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View Full Version : Do you "save" any of your bottles?



gburger
10-22-2012, 14:41
I have over 90 different bottles in my bar. Every one of them have been opened and tasted, the only ones not opened are backups of my favorites.
Some here have collectors bottles or signed bottles and keep them intact.
I also have many signed bottles, but I decided that I would rather enjoy them now and not let my kids have them when I die. They have gotten enough of my money over the years. lol
Each and every bottle is opened and available to anyone who enters my bar room. No keepers for me. I do have some bottles that I drink less often because I can't find it anymore.
But mostly I "buy", "drink" and "repeat".
What do you do?

HighInTheMtns
10-22-2012, 14:44
The majority of my (80ish) bottles are open. If someone wants a drink from a bottle which hasn't been opened yet, they're always free to open it. Whiskey is for drinking.

tanstaafl2
10-22-2012, 15:01
I try nearly every bottle I buy shortly after I get it so most are open and guests are welcome to try them. I have maybe 60-65 different whiskies of various sorts and perhaps 200 bottles or so of different spirits (I haven't tried to count them all in a while. I started out building a bar to mix cocktails and all those other things like gin and rum plus liqueurs, amaros, brandies and vermouths, etc. add up in a hurry!)

I will sometimes buy more than one if it is a whiskey I think is worth keeping around and I don't think I am likely to find it again in the future. But when the first is done I plan to open the next one available as the need and desire arises. if on the off chance one that I happen to have an extra of proves to be something really special I might sit on it for awhile I suppose.

But it hasn't happened yet!

wmpevans
10-22-2012, 15:06
Whiskey is for drinking.

Well said. Whiskey is for drinking, sharing, and having a laugh with friends.

Bill.

Lazer
10-22-2012, 15:19
I have a different M.O. I keep only one open at a time, I take my time with it, and when its empty, open the next. I guess you can say I'm a whiskey monogomist. :cool:

Bourbon Boiler
10-22-2012, 15:46
I don't struggle to open new bottles, but I struggle to make myself take the last pour of an already open bottle. I guess I save the end, not the start.

Bmac
10-22-2012, 16:03
I am within the consensus, I have 60+ open bottles and I perdioctically revisit them. I have some that are collectible, some that are awaiting a particular milestone, and others are there because I liked it so much a bought another....and maybe four more *cough* JPS *cough*

petrel800
10-22-2012, 17:12
I'm saving empties for a friend. They're going to use them as centerpieces for flowers at their wedding. Got a nice collection going for them.

WAINWRIGHT
10-22-2012, 17:30
I don't struggle to open new bottles, but I struggle to make myself take the last pour of an already open bottle. I guess I save the end, not the start.I am a last pour loser in this sense and hold bottles too long after opening for fear of finding its suitable replacement I guess.I have saved many bottles for future displays in my bar,which does not yet exist.I also try to have opened bottles of suitable comparisons,verticals and like bottlings of varying labels.

Bourbon Boiler
10-22-2012, 19:27
I tell myself I do it for sake of future comparisons, but you can guess how frequently that actually happens.

Restaurant man
10-22-2012, 21:35
I don't struggle to open new bottles, but I struggle to make myself take the last pour of an already open bottle. I guess I save the end, not the start.

Im in this category. Until it gets stupid (wayy too many open btls) Then I start knocking out the last few pours of the bottles I like the least. Don't want any bourbon snobs wondering why I'm clinginging to that last sip of r1. Actually I had to mix that one. First time

Restaurant man
10-22-2012, 21:37
More to your point is that I do save the good stuff. To share with friends as wmpevans and highinthemnts pointed out. Whiskey is for drinking and sharing

camduncan
10-22-2012, 21:42
I have my own variation of that..... 'All Whiskey is for drinking, but good whiskey is for sharing!'

Restaurant man
10-22-2012, 23:32
I have my own variation of that..... 'All Whiskey is for drinking, but good whiskey is for sharing!'

Well said! Amen!

Young Blacksmith
10-23-2012, 06:28
I have two bottles I'm saving, a Woodford I purchased when my first was born (that's what I was drinking around that time), and a 4R gift shop bottle I purchased after my second was born. They're saved for one of two occasions, a wedding or 21st birthday.

Other than that everything is fair game around here. I do have an "open" cabinet area, which helps keep things in check. It fits about a dozen bottles, and I've been working pretty good lately to rotate out that stuff. When I empty one, I pick one from the bunker to replace it. I'm also on a bunker reduction plan right now, as I can see several things I'd rather have in there by the end of the year, like the current PHC and any BTAC's I choose to pick up.

unclebunk
10-23-2012, 06:57
No hard and fast rules for me, as my habits have changed over the years. I used to have tons of stuff open at any given time but nowadays that pretty much only applies to my single malt scotches which I nip now and then before moving on to something else the next time around. I probably won't replace half of those when they're gone (terrific as they may be) simply because of the cost involved and the fact that there are just too many others to try. On the bourbon front, I started a campaign earlier this year to knock off all the stuff that's less than a third full because I simply had too much open and needed to reduce the clutter. Even the slightly pricier bourbons ($40+) are far more afforadable than most of the SMS's and therefore easier to replace when I'm out of something, so I drink them with abandon and don't worry about them much.

At the end of the day though, my whiskey consumption simply can't keep pace with the amount of whiskey I actually own, so I generally encourage my friends to drink freely of whatever they want that's open on the bar. Having said that, I must confess that I feel a bit stingey after reading about the "totally open bar" policies some of you have, as most of my SMS's are kept off separately from the rest of my bar stock, as are my hard-to-find bourbons (BHC's, Pappy V's and other no-longer-produced bottles) largely because of the drinking habits of two of my friends who have the tendency to head straight for the top shelf and then consume huge amounts of whiskey without any thought to the expense involved. One of the guys drinks everything on the rocks and could care less about the provenance of a particular whiskey or how special it might be as long as he gets a good buzz going, only to mutter a "meh" at the end of the night whenever you ask what he thought of the whiskey.:hot: Conversely, the other fully appreciates the quality of what he drinks but simply drinks way too much of whatever he lays hands on, only to head for the same bottle the next time he visits. There have actually been a number of occasions when they've cracked open expensive and/or rare bottles and the stuff is gone before I realize that I've only had one or two small pours out of the entire bottle. So I guess I have to qualify my statement when I join the rest of you in saying that whiskey is here to drink and meant to be shared with good friends, so long as they make an effort to observe some type of whiskey-drinking etiquette.

Trey Manthey
10-23-2012, 07:02
I don't like to keep more that 10 - 15 whiskey bottles open at a time. However, if there is a mood to try something new, I take great pleasure in cracking open a new bottle.

I probably wouldn't open a 2012 GTS if I've already got a 2011 open, though.

One thing I started doing a while ago was making a 2 to 4 oz sample bottle right after opening (if I know it will go quickly) or right before finishing (if it's been sitting around too long and I just want to kill it). This has given me a "library" of samples that I can use for remembering something that I might not have open at the moment without the threat of deterioration from air exposure.

HighInTheMtns
10-23-2012, 07:12
One thing I started doing a while ago was making a 2 to 4 oz sample bottle right after opening (if I know it will go quickly) or right before finishing (if it's been sitting around too long and I just want to kill it). This has given me a "library" of samples that I can use for remembering something that I might not have open at the moment without the threat of deterioration from air exposure.
Like a lot of people in this thread, I sometimes have a hard time having the last few pours from a bottle. I've considered this sort of thing; the trouble for me is, if I save 2 oz of some fantastic bottle... how can I ever get myself to drink that 2 oz? I'd just end up with more sample bottles than I know what do do with. Still, a very intriguing idea, especially in cases like your example - it'd be nice to have a bit of the 2011 Stagg left for comparison when you do open your 2012.

tanstaafl2
10-23-2012, 09:29
At the end of the day though, my whiskey consumption simply can't keep pace with the amount of whiskey I actually own, so I generally encourage my friends to drink freely of whatever they want that's open on the bar. Having said that, I must confess that I feel a bit stingey after reading about the "totally open bar" policies some of you have, as most of my SMS's are kept off separately from the rest of my bar stock, as are my hard-to-find bourbons (BHC's, Pappy V's and other no-longer-produced bottles) largely because of the drinking habits of two of my friends who have the tendency to head straight for the top shelf and then consume huge amounts of whiskey without any thought to the expense involved. One of the guys drinks everything on the rocks and could care less about the provenance of a particular whiskey or how special it might be as long as he gets a good buzz going, only to mutter a "meh" at the end of the night whenever you ask what he thought of the whiskey.:hot: Conversely, the other fully appreciates the quality of what he drinks but simply drinks way too much of whatever he lays hands on, only to head for the same bottle the next time he visits. There have actually been a number of occasions when they've cracked open expensive and/or rare bottles and the stuff is gone before I realize that I've only had one or two small pours out of the entire bottle. So I guess I have to qualify my statement when I join the rest of you in saying that whiskey is here to drink and meant to be shared with good friends, so long as they make an effort to observe some type of whiskey-drinking etiquette.


I suppose if I had friends with those unpleasant habits I might be more circumspect in my sharing as well. For the first guy it might be time to refill the Pappy bottle with standard Buffalo Trace (or maybe Kirkland brand!) and let him have at it.

Doesn't sound like he is going to know anyway...

The other guy might be a tougher nut to crack although it wouldn't surprise me if you put a decent bourbon in an upscale bottle that he would not know the difference. I suspect the vast majority of the unwashed masses aren't going to know the difference (and perhaps I would be one of them. I make no claim to be an expert. I only know what I like and don't like!), especially if it has some similarity in taste profile.

Tony
10-23-2012, 11:08
I only have one bottle saved. It is the Pappy 23 with the wooden box, decanter, glasses and such. I have hidden it away and tried to block out of my mind where it is. I am planning on opening it up the year of my 50th birthday and 30th wedding anniversary Everything else is open game currently I have about 15 bottles open which is all the space I have in that area so will not be opening another until I finish one of those.

Someone had mentioned signed bottles and I have a question on this. When Karry and I were at the KBF we stopped at a liquor store for some bottles and Craig Beam was there signing bottles. I told the woman in front of me at the table to enjoy her bottles as I am sure it was going to be some great bourbon. She looked at me with that kind of look that said I was crazy and then told me that she never opens her signed bottles. Does anyone else do this? It seems silly to me to buy a bottle and not drink it because it has a signature on it. Sure I can see saving the bottle after it is emptied to be a reminder of the time you met and chatted with the distiller but to not open it seems crazy.

Best regards, Tony

HighInTheMtns
10-23-2012, 11:44
If I wanted to keep the signed bottle unopened, I'd just have Craig sign something like a bottle of EWB that's very easy to come by. 'Cause if I had a signed PHC... it would have to be opened. No question.

But I'm no autograph hound. Autographs are something a lot of people collect, and I can understand wanting the bottle to be unopened if it's part of an autograph collection.

Trey Manthey
10-23-2012, 11:54
Like a lot of people in this thread, I sometimes have a hard time having the last few pours from a bottle. I've considered this sort of thing; the trouble for me is, if I save 2 oz of some fantastic bottle... how can I ever get myself to drink that 2 oz? I'd just end up with more sample bottles than I know what do do with. Still, a very intriguing idea, especially in cases like your example - it'd be nice to have a bit of the 2011 Stagg left for comparison when you do open your 2012.

Warning: This procedure is pretty nerdy and a bit obsessive. I'm usually not embarrassed about my collection, despite people giving me grief about having so much booze (relatively...some of you guys put me to shame). However, the following description is something that no one in my circle of friends knows about, as I think they would start to consider me some sort of hoarder. I figure I'm in good company here, but feel free to judge.

Well, I always have a taste when I open a new bottle. If I love it straight away, I'll fill a 4 oz bottle and label it. The idea is to capture that now, as the bottle will probably go quickly. This way, I will have a reference taster if it is something that I won't be able to get again (limited editions, dusty bottles, discontinued/expensive bottles). For example, I loved my bottle of 2011 WLW, and I was able to compare that to the 2012, despite the 2011 being long gone, without opening another 2011 bottle right away. I just poured a few sips out of the sample bottle.

If there is a bottle that hasn't charmed me, or is just taking too long to finish (6+ months), then I will bring the bottle to a party, offer it to guests, etc. When it gets down to the last 2- 4 oz, then I will decant that into a sample bottle and label. The idea is to have a reference so that I can remind myself what it tastes like in case I think about getting another bottle in the future. For example, I had a bottle of Booker's that wasn't going anywhere, and I can always pull out that sample to remind myself that I don't need another.

So while I have about 40 bottles of whiskey, and about 15 open, I have a secret collection of about 40 samples when I just want a taste.

Hey, at least I don't save my fingernail clippings!

Restaurant man
10-23-2012, 12:01
I only have one bottle saved. It is the Pappy 23 with the wooden box, decanter, glasses and such. I have hidden it away and tried to block out of my mind where it is. I am planning on opening it up the year of my 50th birthday and 30th wedding anniversary Everything else is open game currently I have about 15 bottles open which is all the space I have in that area so will not be opening another until I finish one of those.

Someone had mentioned signed bottles and I have a question on this. When Karry and I were at the KBF we stopped at a liquor store for some bottles and Craig Beam was there signing bottles. I told the woman in front of me at the table to enjoy her bottles as I am sure it was going to be some great bourbon. She looked at me with that kind of look that said I was crazy and then told me that she never opens her signed bottles. Does anyone else do this? It seems silly to me to buy a bottle and not drink it because it has a signature on it. Sure I can see saving the bottle after it is emptied to be a reminder of the time you met and chatted with the distiller but to not open it seems crazy.

Best regards, Tony

When i have multiples, i drink the signed one last. over the years i have drunk every signed wine bottle i have gotten and then tossed it in the bin at the end. same with bourbon's. At least the lady you saw wasn't planning on flipping it as a collectable. I remember when Jim Rutledge politely asked if he should exclude my name on the personalization because he has been repeatedly told it makes the bottles "worth more" I shudder to think how many dooshbags this guy has to deal with in a year. maybe that's why these distiller types are so friendly to people with a little bit of knowledge and a lot of interest.
As you revealed Tony i'm a little bit of a hypocrite on the open bottle policy (my wooden box old rip has been in the plain white cardboard box in my closet since i bought itin 2009, hasn't seen the light of day since)

unclebunk
10-23-2012, 13:24
I suppose if I had friends with those unpleasant habits I might be more circumspect in my sharing as well. For the first guy it might be time to refill the Pappy bottle with standard Buffalo Trace (or maybe Kirkland brand!) and let him have at it.

Doesn't sound like he is going to know anyway...

The other guy might be a tougher nut to crack although it wouldn't surprise me if you put a decent bourbon in an upscale bottle that he would not know the difference. I suspect the vast majority of the unwashed masses aren't going to know the difference (and perhaps I would be one of them. I make no claim to be an expert. I only know what I like and don't like!), especially if it has some similarity in taste profile.

I'm sure you're right that my one friend wouldn't know the difference between the high end stuff on my shelf (that he always reaches for to show everyone he's a real connoisseur) and nearly any mid-shelfer that I might substitute in its place. He's strictly a "fill the tumbler with ice and start pounding" type of guy who once mocked me for commenting about how much I love Highland Park 18 (which set me back $120) because the flavors/aromas in the glass always manage to transport me back to the sights and smells of a seaside cottage I once rented just down the road from the distillery in Orkney, Scotland. His reply was that he could care less if the stuff was "made by some slob in his basement, as long as it gets me fu*ked up." He then proceeded to down half the bottle before announcing that the HP18 was just "okay" but "not a whole lot better than the McClelland's Highland that I can get anywhere for $20." Nice, eh? The other guy wiped out a bottle of WT American Spirit in two sessions but wouldn't have been any the wiser if I'd poured him Rare Breed which had me questioning the wisdom of breaking out that bottle. I may have to pick up a handle of something decent and fill a decanter with "mystery" whiskey before their next visit.:grin:

Trey Manthey
10-23-2012, 14:13
Heh, sounds like you've learned your lesson. I wouldn't hesitate to serve him $20/bottle stuff from here on out.

Clavius
10-23-2012, 17:15
I got to participate in choosing a barrel of Knob Creek Single Barrel for work. So I have one bottle of that stashed away for, what I'm planning to be, a long time. We'll see how it works out!

nblair
10-25-2012, 03:50
Someone had mentioned signed bottles and I have a question on this. When Karry and I were at the KBF we stopped at a liquor store for some bottles and Craig Beam was there signing bottles. I told the woman in front of me at the table to enjoy her bottles as I am sure it was going to be some great bourbon. She looked at me with that kind of look that said I was crazy and then told me that she never opens her signed bottles. Does anyone else do this? It seems silly to me to buy a bottle and not drink it because it has a signature on it. Sure I can see saving the bottle after it is emptied to be a reminder of the time you met and chatted with the distiller but to not open it seems crazy.

Bourbon is made for drinking, but I have 2 signed ETL 90th Birthday bottles I'm hanging on to. They look good on the bar and I think its something that is pretty rare. Anything else though, no matter how old it is or which distillery it's from, is fair game.