Woodford Header Woodford Header

Monday, August 19, 2019

A Guide to Getting Hard to Find Bottles in Ohio

One of the top questions I receive at this site is how to locate hard to find bottles in Ohio. I also can't begin to count how many times I've been in a liquor store and have seen someone ask if they have any bottles of Blanton's available (spoiler alert... they don't).

I've written plenty about why I don't believe the state should control liquor distribution in the state and the many disadvantages that it has for consumers. However, one of the main advantages of this system is the state is in full control of where bottles are at any given time because they are the sole distributor.

Given this advantage, the State Division of Liquor Control (OHLQ) has created a product search tool where you can search local or statewide to find where those hard to find bottles are in stock. This new tool debuted in December of 2018 and is open to anyone over the age of 21.

The tool works by allowing filterable criteria on the left rail with the corresponding results on the right. Once the results are displayed, the User can select the desired bottle and get a map of all locations where that product is available. 

Since everyone is obsessed with Blanton's (check back soon for our review), we'll start with that. I begin by typing 'Blanton' in the search bar to where it is the only result... then I click in it to see where Blanton's is located... 

When the map loads, it shows that the only locations in the state that may have Blanton's are in Dayton and Akron. I then zoom into Dayton and can see which store has it... in this case, it is Kettering Wine & Spirits. The bottle marking indicates that they have limited supply.  

This works for all bottles... here is another example of the highest rated bourbon that I've reviewed in Old Ezra 7 Year Barrel Strength... Once the search results are populated, I can see there are several stores near where I live that have it in stock... including a location with full stock.  

You may be asking what the bottle markers equate to and how often inventory is updated... I reached out to OHLQ and they provided the following information:
Inventory is updated daily at 3:30 a.m. to account for the previous day’s retail and wholesale sales. At approximately 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., we also do an update for any wholesale orders. 
In terms of what the bottles mean, they provided this guidance:

A full supply, or full bottle, is 3.5 times a rolling 14 days’ worth of sales. A limited supply, or half bottle, is less than 3.5 times a rolling 14 days’ worth of sale OR less than three bottles. An empty bottle indicates no inventory.
This new tool is incredibly helpful for consumers and is a huge step forward for OHLQ in being more consumer friendly and something we'll be taking full advantage of! 

If you find any bottles using the tool or have any questions, drop a note in the comment box below. 

Source: Original content with help from OHLQ


  1. As a current employee at a State Liquor Agency, I can tell you that the information at the website mentioned above concerning stock quantities at any given store can be woefully inaccurate. Always place a call to the store before you head out to make a purchase.

  2. Yeah, it’s always wrong. It shows limited stock until the bar orders go out, so there’s none available to the gen pop.

  3. I've found that checking it Saturday morning is your best bet because Friday is a delivery day for many of the grocery stores (ask your favorite store when they get their deliveries). If it shows a full bottle that morning, get there when they open. Snagged two bottles of the new Four Rose's Small Batch Select that way.

  4. why do some stores show limited supply and you call and they say they are out but it shows for days or even a week or so as available?

  5. As I mentioned above, the State inventory system does not truly reflect actual product counts/availability in any given store. I'm not sure why this occurs. Poor technical hardware and mismanagement is my only guess.