Thursday, October 18, 2018

The world as we know it is ending.

It only took 83 years, with five years of us pointing it out, but the PLCB has finally — at least for this month — listed Jack Daniel's correctly across their inventory. There is still one small mistake, but considering how bad it was for DECADES, this is pretty amazing.

Of course, the "adaptive" inventory lookup that the Chairman spoke about well over two years ago still doesn't work.  Don't put in "Jack Daniels" or "Jack Danials" or "Jack Danial's" and expect to find anything...but that's something for them to work on for the next 83 years, I guess. Nope, as of October 2018, the only questionable listing is for item 2419 (the "Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey Family of Brands Combo," a pack of five different airline bottles) which is listed under the category of "Whiskies." Like a catch-all category, except it's one that the PLCB doesn't have. You can't search it on their "Product Catalog," but it does come up on the splashy '' page. Consistency, guys...

That doesn't mean they're off the hook. There are so many more inventory mistakes to be found, we'll be busy for years to come.

Here's something that made me delve into the PLCB inventory again. I was in New Jersey and bought a bottle of 1792 Full Proof (125 proof) Bourbon. I'm not a big fan of 1792 in general, but a high proof non-chill filtered bourbon isn't that common, even more so at under $50; so I took a chance. Well worth it...if you can find it. So, back to the the online PLCB Product Catalog.

That's never as easy as it sounds. Even the PLCB doesn't think too much of their system, because right in the instructions for using the keyword search, they say, "If too precise, the product may not be returned as expected." In other words, don't put in exactly what you want, put in something close...unless it's Jack Daniel's, because then you have to be exact with the spelling of Daniel's. Which is something the PLCB apparently couldn't do for eight decades. It's tough being a consumer in Pennsylvania.

So I put "1792" into the keyword search box, select "spirits" and hit 1792 Full Proof shows up.
OK, I'm used to the PLCB not having most things I buy. But this is pretty mainstream stuff, so I was surprised that it wasn't listed. Well, maybe it just didn't make it through the "good ol' boy" selection process, since it was fairly new. After a month I check again - still nothing. The search page says it is updated daily so if it hits the system, it should show up right?

Wait a minute...I head over to the FWAGS website to see what is there. Sure enough, the Full Proof is an "Online Exclusive." Now, the Online store is technically a store, and everything in it used to be shown in the Product Catalog because, well, you know, it lists "everything." So I randomly search for some things listed as "Online Exclusives" — McKenzie Rye Whiskey, Peerless Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey, Highland Park Full Volume, and a few others. None of them show up any more. That is helpful in a uniquely PLCB kinda way. Great way to sell product - don't let the consumer find it.  Must be that "control" they always talk about.

I know we don't do much wine here, but...if this is what they're screwing up with a few hundred whiskeys, can you imagine how they're screwing up thousands of wines? The mind boggles.

Hey, PA legislature — are you sure we can't do better?  Privatize.

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