Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Enthusiasts Challenge

There are those that have been chasing and collecting far longer than I.  It wasn't until 2005/06 time-frame that my interest really piqued when it came to American Whiskey.  Since that time I've been on a acquisition rampage that eventually extended into other whiskies. 

I've been witness over time of bourbon becoming harder and harder to find.  Even back in 2007/8 you had to be on "the list" in order to ensure you received some sort of allocation, which truth be told, wasn't that hard.  Witness my allocation of multiple 2008 BTAC sets sitting on the dining room table.  Crazy to think how far we've come with bourbon and rye turning into a very hot commodity.

Back in early 2007 I called a liquor store that carried Pappy Van Winkle 15, as most any good liquor store did.  The manager asked how many bottles I wanted so I order 1/2 a case, or 6 bottles at $36 each.  In today's secondary market those bottles now run upwards of $650-$700 a whopping 1900% increase.  Gone are the days of bourbon providing quality over value when PVW15 was $36 a bottle, or George T. Stagg cost $45 a bottle. 

The waiting lists, lotteries, parking in front of a liquor store to be first in line or in some cases, chasing the delivery trucks down the road asking if they have PVW on-board is crazy land but unfortunately that's reality if you want to get one of these uber hard to find whiskies. 

I still chase whisk(e)y but for the most part, no Antique Collection, Pappy Van Winkle or Parkers Heritage.  I chase things that I truly want to drink over the long term.  I recently acquired two 1991 Wild Turkey Rare Breed which through multiple resources landed me the opportunity to pick those up.  I've been adding quite a bit of Scotch to the bunker that includes a recent find that is simply wonderful whisky; Balvenie Founders Reserve 10 year.  This whisky has been out of production for at least 4 or 5 years but I've been grabbing bottles to bunker since it's undervalued for the quality of the pour.

Hunting whisk(e)y has taken on a whole new definition that in most cases will cost you lots of cash and time.  Back in the day I would dusty hunt because older bottles were plentiful and cheap.  Those days are over for the most part but the reality is my tastes and interests have expanded well beyond out of production Old Fitzgerald or Old Forester.  I still like the thrill of the hunt but I'm much more selective and deliberate in my efforts to ensure I'm adding what I want and not bunker spamming.

I mentioned earlier in the post that you had to be on "the list".  I've been on lists for many years but for some reason, my name is now gone and I don't get the phone calls anymore.  That's ok, I think my bunker is stocked enough to provide solid enjoyment to my dying day.

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