Forager’s Disbelief

As a dedicated forager, I frequently check the LCBO app, looking for price reductions or for interesting new stock coming in. New items almost always show up on the app for a few weeks with zero inventory prior to actually hitting the shelves so there’s plenty of advance notice. Sometimes though an item that has been out of stock for some time like months, or in some cases years, will suddenly show a single bottle appearing in stock. This is almost always a correction due to a bottle that has gone missing or a bottle that was broken or one that perhaps happened to walk away on its own. But sometimes, rarely, it’s not a correction. This was one of those times.

Thursday I checked the LCBO app. Nothing new, no new items, no price cuts. Wait. Why is there a lone bottle of Laphroaig Cairdeas showing in stock? And why is it a 2012 ‘Origin’ and not something more current? It must be a mistake, right? After all, there were only 3000 bottles of it released back in 2012. I ignored it.

Friday I checked the app. Nothing new, no new items, no price cuts. Wait. That Cairdeas is still there. Why hasn’t this been corrected? I  ignored it, or at least tried to. After a couple of hours of the error gnawing at me, I couldn’t resist. I call the store. The manager I spoke with was very helpful, explaining that, after a few minutes, she was certain that it wasn’t on the shelves. Not a surprise. I was ready to accept this but she said that she would look in the back warehouse. I waited on the phone, certain that at any moment she would return and inform me that it wasn’t there and that they were very sorry for the error.

Nearly fifteen minutes later, sure now that I had been forgotten, she returned to the phone and triumphantly informed me, “I found it!”

I was nearly in disbelief. I asked her to confirm the price.

“Our system says $100.45.” (That’s Canadian dollars.)

Now I was truly in disbelief: the price was the 2012 release price! I asked if it could be put on hold until Monday as I was not going to be able to use our car until then and drive the 50 km to the outlet. She took my name and contact info, assuring me that it would sit in the manager’s office until then. When I told my wife later that day about finding this treasure, she (very, very supportive wife when it comes to my collection) was worried that even though the bottle was to be stored in the managers office, it could disappear over the weekend. She suggested that I ask my 80 year old mother who lives just down the street from the LCBO branch to pick it up as soon as she could, just to be sure.

I have been married long enough to know that I should listen to her, especially since she was being so supportive in this acquisition. I called Mom who that said she would go by the store when she was out for groceries that afternoon and that I should pay her when we visited over the weekend.

Cairdeas 2012.JPG

Sure enough, it was the 2012! I couldn’t believe my good fortune. This is the thrill of a good forage, stumbling into something so wonderful that, by all accounts, really should even be there. In the future there’s no question that I will give a little more credence to the single bottles that show up in stock.

Thanks Jen, and thanks Mom, for helping me on this one.

Happy foraging!





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Whisky Forager

I collect whisky. I like good prices for whisky. Living in Toronto doesn’t often allow for both but I'm lucky enough to travel a lot for work. I get to shop around for whisky and I want to share the good buying opportunities that I come across. That’s the premise. I’m not writing about tasting or grading whisky, there’s plenty of other sources for those opinions. I just want to share opportune finds for quality bottles at below market prices. A couple of years ago after discovering a pricing discrepancy at LCBO that provided a few deeply discounted bottles for my collection, I realized that there are lots of opportunities to purchase good single malts at a discount price. And not just outside of Canada but also sometimes in Ontario. It may be hard to believe, but the LCBO can be your ally just as often as it’s your nemesis. This is not a commercial site, I only share my finds based on my own opinions of good prices and good bottles.

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