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How Utahns can get good bourbon for real cheap

Illustration for article titled How Utahns can get good bourbon for real cheap
Photo: AGEphotography (iStock)

Utah might not be known for its drinking, but booze there has one thing going for it: It’s relatively cheap. A state law means alcohol can only be sold at cost plus an 88% markup, rendering bottles of liquor that would go for hundreds of dollars in other states much cheaper within Utah’s borders. Case in point: When the elusive Pappy Van Winkle goes on sale at state liquor stores in Utah, a 20-year bottle costs about $160 (here it is on Drizly starting at $1,499)—yes, stampedes ensue when it hits stores.


To combat the chaotic rush to state liquor stores to snatch up sought-after bottles, Fox 13 reports the Utah Department Of Alcoholic Beverage Control has created a drawing system for an upcoming whiskey release. (Just don’t call it a lottery.) The Salt Lake Tribune says the Department Of Alcoholic Beverage Control created the drawing pool and began signing up residents on Tuesday; they’ll have the chance to purchase a bottle of Buffalo Trace Elmer T. Lee single-barrel bourbon for a song: $37.99. Online retailers in other states have it for sale around $300. In the future, the drawing system will be used to distribute other liquor, wine, and beer.

Sign-ups for the drawing are limited to Utah residents—you’ll have to provide a Utah driver’s license, or a passport number plus utility bill for a Utah address—and are open for one week. There are only 108 bottles of the Elmer T. Lee up for grabs, and there’s a limit of just one entry per billing address. I guess you’d just have to share that delicious, delicious bourbon with your roommates—and your favorite whiskey-obsessed Takeout writer?—if you’re chosen. Winners will be drawn and contacted on July 1, which would make for one heck of a Fourth Of July celebration.

Kate Bernot is a freelance writer and a certified beer judge. She was previously managing editor at The Takeout.

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I thought for sure “drive to Colorado” was the answer.