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View Full Version : Need help/advice from Beam specialists



bourbonNOOG
12-29-2010, 18:32
Stopped by a liquor store on the wrong side of town today and they had about 10 beam decanters. All 86 proof and dated from the 60's or older. There was a 120th anniversary that caught my eye.

My question is, is the juice in these things good? I'm interested in consuming the juice so I'm looking for opinions from people who have tasted this stuff. I'm in no way a collector of decanters.

The store owner said they had been up there when the previous owner purchased the store in the 70's-80's and when he and his wife purchased it from him they just left them. He didn't say how much they were but he did say "you'll have to ask my wife, she would sell anything in this store."

So knowing they're from the 60's, beam juice at 86 proof, what is the approximate value SB members would pay for these? I've never come across any so any help from well informed SB's would be greatly appreciated.

Josh
12-29-2010, 18:48
It's worth what someone will pay for it, of course, but there are a bazillion Beam decanters in grandpas' basements and the top shelves of old liquor stores across the country. Around here any liquor store over 25 yrs. old will have a least a couple. They're not worth much really.

The stuff inside may very well be good, though. My uncle (well, he's really my Aunt's bf) recently opened a decanter of his father's from the 1980s and he said it was really good. As long as it looks and smells like bourbon should, it should be fine to drink.

Rotgut
12-30-2010, 07:11
From my one similar experience the owner('s wife) probably thinks the decanters are worth a fortune and the price will be too high. I'm trying to work up a repoire with the place I know of and possibly I can purchase a few with a promise to return the empty decanters.

Mike

bourbonNOOG
12-30-2010, 07:36
From my one similar experience the owner('s wife) probably thinks the decanters are worth a fortune and the price will be too high. I'm trying to work up a repoire with the place I know of and possibly I can purchase a few with a promise to return the empty decanters.

Mike

This was my impression and solution. I don't know how valuable they'll consider them but the husband seemed eager to sell anything. It wasn't in the best part of town and I'm sure I'm the only person who's asked about them in the last 30 years.

So what I'm hearing is the consensus is the juice will be pretty tasty? Has anyone drank this stuff from a similar age and proof? What would be fair to offer them if I promise to return the decanters?

barturtle
12-30-2010, 07:42
I'd pay very little, not much more than I'd pay for an empty decanter that I thought was cool and wanted to have to display. I've seen and heard too many stories of decanters gone bad, either from bad glaze, bad corks, or crap storage. There is too much risk of the whiskey being contaminated for me to consider buying an older decanter an investment in good whiskey.

SMOWK
12-30-2010, 14:35
To date, I have never bought a bad decanter. Not only that, but every single one has yielded some VERY good juice. I say buy one, taste it, and then buy the rest. It sounds like they aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Buy them one at a time and taste each one as you put it into a different container.

cowdery
12-30-2010, 20:30
Decanters are always chancy. Porcelain's porosity is a problem and even glass decanters often have trouble with seals. As an old-timer in the industry said to me once, "we never thought people would wait this long to drink them." Somehow people got this idea that they are more valuable sealed and intact, as if "value" has any meaning in an object you generally can't resell. (There was no market before eBay.)

Old bottles with a screw cap and a good seal are virtually a sure thing. Not that the whiskey will be good but that it will be unharmed. The odds aren't that good with decanters. I've had a few bad ones. I know other people who have too.

But let's assume the whiskey is in its full glory. What is it? It's essentially what you can buy today as Jim Beam black. The whiskey in Beam decanters was usually 7 to 9 years old, not the same as 4-year-old white label. You were getting older wood for the barrels back then. Some whiskey from the 60s does taste different, but Beam is Beam so expect something between Jim Beam Black and Knob Creek. Nothing wrong with that.

SMOWK
12-30-2010, 22:04
I've had a few 150 and 180 month Beam Decanter juice from the 70s. They are nothing like the Beam of today. They are fantastic!