Buffalo Trace's Limited Prohibition Collection Has Been Spotted At Costco For A Bargain

A bottle of Buffalo Trace whiskey next to an empty glass
A bottle of Buffalo Trace whiskey next to an empty glass - Teddy L Hovis/Shutterstock

Last October, whiskey distillery Buffalo Trace announced its new annual, limited-edition Prohibition Collection to wide acclaim. If you haven't gone ahead and purchased a set of the five whiskeys already, you should know that Costco has recently added the Prohibition Collection to its shelves at a sizable 20% discount from the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). According to one Reddit user, this brought the cost down from almost $1,000 to $800 at a store in Arizona. At this point, we aren't exactly surprised to see rare whiskeys being sold at Costco, but this set does have us scratching our heads a little.

For starters, the Prohibition Collection hasn't even been out for a full year. For most distilleries, that wouldn't raise any red flags for us. But consumers have shown time and time again that Buffalo Trace has their utmost trust and respect, which translates into quick and competitive purchasing of almost any limited release it puts out. We tried and ranked every bottle in the Buffalo Trace Prohibition Collection when it came out in October, and our team really enjoyed what the set was offering in terms of flavor.

But we noted then that the asking price was a little steep, given the fact that all five whiskeys came in 375-milliliter bottles -- which is substantially less than the 750-milliliter volume that whiskey typically comes in. It's entirely possible that we're reading too much into this, but the arrival of the collection on Costco shelves could indicate less success than the distillery had anticipated. That, or they're just clearing the shelves for this year's release.

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The Prohibition Collection Honors History

The Buffalo Trace Prohibition Collection
The Buffalo Trace Prohibition Collection - William Kelly/Facebook

Putting the steep price aside, the Prohibition Collection is an exciting piece of bourbon archeology that honors the long history of the Buffalo Trace Distillery, which stands as the longest continually-operating distillery in America. Prohibition lasted from 1920 until 1933, effectively killing the nation's whiskey industry. Luckily for us, there was a loophole that made bourbon legal during Prohibition, so long as it was labeled as medicine. The medicinal whiskeys that Buffalo Trace produced and sold during the Prohibition are the inspiration for this collection.

There are five different whiskeys in the 2023 collection. Old Stagg and Walnut Hill are both straight bourbons, Spiritus Frumenti is a wheated bourbon, Three Feathers is a bourbon blend, and Golden Wedding is a straight rye (which we ranked as the best of the bunch). It's hard to say for certain since Buffalo Trace didn't release the mash bills, but it appears that these are variations of the original Prohibition whiskey recipes adorned with exact replicas of the labeling they would have had at the time.

While the whiskeys themselves are perfectly good sipping whiskeys, the price combined with the outsized focus on marketing gives us the impression that this collection is meant for taters (a tater is one of many bourbon terms, and refers to a novice whiskey collector who easily falls for hype). It would be different if the bottles were full sized. In any case, if you have extra spending money and you like the concept, it's worth knowing that it's cheaper at Costco than virtually anywhere else.

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