Last year, Kevin Lambert, Chris Naples, Patrick Ehnes, Andrew Walter and Rob Schlamp’s wife (Schlamp was at a conference in Florida) had to sit in the pouring rain for hours, patiently waiting for the Signature BC Liquor Store on 201 Street and 64 Avenue to open its doors for their annual premium spirits release.
They wait all year for the opportunity to purchase these rare products, which went on sale in limited quantities on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 9:30 a.m.
“It’s rare, hard to find, super hard to get your hands on, and it’s a lot of fun. We still talk about it all year, don’t we?” said Ehnes, who was the first in line at 10:30 a.m. Froday.
This year’s release featured a large variety of products, ranging from a $43,500 bottle of Macallan Lalique VI Highland scotch, to whiskies from Ireland, Wales, India and Canada. They were also selling armagnac, cognac, tequila, many sought-after bourbons from Kentucky and more.
In particular, Schlamp, who belongs to a bourbon club with several of the others in line, said they are excited for “anything by Pappy Van Winkle and W.L. Well (William Larue Weller).” Those bottles range from $170 to $450 each.
“There’s three bottles of a specific bourbon in here that I never thought I would ever have a chance at buying,” Schlamp added.
The rarest of the rare will be sold at the Vancouver store on 39 Avenue and Cambie Street, where the line up starts eight days in advance, the group said.
However, as far as they know, the Langley store has the second largest supply.
“(The lineup) went around the corner last year,” said Lambert, who quickly brought up photos from 2015 of the group huddled around a campfire out front, followed by photos of a fire truck driving up.
When asked if they are all friends, “we are now,” the group said in unison, followed by a roar of laughter.
“We’re united by a common cause,” Ehnes added.
Early Saturday morning, several hours before the official opening, the store allowed 17 of the overnight campers to get out of the rain by allowing them to put in advance orders. They had until noon Saturday to pick them up.