I didn’t even know whiskey collecting was a “thing”. But, when whiskey collector Bryan reached out to Wisconsin Supper Clubs, Inc. to tell us about his hobby of collecting unique whiskeys and other liquors, I was intrigued. When we cleaned out my father-in-law’s house, we blew the dust off of a 50 year old collector bottle of Jim Beam and passed the bottle around in tribute to him. We were suprised that it was still drinkable!
So, if you have an interesting new or old bottle of Whiskey, Rye, Scotch or Bourbon you’d like to find a new home for, get in touch with Bryan –– he might be interested in your bottle!
Whiskey lover turns collector
By Bryan – [email protected]
I grew up in a rather liberal home in northwestern Illinois (don’t hold Illinois against me) – and on those rare occasions that I’d asked for a taste of my mom’s wine, father’s Miller Lite, or grandfather’s J&B scotch, my parents obliged. Like most kids, I was generally turned off by alcohol of any type – but it was the Band-Aid like smell from my Papa’s scotch that was the toughest. I’d frequently lamented that I couldn’t understand whiskey’s appeal; Papa would just smile, nod, and sip that J&B.
Fast forward to many years later – well past my years at the University of Wisconsin in Madison – and a friend of mine was sipping a bourbon one evening. Being a beer-kind-of-guy – one whose last foray with whiskey involved a rough night and even rougher morning reliving the taste of Southern Comfort after a misguided freshman year mishap – I’d declined his suggestion that I try it. “Seriously…. Trust me,” he implored. After a few attempts, he convinced me – and that moment became a turning point.
Perhaps it’s unfortunate that my first “adult” experience with bourbon involved such a storied – delicious, though overhyped pour – Pappy Van Winkle 15 year Bourbon. For bourbon drinkers, “Pappy” is often the holy grail. Here I was, trying bourbon for the first time – and it just so happened to be “Pappy.” On the flip side – perhaps this stroke of luck was perfect; perfect, because had I not tried the right expression (this bourbon is generally sweeter than some of the others) that evening, it’s possible that I’d have never gone back to it. It just so happened that I was sold.
Fast forward to today, and collecting a variety of whiskey – primarily bourbon, but including rye and scotch as well – has become a hobby of sorts. My tastes have evolved well past the easy-to-drink Pappy Van Winkle, and I can appreciate a very large variety of whiskies. Looking at bourbon alone, I try to collect a wide variety – different mashbills (the mix of grains used in a bourbon – which includes a combination of corn, barley, and either rye or wheat), newer and vintage, those from an array of distillers and bottlers, bottles and decanters, gallon-sized to miniature airline bottles, proof points that vary from HOT (think 140 proof) to 80 proof expressions – and the list goes on.
As I’ve looked to expand my collection, I’ve connected with folks from all walks of life – and I’ve found that many have individual or multiples bottles that they’re sitting on – not realizing that these are of interest to some collectors. Some whiskies have sentimental value (e.g., some folks will collect bottles from their kids’ or parents’ birth years), some have more tangible value, and others are just plain “drinkers.” I always enjoy corresponding with new people – and I’m looking to add to my collection. If you – or if your family or friends are trying to figure out what to do with that collection of bottles – I may be your guy!
Please reach out to me at [email protected] and we can get that dialogue going—and help you figure out just what to do with those old (or new) bottles! ~ Bryan, the Bourbon Nerd