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  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999

    Attention All Collectors

    I see from another post that Whiskey magazine may be doing a story on collectors. I too would like to do a story on collectors for The Bourbon Country Reader.

    For my purposes, if in your home now there are ten or more whiskey bottles that still have whiskey in them, you are a collector.

    We all know I collect only empty bottles, with is more a matter of inevitability than design. Actually, that's not entirely true. I have a few bottles of Old Taylor made at Old Taylor in its final season, a few bottles of Michter's, and a few of pre-Heaven Hill Henry McKenna, but that is the extent of my full bottles collection.

    I have the following questions for collectors. Feel free to answer in private or public, as you prefer.

    1. Do you collect other things? Do you think you have a collector personality? What sort of satisfaction do you find in collecting? How does collecting whiskey differ from other kinds of collecting?

    2. How were most of your holdings acquired: (a) retail purchase, (b) purchase or trade with another collector, (c) purchase from private individuals who are not themselves collectors, (d) gifts or inheritance, (e) liquor store heists.

    3. What is the exact scope of your collection? (e.g., all whiskies, all distilled spirits, all American Whiskies, novel packaging, etc.)

    4. Your collection's statistics: How many bottles total? How many unique bottles? How many unopened bottles?

    5. If there were a marketplace where you could trade with and buy from other collectors, would you use it?

    6. Is there anything else about your collection that you think is unusual or interesting?

    Finally, let me know if you are willing to have your name used or if you would prefer to remain anonymous.

    --Chuck Cowdery

  2. #2
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Jan 2001

    Re: Attention All Collectors

    Hello Chuck
    I guess that i'm a collector or maybe a fanatic of Stitzel-Weller products.
    I've bought mine retail in Kentucky and i usually don't collect other things except maybe distillery glasses and or other products.
    Here is the list:
    1. 8 bottles of Very Very old FITZgerald 12yrs-100proof-7 unopened- distilled in 68 and bottled in 80 and thanks for your info previously on these bottles. 2. 2-bottles of Old FITZ-101proof-don't know the year-1-unopened
    3. 6-bottles of Old Fitzgeralds-1849-has gold foil seal with Stitzel-Weller name and Very old Fitzgerald on the foil with cork stopper. label has date of 1970-don't know if thats distilled or bottled date. I do know that it is PURE AMBROSIA and still can't tell whether its better than VSOF. doesn't matter anyway cause both are so excellent, wish you could try them with me. 5-unopened
    4. 8-bottles of Old Fitzgerald BIB-1985-says that on the case.liter size with seven unopened.
    5. 1-opened bottle of W.L.Weller special reserve -label says 1977-don't know if i can go by the year on the label.says 4/5ths quart. taste real good tho.
    6. 1- opened bottle of Rebel Yell with label date of 1974-real good too.
    7. lots of other bottles sealed and opened-various distillerys-all new tho.
    8. hopes this helps and you can use my name. Life is Good!-- Den.

  3. #3

    Re: Attention All Collectors

    Chuck while I have more then ten bottles of bourbon I don't really consider myself a collector. For me bourbon is part of my lifestyle and not a hobby.

    Here are my unopened bottles:

    Kentucky Spirit - 1
    Blanton's - 4
    Russell's Reserve - 2
    Very Special Old Fitzgerald - 1
    Woodford Reserve - 1
    Evan Williams Single Barrel 1990 - 2
    Elijah Craig 12 YO - 6
    Old Grand Dad - 5
    Virginia Gentleman 90 proof "The Fox" - 2
    Ancient Ancient Age 10 YO - 2 1.75l
    Old Forester - 2 1.75l

    That's it. You can see I'm running low. I'll pick up a bunch of bottlings this Sept in KY, of the bourbons that I can't get here. Everything was a retail purchase.

    I do have a collection of about 100 shotglasses.

    I do not consider my battery of firearms a collection, but rather an assortment that allows me to defend my family and engage in the types of hunting and shooting sports that I enjoy.

    It would be wonderful if we had a swap-mart on our forum.

    Linn Spencer

    Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Midland, MI

    Re: Attention All Collectors

    A short reply:

    1) I do collect other things. Coins, typewriters, straight razors, and (of
    course) books. A couple of pipes. I like owning things that are well
    designed, historical, or somehow intresting. I like owning things that
    make me proud to be a (human being / American / engineer / classicist / etc.),
    so the "identity" thing is there for me.

    2) Most of my whisk(e)y was bought retail, much of it from Sam's in Chicago
    and the Wine and Liquor Depot in California (if you consider those retail...).
    I have split a number of bottles with other enthusiasts in the past.

    3) My collection tends to be high end stuff, interesting stuff. Things you
    probably can't get at a bar or a small liquor store. Mostly bourbon/scotch/rye.
    I also have cognac, port, and gin. I plan on getting into rum a bit too, but
    haven't yet.

    4) Stats? My gosh. Probably only about 25 bottles total, all open and being
    consumed. I tend to keep empty bottles, but I don't count those as part of
    my collection.

    5) A Marketplace? I might use it to buy things I can't buy off the shelf,
    especially historic stuff. I'd also be interested in splitting bottles
    with people, i.e. trade 1/3 bottle of Blanton's for 1/3 bottle of Booker's
    (or whatever). My guess is that a marketplace might not get enough traffic
    to make it worthwhile.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Punta Gorda, FL

    Re: Attention All Collectors

    Hello, Chuck. I have the following sealed bottles. Not quite sure I would call these a collection rather than a hording of Bourbons. Over the years I have collected rare coins, golf clubs. and sports trading cards although most of all of these are long gone. I have the following sealed bottles of Bourbon right now, would you like a drink. 1-Bookers. 1- Blantons 1-Benchmark Single barrel 5-90 Evan Williams Single barrel. 1-liter Buffalo Trace. 3-sazerac Rye 2-17ye eagle Rare 3-weller 19yr. 3-20yr Hirsch 3-16yr Hirsch. 2-23yr Vanwinkle Pappy Reserve 1-old 20yr Vanwinkle Pappy Reserve 2-new 20yr Vanwinkle 20yr pappy Reserve 4-Vanwinkle 13yr Family Reserve Rye. 3-15ye Vanwinkle 107 Proof 2-Vanwinkle 12ye Family Reserve.2-10yr Weller Centenial. 1 Each 14yr & 16yr Black maple Hills Ltd. 1-Wild Turkey kentucky Spirit. 2- Wild Turkey Rare breed. 1-12yr Old Wild Turkey 1-George Dickel 10yr Special Reserve. 2-Jack Daniels Single Barrel 1- Jack Daniels Gentleman Jack.2- 1-Knob Creek. 1-Russel Reserve. 2-Jeffersons Reserve. I may have missed a couple bottles but this is what I have for the most part. I have say 8--10 opened bottles some of the above and some different. i plan on adding 8-10 different Bourbons when i return from Ky this summer. Creggor.

  6. #6
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Kansas, USA

    Re: Attention All Collectors

    I'll attempt to answer your questions in the order that you asked them:
    1.) In addition to American whiskey, I also collect fixed blade and tactical folding knives, Winchester shotguns, fishing lures, and Hewlett-Packard calculators (yeah, I'm an engineer-geek). I'm not sure I know what a collector personality is, but I enjoy "classic" items. Items that started at the top of their game and will still hold their own today. The items that I collect are uniquely American forms of art in their respective areas. Although American whiskeys are an art form, I do drink my liquid collection and the empty bottles, unless particularly unique, go into the trash.

    Also, the things that I collect have brought me much closer to some very interesting people (such as the members of this forum). The people and the objects I collect form a symbiotic relationship.

    2. Most of my holdings were purchased, a few were traded, and a couple were obtained in liquor store heists [IMG]/wwwthreads/images/wink.gif[/IMG].

    3. My whiskey collection consists of American whiskey, although I have one bottle of Canadian rye. I also keep a few bottles of Tequila around.

    4. I currently have 171 bottles of American whiskey, about 20 are somewhat unique, about 50 are unopened (backup inventory or waiting for that special occasion).

    5. I would definitely buy/trade if there was a marketplace catering to my interests.

    6. My friends think my whiskey collection is unique in that it reflects on my lack of sanity, but in reality it's what helps me cope. After 10 to 12 hours at work, I need something to totally remove me from my job (which I love or I wouldn't put in the hours, but we all need a release).

    Lastly, feel free to use my name.


  7. #7
    Bourbonian of the Year 2004 and Guru
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Nelson County, Kentucky

    Re: Attention All Collectors

    Hi Chuck,

    April is just around the corner. I can't wait to see the article (Malt Advocate) you did on my family. I hope they used my favorite picture of them in front of the old Jail House.

    I have just started to collect a few bottles of Heaven Hill single barrel bourbons. They gave me a gift set (3) Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage, Elijah Craig 18 year, and Henry McKenna 10 year. It has a oak tray that they set on with the names engraved on it. I have others, but they are special because they were given to me and yes Linn I will not drink them they are proudly displayed on a massive antique side board.

    I also collect a lot of infromation about "Master Distillers", Joseph L. Beam in particular. Of course you know that. It is just a unique trade that I believe has to born within. All the bourbon we drink today is the rusult of very hard work that they did in their lifetime and right now a lot of people will read this and wonder who is Joseph L. Beam. Someday, I am going to track down to date where he was a Master Distiller through out his lifetime along with his 7 sons. I could almost bet that they have been in almost every distillery in Kentucky.

    I also collect labels. I have a very nice collection . Don't know what I am going to do with them but I do like collecting labels, HH of course. Elijah Craig wooden tray, Fighting Cock wood plaques, Christian Brother tins, embroidered Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc. sign etc. I use all this stuff at the booth at the bourbon festival, meanwhile it decorates my shop throughtout the year.

    I would not sell anything that I have all will be passed down to my children.

    you can use my name,

    Bettye Jo Boone
    great-grandaughter of Joseph L. Beam, Dean of all Master Distillers.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2000

    Re: Attention All Collectors


    1) In addition to bourbon, I collect rare writing instruments (fountain pens), old nautical charts, compasses and other devices used to determine geographic direction.

    2) The majority of my bourbon collection was purchased in liquor stores, some on the web, some traded with fellow forum members or bought overseas. No heist.

    3) My collection is all Kentucky Straight Bourbon, no rye or Tenn. whiskey.

    4) I have 50 bottles, half are sealed. My primary interests are a) older bourbons (15 years or more), b) unusual packaging and c) export-only bottlings. Most unusual bottles in collection:

    Four Roses Single Barrel,
    Four Roses super premium Platinum,
    I.W. Harper President's Reserve,
    Very Olde St. Nick, 240 moons old
    Virgin 21 yo.
    L & G President's Choice
    Wild Turkey Stampede '55
    Wild Turkey Kentucky Legend
    Old Montana Red Eye
    Cock of Walk 15 yr.

    I'd be interested in a forum trade mart.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Wauwatosa, WI

    Re: Attention All Collectors


    1) I'm a pack rat. I collect jazz & blues cds, books, and hand tools too. Collecting feeds my neurosis. There's always the chance with whiskey that the space taken up with the collection will stabilize if I drink enough. Everything else just keeps consuming more and more space.

    2)Virtually all of it was bought. All the good stuff was. The Beam white, CC and Seagram's 7 are the sorts of things that show up as gifts.

    3) I have a liquor cabinet full of assorted things for guests. But only one brand of things besides North American whiskey.

    4) I have 20 bottles of NA whiskey. 10 bourbons, 2 ryes, 5 Canadians, 2 blends and 1 Tennessee. 10 of the bourbons and ryes are small batch/single barrels. 2 of the Candians could be classed as ryes (Alberta Premium and Lot #40). 11 are unopened.

    5) I'm not sure if I'd do buisness with individuals by mail order.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Wauwatosa, WI

    Re: Attention All Collectors

    I forgot to say that you may use my name.




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