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View Full Version : How many bottles do you keep around?



jdcollens
07-16-2012, 18:22
Hey, folks. A question for everyone, but I'm mainly interested in the response of the married guys/gals. How many bottles do you typically keep on hand? I'm about to head down the long road to ruin myself, so I'm curious as to what you all have convinced your significant others to let you keep around. At my current place I tend to keep a lower-end bottle (usually OWA or WT101), a mid-ranger (Rare Breed, OFBB, or Woodford) and a higher-end (right now it's EHT Tornado Survivor, but I've also kept Kentucky Spirit, "Michter's" 10 and others at various points). I like this approach because it allows me to have a great bourbon from time to time but I can usually keep around a mid-range bottle for regular pours and a lower-end for when I'm smoking some sticks (I prefer not to bother drinking a mid- or high-end bourbon when I can hardly taste anything other than the cigar). Just curious, since it seems some of you keep a fair amount of bottles around.

Also, I enjoy gin cocktails (martinis and Aviations) and some higher-end islay Scotches. So keep that in mind, since we have pretty limited cabinet space.

callmeox
07-16-2012, 18:34
...I'm curious as to what you all have convinced your significant others to let you keep around...

I edited the quote to pull out what I felt was the important part.

My wife doesn't need to "let" me keep bourbon around and I return the courtesy with her hobbies and interests.

It's how we roll, but YMMV.

Restaurant man
07-16-2012, 18:52
I try to keep it under 50 open. Married

Bourbon Boiler
07-16-2012, 19:09
Married: About 45, but I get a lot of grief for it. 25 is probably what would keep her quiet.

BFerguson
07-16-2012, 19:10
It use to be around 4-5 open. New bar area= less than 10 is the new goal. 8 currently open.

Bunkered, haven't approach the limit yet. Not sure what that may be exactly, but have't hit yet.

B

White Dog
07-16-2012, 19:14
Married, and my issue is what I stash away, not what I keep open.:grin:

I used to have over 70 bottles open, when I first became obsessed. Now I have about 15-20 open at any given time, many more stashed.

Young Blacksmith
07-16-2012, 19:16
I keep the cabinet stocked with Tequila, Rum, and Vodka for my wife and she turns a blind eye to my bourbon. easy peasy.

In that cabinet I have 15 or so bottles opened, with another 2+ dozen sitting around my desk shelves as sort of display with some opened for drinking. The bunker is below and comprises 5 cases.

WAINWRIGHT
07-16-2012, 19:28
I believe honesty and mutual respect is key,I being married feel I have to hide nothing from my wife and that helps lengthen the lease so to speak.That being said 29 open 123 in the hold.

Tico
07-16-2012, 19:52
Married, and my issue is what I stash away, not what I keep open.:grin:


+1 to that!

As long as the open bottles fit in the cabinet, my wife couldn't care less. Its the pile of boxes in the basement that gives her pause.

BradleyC
07-16-2012, 20:00
I keep entirely too many bottles around. I have a "bourbon buying problem." I have joined a group that meets on Wednesdays to help with this issue. Welcome to the club by the way. With very few exceptions, it only gets worse!

redbear
07-16-2012, 20:12
I'm married. I have a hobby budget that I use to fund my whiskey purchases. I have about 30 open, around 100 in the bunker.

My other hobby is screen printed rock posters. I've been selling some of those and putting more in my hoard as of late.

The wife doesn't drink straight spirits at all.

petrel800
07-16-2012, 20:15
Not married, but living with my fiancee. I don't have a limit, but I think that is because I have done a very good job of helping her enjoy the hobby and see the differences in the bottles. As others have said, I certainly also take time to enjoy and respect her hobbies. Hell, those stupid lady shows on TV are palatable when you've got a great selection of bourbon to drink while watching them.

For instance, you have a perfect bottle right now to to talk to her about. The EH Taylor Tornado bourbon has a story behind it, throw in the fact that it was exposed to the elements and that 65% of the juice was gone when they poured the barrels, and I bet she'll want a taste. I know my fiancee couldn't wait to get a bottle after we did the hard hat tour at Buffalo Trace.

Besides, cocktails are fashionable again, if you entertain, you got to have something nice for your guests to drink.

For the record, I have 10 open bottles (which is my limit) and 7 bottles bunkered in boxes in the back. I'm just as bad with wine, I've got at least 60-70 bottles in Vinotemp coolers. I remember when we first started dating and she said she didn't like wine, if I would have known better, I would have left it that way, probably would have been able to afford the ring quicker. Ha.

Max Power
07-16-2012, 20:21
I'm probably not the best example, but I probably have 100+ bottles open right now and over 400 bottles total in the bar area. 300+ of that is tequila, but it's still about space. My wife enjoys tequila as well, so it's something that we enjoy together. However, she will poke fun at me for having too much. :)

mosugoji64
07-16-2012, 20:53
As Scott said, it's about mutual respect: I encourage my wife to pursue her hobbies and she has developed an appreciation for mine. She doesn't drink, but recognizes my enthusiasm as I explain my interest in whatever bottle I brought home. There are about 45 bottles currently open and about the same amount waiting in the wings.

Clavius
07-16-2012, 20:53
I work in a liquor/wine store. At one point I had about 25-30 bottles of bourbon, nearly all of them open. That was about two years ago. By now, I've tried about every bourbon out there that I can find, from PVW's down to Heaven Hill White Label BIB. And honestly the only bourbons I have open right now are a bottle of Four Roses Small Batch and some Maker's Mark... cheap stuff. In the bunker I only have a bottle of ORVW 10/107 and a Vintage 17. I still love bourbon but I guess I've gotten over the whole PVW/BTAC craze. There is plenty of good stuff out there that is readily available. Maybe I'm in the minority here.

SDpappy
07-16-2012, 21:15
Married and my wife hasn't complained about the bourbon hobby. She doesn't appreciate it as much as wine but I have about 30-40 bottles next to the wine cabinet, which has about 400 bottles. Now convincing her to let me buy a huge wine cabinet was much more difficult but she agrees it looks good!

Max Power
07-16-2012, 21:17
I work in a liquor/wine store. At one point I had about 25-30 bottles of bourbon, nearly all of them open. That was about two years ago. By now, I've tried about every bourbon out there that I can find, from PVW's down to Heaven Hill White Label BIB. And honestly the only bourbons I have open right now are a bottle of Four Roses Small Batch and some Maker's Mark... cheap stuff. In the bunker I only have a bottle of ORVW 10/107 and a Vintage 17. I still love bourbon but I guess I've gotten over the whole PVW/BTAC craze. There is plenty of good stuff out there that is readily available. Maybe I'm in the minority here.

I agree with you. I like PVW quite a bit, but I'd be just as happy with a $27 bottle of Baker's. No searching and to me is nearly as good. I feel the same about tequila. I'd much rather find a $25-40 gem than taste something that's $200+ and is really good. I like to try them all, but at least the $25-40 bottle can be done over and over.

Trey Manthey
07-16-2012, 21:49
Engaged, but living together for 4 years. When we moved into our house, there was a large built in bar with LOTS of bottle storage. I went from having ~10 bottles whiskey (all open) and ~10 other bottles, to a full blown cocktail bar & whiskey collection in that time. Now it's about 100 bottles of spirits, with about half of that being whiskey. I have about 20 bottles of bourbon, rye, and scotch open at the moment.

We're moving to a new house without a bar next week, so I am going to have to get creative.

Happyhour24x7
07-17-2012, 03:40
I edited the quote to pull out what I felt was the important part.

My wife doesn't need to "let" me keep bourbon around and I return the courtesy with her hobbies and interests.

It's how we roll, but YMMV.
Ding ding ding, we have a winner!
this is the key here, folks...even though my GF (live-in, committed, justnotmarrieddon'tjudge) doesn't enjoy bourbon, she understands the concept here isn't intoxication(except as a byproduct) but experiencing and enjoying different tastes. She shakes her head sometimes, and enjoys telling people about the bunker to get a laugh, but has never tried to limit my hobby, anymore than I try to limit the number of purses she buys or soccer leagues she joins.
My open bottle count typically stands between 15-20, usually 4-7 "everyday" bottles and the rest the good stuff; plus a handfuls of gin and everything else. All that said, different strokes for different folks.

Enoch
07-17-2012, 04:44
I have a little over 100 bottles of bourbon/rye open with another 50 or so other liquors open. As for the bunker, I have around 600 bottles (90% dusties) but very few are current offerings. I only buy current stuff when it is on sale, un-replaceable (such as WTR101 of which I bought 18 bottles), or has a nice premium (such as a flask or glass) and I know I will drink it. As for dusties, my philosophy is that I better get them when I find them or they may not be there later or may not be found again. My wife is understanding but then I support her hobby so it works out.

sutton
07-17-2012, 05:21
For whisk(e)y:
18 bottles bourbon/rye, 5 opened.
14 bottles SMS, 5 opened.
Doesn't take up much room.

What does take up a bit of the basement is the ~750 bottle wine collection, about 200 bottles are homemade. Another 250+ bottles in barrel to be bottled sometime in the late fall. Did not need to convince my wife since most of this (other than the whisk(e)y) was pulled together prior to our marriage and having kids. Since then, the wine collecting has largely been replaced by winemaking...much cheaper.

Flyfish
07-17-2012, 06:44
If you are really fortunate, love of bourbon is just one more thing you can share. We currently have 17 bottles of bourbon (5 of which are handles) and 3 bottles of rye. We are running "low" because it is 4 months since we have been to Kentucky where the selection is far greater than the Liquor Control Gods allow in Ohio. In addition, there are 22 assorted bottles of Scotch, Irish, gin, vodka, tequila, rum, and liqueurs that are kept for guests but which we never touch.

p_elliott
07-17-2012, 09:18
[QUOTE=callmeox;295501

My wife doesn't need to "let" me keep bourbon around and I return the courtesy with her hobbies and interests.

It's how we roll, but YMMV.[/QUOTE]


That just about sums it up for me and my wife as well. I have some where around 80 to 90 bottles of whiskey of one kind or another.

jeanraulmitchell
07-17-2012, 09:51
About 50 sealed bottles in boxes. About 25 opened but I'm big on giving opened bottles away to friends if they really like something more than I do.
Going on a three day work trip driving today. Hoping to add a few.
Not married but might as well be, why mess with a good thing?

darylld911
07-17-2012, 10:58
I think I'm around 45 bottles (with all but one or two opened - I find it harder to drink when I don't open them!). No bunker to speak of, but I created a "whiskey" budget to help keep myself in check. I think what worries my wife is that more bottles are coming in than going out (as I might go a few days without having a drink, and might only drink less than 2 ounces when I do). About 18 months ago, I probably had less than 5 bottles though :)

My goal is to have more structure and stop chasing "new stuff". Must of this past year has been buying things to see if I like them, so now I'd like to stick with a smaller number that represents the variety I like. I've got 5 or 6 bottles that were under $20, and I'll probably try to keep just 1 on hand for cocktails (which I don't make that often).

Or I may steal a page from Doug's playbook and bring some to the next GBS meeting with a "free to good home" note taped to them :) There probably are a few that I wouldn't finish in the next year or two, so I should try to find a home for them.

LongBeachScott
07-17-2012, 12:43
My wife doesn't restrict my purchasing, but my house does! I just don't have the room for a lot of open bottles. At any given time, I have about 10 or 12 bottles of bourbon opened. What it is varies quite a bit, but I will normally have one bottle for cocktail making and a couple bottles I consider good for introducing bourbon to people.

Tucker
07-17-2012, 14:19
I have about 15 open bottles and 75 bunkered in my home office. My wife is somewhat oblivious and has never expressed much of a negative opinion.

BillP
07-17-2012, 14:43
My wife is ok with my meager collection. I have only 6 open and 3 bunkered. It sounds like I have a lot of catching up to do.

MyOldKyDram
07-17-2012, 14:47
50+. The Mrs. doesn't mind as she's grown quite fond of the stuff herself.

yountvillewjs
07-17-2012, 14:59
The top of my wine fridge is my bar space -- which means it houses bourbon/rye, vodka (one btl only), gin, rum, absinthe & bitters. I probably have 5-7 open at anytime, which is a good number - helps me stay focused.

barturtle
07-17-2012, 15:13
I'm unmarried myself, and keep about 300 bottles around. Most of the married men whose houses I've been lucky enough to visit have at least that much, with several having many times more.

cigarnv
07-17-2012, 15:19
Usually have 12 - 15 favorites open and about twice that bunkered up....

BourbonJoe
07-17-2012, 18:52
I have over 700 bottles, about 60 of which are open. I think I need professional counseling. Just ask my wife.
Joe :usflag:

darylld911
07-17-2012, 19:03
50+. The Mrs. doesn't mind as she's grown quite fond of the stuff herself.

I wish my wife enjoyed it as much as I do. She's tried my Stagg and Handy, and liked both of them - but she is only in the mood for maybe 3/4 an ounce every . . . few months?

I guess the silver lining is that she won't drink up my good stuff more quickly than I would! :lol:

Lazer
07-17-2012, 19:17
Married: 1 bottle open. Yes, just one at a time. Right now its a bottle of JDSB then I'll follow it up with some GD12. I'm calling it summer in Tennessee. In addition to 1 open I have 24 waiting patiently. Mostly mid-level priced stuff with 2 PHC's and two FR1B Private Selections. We live in a small apartment with 3 kids so that's the main reason I don't have more. The other being the wife part.

Roadsaw
07-17-2012, 19:24
About 20 open right now and 50 in the bunker. Married with four kids ,as long as i have her BT in the cabinet she is happy.

jcg9779
07-17-2012, 19:36
Usually have 12 - 15 favorites open and about twice that bunkered up....

About like me...

moose
07-17-2012, 19:50
Not married yet, but have been together for nearly 5 years, and will be proposing by the end of the year. Between Bourbon and Scotch I've probably got 12 open bottles. I find that as long as there is Vodka, Rum and Wine around for when she wants a drink, then all is well. It also helps that my cabinet is at a height which only I can reach. The only rule SWMBO has laid down is that I'm not allowed to have anymore than what fits in the cabinet. At it's worst, that is 5 fat bottles and at its best it is close to 10 skinny bottles. It's like playing Tetris in there, trying to get new bottles to fit ha. When we get a house, a larger cabinet is in order, as well as a closet or 4 in the basement to stockpile various bourbons, scotches, and wines.

T Comp
07-17-2012, 19:58
Usually have 12 - 15 favorites open and about twice that bunkered up....

Yep you wouldn't want to make anyone feel inadequate now, would you ??? :skep: :grin:

Rutherford
07-17-2012, 20:55
Bachelor...

Bourbon/rye only, about 30-40 open. Adding in rum, malt whiskey, brandy, gin, and assorted liquors/liqueurs, closer to 140. Many of those bottles are junk that may never get finished.

My bunker is about 10-15 bottles, although a few of these are obtainable replacements for bottles I liked that I just haven't opened yet.

docbible
07-18-2012, 14:31
I have 15 to 20 open and about 500 in the bunker. When I first got into bourbon I would buy three bottles at a time. Crack one open when I got home, one to open later, and one for the bunker to open way down the road. With so many bourbons on the market, I rarely got to the second bottle. The economy has put a damper on my plan for the last 3 years and I am getting to those second bottles, just not able to add to them much. tim

fishnbowljoe
07-18-2012, 16:44
If my spreadsheet is correct, I have a total of 157 bottles of whiskey at the moment. At one time I had a little over 200 total, with about 30 of those being open. At that time, I wasn't counting the 200 and 375 mls that I had. About a year or so ago I made a concerted effort to curtail my buying a little, and also try to bring my open bottles down to a more manageable level. I did succeed somewhat. I had whittled it down to somewhere around 135 total, but I've picked up a few things in the last month or so. What can I say? A generalized breakdown of what I have follows.

17 bottles open. Four Canadians, (for my son) two versions of Jack Daniels, (one for me, the other for some bowling biddies) one Mellow Corn, and the rest bourbons.
140 bottles in the bunker. Two Canadians, two ryes, a couple of oddballs and the rest are bourbons.
Of the 140 in the bunker, 28 are 200 or 375 mls, 32 are dusties or semi dusties, and somewhere around 65 are wheaters.
I readily admit that I do love my wheaters. Most are either Wellers and Van Winkles, but I also have a couple of dusties.

I plan to continue trying to downsize my collection by enjoying what I have, and buying less. The problem I've got is when I get a phone call from someone saying, "I found some XXXX at a decent price. I bought a couple for you in case you're interested." Who am I to argue? :lol: Cheers! Joe

Flyfish
07-18-2012, 16:56
About a year or so ago I made a concerted effort to curtail my buying a little, and also try to bring my open bottles down to a more manageable level. I did succeed somewhat. I had whittled it down to somewhere around 135 total, but I've picked up a few things in the last month or so. What can I say? A generalized breakdown of what I have follows.--fishbowljoe


Very nice! Off hand, I'd say you have a better selection than any of the state liquor stores in Ohio.

Phil T
07-18-2012, 17:32
I always have 15-20 bottles open at any given time, both bourbons and ryes.

According to my recent "get off my ass and take some inventory ", I have over 200 bottles in the bunker. Probably 95% of them bourbons, the rest ryes, I have several bottlings that I have never tasted . Just waiting for that "special " occasion , or drinking with a fellow true enthusiast . I have always been a patient man.

bllygthrd
07-18-2012, 18:07
Married, 50 plus bourbons, wife has never complained.

IowaJeff
07-19-2012, 06:40
I usually have 8-15 bottles on hand. I try not to go much over or under that range. I just don't have room for many more, and any less is just crazy talk.

soonami
07-19-2012, 11:58
I have 10-12 bottles of bourbon and rye open between my and my girlfriend's house (I sleepover her place half the time). At my house I have an extra 20 or so not opened yet. Not really bunkered, but just queued waiting for something to kick. The only bottles that are "bunkered" are NAS OWA that are practically impossibly to find around here, so I bought extra when I saw then recently

Kalessin
07-19-2012, 14:58
Hm. Married 2.5 years, no kids.

We have a cabinet bar in the living room, which has five open bourbons, four open single malts, and an open rye, plus vodka, gin, rum, tequila liqueurs, mixers, etc. Also in the bar is the unopened next bottle of rye and an unopened WTKS. Downstairs, I have about ten bottles of whiskey waiting to come up, and a fair amount of wine and other random bottles.

M wife prefers mudslides, caipirinhas, and dark-and-stormies for her occasional cocktails, and is okay with me collecting bottles as long as they "don't become a problem". I suspect I have about two more boxes before the basement will need reorganizing.

JB64
07-19-2012, 16:13
As long as my wife doesn't see a huge hit on our bank account she doesn't really care how many bottles I have at any given time. She knows that I am going to buy my daily bourbons on a regular basis but once every few months I will pick up something special that may cost a little more. Those are the bottles that start to take up shelf space on the bar. Her main problem is that I have all of my good bourbons and scotches on display and her vodka and gin have been pushed to the storage cabinet.

bllygthrd
07-20-2012, 18:14
Married, 50 plus bourbons, wife has never complained.
I would like to update my post ...

Wife spends 20% of her paycheck on "crap" ... I spend $600 on bourbon ... we are even ...

CoMobourbon
07-21-2012, 10:01
Wife spends 20% of her paycheck on "crap" ... I spend $600 on bourbon ... we are even ...

Who is quoted in "crap" - you or her? :slappin:

In any case, I am astonished at the cajones on you my most admirable SBer's. I have to fight tooth and nail for every bottle, and every time I find myself cringing for weeks under her verbal/emotional wrath.

jdcollens
07-21-2012, 21:04
I think the main reason I ask is just to gauge what people tend to keep around. The part about whether or not she'd "let" me keep stuff around was mainly a joke, since the primary hindrance are a meager graduate student stipend and a fairly tight squeeze in our apartment. I try to keep 3 open on hand and one or two waiting in the wings, but I've had up to 8-10 open at once in the past.

sailor22
07-22-2012, 07:10
married - Between Bourbon Rum and Scotch I have better than 200 open and a like amount bunkered. She isn't happy about it.
I attend weekly meeting in an attempt to lower the open count.

bllygthrd
07-22-2012, 14:39
Who is quoted in "crap" - you or her? :slappin:

Guess that's how we have made it 35 years ... I consider her stuff "crap" ... and she feels the same of mine. The secret to a long and happy marriage ... communicate, understand and compromise!:)

decaturbob
07-22-2012, 18:42
Married for 32 years. I bring her coffee every morning and she puts up with my love of whiskey. I only keep 5 or 6 open at any one time- currently a PVW 20, a Rare Breed, a Woodford, an Old Fitz 1849 and a bottle (believe it or not) of IW Harper that is Heaven Hill but distilled prior to the new Bernheim distillery. I have about 4 cases bunkered...but I'm something of a newbie to bourbon.

DogfaceSoldier
07-23-2012, 18:10
Married - I have 17 bottles open...and only 3 ryes! Baby Saz, Willet 5 Year 110 proof, and a Vintage Rye 21 year is about all I need.

troyce
07-24-2012, 13:57
About like me...

Jack, I'm calling BS on that one.

Stones
07-26-2012, 03:48
Married, and my issue is what I stash away, not what I keep open.:grin:

I used to have over 70 bottles open, when I first became obsessed. Now I have about 15-20 open at any given time, many more stashed.

Ditto here. The bunkered bottles are the ones the wife has a vague count of but she doesn't give too much trouble, just the occasional 'haven't you got enough?' comment. You can never have enough - right Scottie? (Hightower) ;)

bourbonNOOG
08-02-2012, 12:19
When my collection was a getting a little out of hand, my solution was to buy a nice piece of furniture that looked appealing outside and had all the storage on the inside to conceal the copious of amount of bourbon I began hoarding. Like most around here I don't have a sizable bunker. I have about 15-20 bottles open and maybe 60 bottles total.

It also helps that I keep her well stocked with wine and diet Dr. Pepper (her two vices). As long as she got those, she's happy and tends to look the other way when I purchase bourbon.

gburger
08-03-2012, 15:58
Married. Around 90 bottles, almost 75 are opened for any and all to partake at any time. My wife let me turn one of our extra bedrooms into my private bar. She started adding up the costs of the bottles one day. Before she threw out a number to me I asked her how much it costs to feed her three horses every year. We are now very happy.