What Is Allocated Bourbon?

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Written By Berry Mathew

Are you curious to know what is allocated bourbon? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about allocated bourbon in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is allocated bourbon?

What Is Allocated Bourbon?

Bourbon is a type of American whiskey that is made primarily from corn and aged in charred oak barrels. Allocated bourbon, on the other hand, refers to specific batches or bottles of bourbon that are in high demand and therefore allocated to certain retailers or markets.

Allocated bourbon is often produced in limited quantities by distilleries, making it a sought-after commodity among whiskey enthusiasts and collectors. In some cases, allocated bourbons are released only once a year, adding to their exclusivity and making them even more desirable.

One of the most well-known examples of allocated bourbon is Pappy Van Winkle, which is produced by the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery in Kentucky. Pappy Van Winkle is released in limited quantities each year, and its high demand has led to prices that can reach thousands of dollars per bottle.

Other examples of allocated bourbons include the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch, and Elijah Craig Barrel Proof. These bourbons are highly coveted by whiskey aficionados and are often difficult to find outside of specialty liquor stores or online auction sites.

Despite their popularity, allocated bourbons are not always guaranteed to be of higher quality than their non-allocated counterparts. In fact, some whiskey enthusiasts argue that the hype around allocated bourbons has led to inflated prices and a focus on rarity rather than taste and quality.


Overall, allocated bourbon refers to specific batches or bottles of bourbon that are in high demand and therefore allocated to certain retailers or markets. While they can be highly sought-after and exclusive, their quality and taste may not always live up to their hype and price. As with any type of whiskey, it’s important to do your research and taste test before investing in a bottle of allocated bourbon.

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What Does An Allocated Liquor Mean?

Let’s get this out of the way first, an allocated bourbon is not a symbol of quality. An allocated bourbon is simply any bourbon that a retailer, bar, or restaurant has only been given a limited quantity to sell. Some classic allocated bourbons are ones such as Pappy Van Winkle or W.L. Weller.

Why Are Certain Bourbons Allocated?

Liquor stores typically distribute allocated bourbons through an allocation system set up by them to maximize the impact on the store’s profitability. The number of allocated bottles the store receives is typically based on the store’s historical sales of that distiller’s products, their size, and their reputation.

Why Is Buffalo Trace Bourbon Allocated?

All Buffalo Trace Distillery whiskeys are distributed “on allocation.” This means there’s a specific number of bottles allocated to each state throughout the year across its whole catalog. This is done to ensure retailers, restaurants and consumers in every state get a shot at some.

What State Gets The Most Allocated Bourbon?

And Kentucky is the home to Bourbon County, literally the home of American Bourbon production. The state even has its own Bourbon Trail specifically dedicated to highlighting the state’s best bourbon.

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