“E.H. Taylor Seasoned Wood Coming Soon” was the title of the email I received on March 29th from the Virginia ABC.
Yes, Virginia is a control state. It’s not that bad, although they seem to have a tough time getting a good supply of Buffalo Trace or Blanton’s. Before living in Leesburg, Virginia, I used to live in Montgomery County, MD for most of my life. Montgomery County is the only county in the U.S. that has its own control board. So living with a control board is, what it is. You get used to it, sort of. I once read that 28 states have liquor control boards. There was a move in Virginia about six years ago to do away with the liquor control, but I guess it is hard to part with that tax revenue.
I have been looking forward to the Seasoned Wood release for some time. I am a big fan of the E.H. Taylor line and have several bottles in my collection. Plus, this was going to be a wheated bourbon, and I had read that it was aged for over a decade. According to the email:
“This small batch of wheated bourbon was aged in barrels seasoned in several ways, including outdoors in natural, open air and bathing in an enzyme-rich proprietary solution. This process extracted unique flavors from deep within the American White Oak. Bottled in bond at 100 proof, this one-of-a-kind whiskey is a must-have for any bourbon aficionado.”
The email went on to say that if you wanted an opportunity to purchase a bottle of this limited distribution, go to the website link provided on March 31 at 9:00 am and sign up. You had to have the store address and store number for signup. First-come, first-served until the supply is gone. $68 a bottle, which I guess is what is good about a control state, no gouging.
Hmmm. My wife and I were starting our annual trip to Savannah on March 31st and would be in the car at 9:00 am. No problem. I forwarded the email to my wife, got the store information and on the big day she was ready to go while I drove.
At the right time, she hit the link and then…. nothing. She waited a while and still nothing. I suggested that she close out and try the link again. This time, she got in, but it was a slow load. Finally, the form came up, and she filled out the info. One field was for our email address which she put and hit submit. Back came an invalid email statement. Only it wasn’t invalid. She tried again with the same result. Not good. Finally, she used a different email address and this time it went through. The time was 9:20. Ok, maybe everyone had the same problem.
And then the message came up on her screen. Congratulations, if you are selected to receive one of the 150 bottles Virginia has been allocated we will notify you by April 8. 150 bottles for one state!!!!! As a hopeful person, I still held out a little hope. I guess in thinking about it if each state got 150 bottles that would equal a release of 7500 bottles which in a limited release sounded about right.
We got back home on April 6th, and while reading through the dcwhisky subreddit, I came across a thread on this subject (90 comments). Guess I wasn’t the only person who had this difficulty. The Virginia ABC website server is just not sized for this type of lottery. Yes, the joys of living in a control state.
I did get a chance to try a pour of Seasoned Wood at Dry 85 in Annapolis, MD. I think if you have followed my posts here at Bourbon and Banter, you know I like this bar. The bartender said he believed they only received one bottle. I enjoyed it. Very nice taste. I just wish it could be a more permanent product.
Wait… I just received another email from Virginia ABC. E.H. Taylor Small Batch, Exclusive Online Offer, $39.99. Hmmm, should I try again?
Hope the Virginia ABC supply of Buffalo Trace increases.