Bourbon in a glass on a dark surface with a dark background
What It Means When A Bourbon Is 'Store Picked'
A store pick, also known as a private barrel or privately selected barrel, is when a store (or other purchaser) selects a specific barrel of bourbon from a distillery.
This bourbon then gets bottled and labeled to indicate that it's not a bottle typically released by the distillery, which is a great way for stores to differentiate themselves.
Store picks are usually single barrel rather than small batch bourbon, though a store pick can also be a blend. They aren't necessarily better than the store's typical offerings.
The store may not have even had the chance to try the barrel out. Even if they did, you're relying on someone else's palate and tastes, which can be quite different from yours.
It's a good idea to talk to the shop or seller offering the store pick to find out how the barrel was selected, whether they have tasted it, and details about the tasting notes.