First Dibs (Part One)

This is Day 9 in my 30-day blogging journey. If you want to know how this started, check out Day 1.

I’ve been buying a lot of bourbon and ryes over the last handful of years.

While the last few months have shown a significant decrease in my spending (for reasons I’ll mention later), Marissa and I still have a dining room full of bottles that we enjoy.

A couple of years ago, I came across a company called The Prime Barrel.

They sold specially picked bottles from distilleries across the nation.

If you don’t know much about how this works, let me give you a condensed version:

Bourbon aficionados can reach out to distilleries to try single barrel offerings. These are usually selected by a small group (say 3-6 people) and bottled up so that those looking to purchase can have a very limited selection.

Most barrels yield somewhere around 200 bottles each (sometimes less, sometimes more). Once those bottles have sold, you’ll never taste another offering identical to it.

As someone who has collected things for most of his life, having something I enjoy (like records or bourbon) and then giving me access to an item with scarcity (limited edition versions), is a big draw for me.

So, The Prime Barrel became something that I was interested in.

Co-founder, Michael Nagdi, has done an excellent job sourcing barrels from more popular distilleries (like Maker’s Mark or Old Forester) to smaller distilleries (like Black Button or Taconic).

In addition, he gave some exclusivity to people who purchased from The Prime Barrel in the past.

In other words, since I’ve purchased several of their barrel picks, I’m on a mailing list (and text alert) which gives me 24-hour access before a bottle is offered to the public.

One of the things that I appreciate about Michael is that he is constantly looking for ways to make the experience working with his company more special.

Case in point, The Prime Barrel recently offered an NFT membership to its fans. Those who are interested can pay for a lifetime membership and priority tiers to have access to future barrel picks (and bottle offerings exclusive to those tiers).

When he was gathering information trying to see which of his customers would be interested, he set up Zoom calls with many of us to tell us more about what he envisioned the membership could be.

I thought this was a brilliant idea. How many business owners take time to set up Zoom calls with their client base to help them understand how to grow the brand?

Of course, those who have elected to join will gain priority access to those barrel picks ahead of the people who are non-members (but still customers).

As of now, I’ve not joined the NFT side. It’s not that I don’t see the value, I do.

I’m not buying bourbon like I used to for one simple reason: I’m not drinking as much of it.

Don’t get me wrong, Marissa and I still enjoy our nightly pours, they’re just smaller pours.

Here’s what I continue to like and appreciate about The Prime Barrel (and I’ll be referencing this in Part Two of this post), is that: membership aside, I still have some degree of priority access to a bottle before the public gets it.

As a business owner, it’s a good refresher that the people who are long-time customers or are customers who have spent a considerable amount as patrons deserve some type of priority status. Maybe they won’t elect to take part of every offering we have but they’ll know that they’re members of an “elite club”, “platinum/gold club”, or “VIP”.

Thank you, Michael and TPB for giving “first dibs” to the customers who achieved the appropriate status.