New Sites Help Track Prices of Black Market Bottles

Thanks to the Internet, pricing guides now exist to help you keep track of the world of black-market bourbon and whiskey, says First We Feast. Within the past year, two online “blue books” have surfaced in an attempt to track the quickly changing prices in ‘secondary-market whiskey selling,’ as the collectors, buyers, and sellers call it.

Bourbon Blue Book is the work of John Bull, a bourbon enthusiast and VP in sales and marketing from Arkansas by day, and Bottle Blue Book is the brainchild of Justin Sloan and Dan Donoghue, firearms dealers in Kentucky.

Before these sites began publishing real-time data collected from anonymous reports from recent black-market purchasers and sellers, enthusiasts traded pricing info on Facebook and other corners of the Internet. Despite a recent swell in popularity, attempts to systematically catalog the secondary market for high-demand hooch like Pappy and are still young. As Donoghue told First We Feast, he is reluctant to begin publishing the data he’s gathered, despite requests for bottle prices from some users – he feels more data is needed.

While going public with the sometime astronomical prices paid on the bourbon black market could help people flip bottles to make a pretty penny, Donoghue argues his site and others like it are simply helping people stay informed about harder-to-find bottles. Ultimately, he says, users can do with the information what they wish: “Unfortunately, [flippers] exist, but we do not advocate that people clear the shelves simply to make a profit off of the bottles they just picked up.” [First We Feast][Photo: Flickr/Edsel Little]