To take part in the lottery, residents of Pennsylvania must register at FineWineAndGoodSpirits.com, with lottery winners selected at random by a computer program.

“We believe a lottery system is the fairest way to sell highly limited and very popular products to our consumers,” added Dale Horst, the board’s director of marketing and merchandising.

“We have a responsibility to make sure the process of selling those products is equitable, and the lottery process levels the playing field for our customers.”

Following the lottery, any products left over will go on general sale to both non-Pennsylvania residents and lottery winners at FineWineAndGoodSpirits.com.

The sale of alcohol in Pennsylvania is controlled by the state, which owns Fine Wine and Good Spirits stores, with prices consistent throughout the state.

The PLCB regulates the distribution of beverage alcohol and operates more than 600 wine and spirits stores statewide. Taxes and store profits are returned to Pennsylvania’s General Fund.

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