If you have the money to spend, the bourbon secondary market can be a fantastic and magical place. All the bottles you have been unsuccessfully searching for are now at your fingertips. After first joining the market I was having a blast grabbing bottles I had never seen on my shelves before, and growing my collection more rapidly than my wallet could keep up with. This is where the problem with the secondary market begins. First of all, the bottles available on my local store shelves no longer interested me. Since I had access to rare and limited bottles the normal bottles and paltry store picks were of no interest to me. Secondly it sucked all of the enjoyment out of finding allocated bottles on the shelf for all but the rarest bottles. At one point I was lucky enough to come across a bottle of Abraham Bowman Gingerbread Cocoa my first thought was how much I could get for it on the secondary market. Beyond that it took all the enjoyment out of products like Orphan Barrel because they had no increased secondary value they were no longer worth buying. Over time i began to notice these things and made the decision to leave the secondary market behind. Since making this decision I am proud to say my enjoyment of bourbon has increased tremendously. I began picking up the bottles on the shelf I had been passing over, and to my surprise a lot of these were great bourbons. I can’t count the number of times I passed on Henry McKenna because it wasn’t rare and valuable. After trying it I must say it is far better than many of the allocated bottles I have tried. Another benefit is that it brought back the excitement of finding allocated bottles on the shelf. During this years hunting season my haul was Hancock’s Reserve, Elmer T. Lee, Barterhouse, Forged Oak, and bottle of George T. Stagg that had me so excited I felt like jumping up and down in the store. Many people rip Barterhouse and Forged Oak, but I have really enjoyed both and was excited to find them at retail. Leaving the secondary market was a decision I will never regret.