View Full Version : One-of-a-Kind Bottle in Your Bunker?
My discovery of an apparently defunct Ancient Age 10yo Special Edition Barrel 107 prompted me to ponder the handful of single examples of hard-to-find bottlings I have. They include the above-mentioned AA and:
<ul type="square"> Old Commonwealth 10yo
W.L. Weller 19yo
A.H. Hirsch 20yo
Mellow Mash Private Stock
George T. Stagg '02
While I don't consider any of my bottles "off limits", I also won't open any of the above just to sip in front of the TV or computer. It will only be with someone I know will appreciate their character and rarity (rare, at least, on my shelf). How about you? When and/or for whom do you open hard-to-replace singleton bottles?
I have a few that come to mind:
EW Millenium Globe
Prichard's Double Barrel
ORVW 12yo rye
10yo Old Crow (4 chessmen)
Various Staggs and Birthday Bourbons
VW12yo, Randy Blank edition
I'm sure there are a few others in the bunker somewhere. All will be consumed in due course, on the proper occasion.
The only one I have that most people would consider difficult-to-find is the '02 Stagg, of which I have two bottles due to the kindness of Ken Weber in sending the last of his stash to the NE a few months ago.
Some things I have that I consider hard to find, but are probably widely available other places, are:
<ul type="square"> Weller Centennial with BHC label
Pappy 15 and 20
Jeff....I know you've got some Hirsch 20yr somewhere in that bunker too. Definitely a one-of-a-kind bourbon. My special bottles include a WT 12yo foil label, my auction purchase of VW 17yo for the japanese market, BMH 14yo by JVW, and my overseas bottlings of Blanton's. Will open when the occasion/people are right.
My quart of Cream of Kentucky bourbon with a heart shape molded into the glass holds a special place in my bunker. It was an early find in a mom & pop wino shop in Altadena, California enjoyable both for the hunt and the discovery.
Wow! Some stuff there that Iīve never even heard of (Mellow mash, Prichard, White bison).
Some stuff in my possession that I value for their rarity and/or quality :
- Makerīs mark black
- Makerīs mark gold
- I.W. Harper presidentīs reserve
- Wild Turkey Kentucky legend
- Henry Clay
I have a few orphans in the bunker as well:
Van Blankle 12yo (thanks Randy!)
George T. Stagg '03 (unfortunately this is my one and only bottle of GTS ever...also thanks to Randy!)
Distiller's Masterpiece 18yo (it's open, but I consider it "bunkered")
OFBB S'03 (down to 1 bottle left)
I certainly have no problems with enjoying these, but since replacement is difficult or impossible, the occasion or company would have to be just right.
In the bunker?
W.L. Weller 19
Wow, and I thought I was the only one with a White Bison in these parts. Shows you what I know.
The bottlings I have that have not been opened are rare since I believe that a sealed bottle gives little enjoyment. Here are many repeats of what Jeff has listed but maybe a few more:
AH Hirsch 20
AH Hirsch 16/Blue wax first label
Old Crow Chessmen (From Gazebo Chess Consortium)
Jim Beam Bicentennial
Evan Williams Millenium Globe
Pappy Van Winkle 20
OFBB Fall 03
Ridgeford Reserve 1792
1968 Ezra Brooks in Dueling Pistol Decanter
1973 Old Cabin Still in Ducks Unlimited Decanter
1981 Old Commonwealth in Horses of Ireland Decanter (Listed in memory of the bottle in the errant cooler on I64)
1977 Rip Van Winkle in RVW Decanter (Bound for the Sampler)
WTRR signed by Jimmy Russell (will probably never be opened by me)
And soon to be added WT Tribute (currently consignment bunkered by TNBourbon Bunkering Service and hope to be signed by Jimmy Russell at the Sampler)
Some of these have open bottles for me to taste but the bunkered ones will be kept as is for the time being. As far as an occasion to open them, some are future KBF Gazebo contributions and some I would have no problem opening on the occasion of a visit from a wandering Bourbonian. The Hirsch 20 I am saving to be opened only when agreed upon by my good friend Rick who got me started on the road to Bourbon Bliss.
I don't think these qualify as "one-of-a-kind" type bottles, but most would be pretty rare to unheard of for most Aussies..
2004 George T Stagg
Old Rip Van Winkle 10yo (tall 'wine style' UK bottle)
Old Rip Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13yo
All are open except the Stagg which won't get opened until August.
The only rare "bottle" I have is one of the Jack Daniels Bells (big clear glass thing with a stopper)
I don't think of myself as a collector, but I do have a couple of gems: <ul type="square"> Michter's Pot Still Whiskey, made late in the existence of that distillery Henry McKenna, from the Four Roses Distillery, made before Seagrams sold the brand to Heaven Hill Old Taylor from 1972, the last season the brand was made at the Old Taylor Distillery Old Taylor, prohibition-era "medicinal whiskey" A full set of five Bourbon Heritage Collection minis, in the original display box [/list] I have a couple other unusual bottles, but they're in a box with a bunch of junk on top of it, so maybe later.
Incidentally, the Michter's, McKenna and 1972 Old Taylor were all found in Chicago-area liquor stores where they had been in inventory for a long, long time. I can't encourage people enough to check those bottom shelves.
While they're not exactly one-of-a-kind (is there really such a thing in bourbon?), these aren't readily replaceable. They won't hold a candle to Chuck's gems, but here goes anyway . . .
A bottle of the gold foil label Wild Turkey 12 year old. I found two last fall, the other is 1/2 full on the bar.
Two each of the 2004 Antique Collection, plus one each open on the bar.
Wild Turkey Tribute, signed by Jimmy Russell (Thanks LeNell!), plus one open on the bar (not signed). [/list]
My bunker features:
WL Weller 19yo
ORVW 12 yo rye
Black Maple Hill Rye from Van Winkle
I find that I horde a bottle or two of things I know are disappearing, but then find it hard to crack them open, knowing that once they're gone it's all over.
"Not easily replaceables" we have are few but would include:
Unopened bottles of:
Beam BIB bottled in 1972
WT 8 year in a ceramic decanter
Hancock's Reserve from the late 80's
Stagg 03 (Thanks, Tim!)
WT 12 year split label & gold foil (Ditto, Tim!)
IW Harper 4 year (Technically, this is in our western bunker in Tennessee, right, Tim? http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif)
IW Harper 15 year (Thanks, Dane!)
Randy Blank Van Winkle (Thanks, Randy!)
Eagle Rare 03 17 year
OFBB Spring 03
A few inches each of:
...IW Harper 4 year (Technically, this is in our western bunker in Tennessee, right, Tim? http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif)...
Well, Dave, you're down to just 5.25L of it here. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
I have found two Wild Turkey Tribute bottles in a local Liquor store. How hard are they to find? I could pick them up if anyone was interested. Maybe this is leverage for a trade??
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