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  1. #1
    Moderator and Bourbonian Of The Year 2014
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    How many bottles do you bunker?

    I've been looking at getting a couple of extra bottles of the 94 Evan Williams Single Barrel before they disapear from our shelves. My plan was to have one to open and compare to the new 95 vintage, and another to keep for show.

    My question is...how many bottles do people buy to bunker?

  2. #2
    Guru
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    Re: How many bottles do you bunker?

    Personally, I have to this point been focusing on first bottles of most, and have only one bottling of more than one in my bunker, being VWFRR and I only have two of those. Most of the bunker bottles are personal favorites that have undergone a change recently (2003 Stagg, ORVW15, Jeff Reserve 15yo, and a collector's RR1792). There are just too many bottles I don't have and only so much in the budget. Most everything I have is open and available for sippin.

  3. #3

    Re: How many bottles do you bunker?

    Depends on the bottling, Cam. Since Wild Turkey 12yo is currently not distributed in the U.S., I try to never pass up a bottle, but it's because I wish to drink it a long time, not as a collector. If I were treating it as a collectible, two would be enough -- one to sample, one to keep for show.
    On the other hand, one is plenty of anything I can still lay my hands on -- but, as it starts to disappear (a la last year's EWSB when the new year's arrives), if I wish to keep drinking it, I buy as noted above re WT12.

  4. #4
    Moderator and Bourbonian Of The Year 2014
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    Re: How many bottles do you bunker?

    I guess I'm not collecting bottles per se. I don't (personally) see the point of having an unopened bottle gathering dust on a shelf with no intention of opening it.
    My personal preference is to buy as many different bourbons as possible to try, and eventually settle on a dozen or so prefered ones.
    Having said that, I wouldn't mind doing a taste comparison of say a 94, 95, 96 & 97 EW SB at some future point. Likewise if Stagg was availble Downunder, I'd probably do a similar thing there with the 2003, 2004 etc

  5. #5
    Taster
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    Jul 2003
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    Barossa Valley, Australia
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    Re: How many bottles do you bunker?

    I always like to keep one of everything unopened to save for a rainy day.
    Bottles like Stagg & Tribute I try and extend the budget & pick up as much as I can.
    Anything that is readily available I usually only have one bottle which is opened.
    Unfortunately it always comes down to the bottom line.

  6. #6
    Taster
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    Jul 2003
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    Barossa Valley, Australia
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    Re: How many bottles do you bunker?

    I whole heartedly agree with the premise of vertical tasting which would give a great insight to the evolution of some bourbons.
    Although I sort of collect for collecting sake, the intention is that even the rarities will be opened for a special occassion or for people that will appreciate them.

  7. #7
    Disciple
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    Feb 2005
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    Japan, (American)
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    Re: How many bottles do you bunker?

    I have a somewhat different problem with stocking up on bourbon. A lot of things are not sold to the Japanese market. Many of these get here via parallel shipping. That is chancy, so if I really like something I stock up. I have done that with Elmer T. Lee and Buffalo Trace, for example. Also, I will buy things I see on sale if it is on my 'always have on hand' list. That is, if the whiskey budget will allow. To date, I haven't bunkered much as I am in 'trying everything mode' so most of the budget is getting used up on bourbon I haven't tried yet. There are still quite a few bourbons on my 'must try' list, so a bourbon has to be pretty high on the 'always have on hand' list for me to buy duplicates.
    Ed

  8. #8
    Advanced Taster
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    Feb 2005
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    Malden, Massachusetts
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    Re: How many bottles do you bunker?

    Probably way too many! I have to sort out the cellar sometime soon - the hodgepodge of liquor store boxes is not working anymore.

    In principle, if I really like a spirit and it's a limited release, then I'll try to find as much as I can afford. For example, Eagle Rare 17 and Sazerac 18 are really fine spirits in my opinion and I found a way to get a bunch, so I probably bought a lifetime supply. I like WT Tribute a lot, but I can only justify bunkering one bottle and having one open because of it's cost.

    If I had only one backup bottle, I might hesitate opening it for a party (or even for myself). If I can afford to bunker more, then I don't have to worry that I'm drinking the "last" of a favorite spirit. As long as distilleries keep coming up with new excellent offerings, I will probably be able to have some of today's favorites in the bunker for quite some time to come; new offerings will take up some of the slack.

    I guess it all depends on your disposition, but I was always a kid who never wanted to "use up" all his crayons, so I guess this pack rat mentality still holds today. The good side of it is that I have some amazing bourbon to taste over here, and not that much of it that's too dear to open. Basically, I don't want to fill shelves with whiskey, I want to drink it, so I bunker enough to keep some around for a few years. There are some spirits that I would like to have around essentially forever, so I buy as much as I can afford of those...

    WRT your EWSB'94, I willl suggest that it's a lot simpler to find it now than it will be to find it later. The '95 and next year's '96 might be better, but you never know now. So... I'd weigh the annoyance of not having your favorite '94 two or three years down the road vs. buying it now and having something else that you like better get released and compete for your bourbon $$.

    Best of luck,

    -monte-

  9. #9
    Bourbonian of the Year 2009 and Virtuoso
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    Re: How many bottles do you bunker?

    Catch a flight to KY next week for the Sampler as we're doing just that......'89 thru '95 EWSB. Hopefully someone will take a few notes and report back somewhere on this Forum.

    I only bunker things not readily available or out of current production.....then I buy all I can find if its a favorite.....ie ORVW 15/107, WT 12yo, early Rock Hill Farms, early Wathen's and anything from Stitzle Weller.

    Randy

  10. #10
    Connoisseur
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    May 2003
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    Virginia
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    621

    Re: How many bottles do you bunker?

    My bunker is a weird hodgepodge. I don't collect, but I have some items that I guess I'm reluctantly collecting because of their rarity. For example, I have 3 unopened bottles of the original RidgeWOOD Reserve 1792, which after seeing go for $80+ on eBay I'm afraid to open. I also stumbled on a bottle of Jacob's Well, which isn't that spectacular but is getting fairly rare.

    As for the rest, it's mainly drinkin' bourbons. I can't get BT in VA without jumping through a lot of hoops and waiting several weeks, so I buy lots when in Maryland. Same thing for another favorite, VWFRR 13yo. The rest is mainly odds & ends from Kentucky trips, but except for Randy's Van Blankle 12yo and my orphan Stagg bottle they're all fair-game for opening.

 

 

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