Nov 01

To Collect or to Drink

Glenfarclas 21 Year Old ScotchIt can be very depressing when you get to the last drop of one of your favorite whiskeys.  It can be even more detrimental if that whiskey happens to be rare and/or expensive.  This feeling of despair can turn whiskey drinkers into whiskey collectors.

I’ve certainly fallen into that trap before.  To make things worse, being a young adult starting out in my career, a $60 investment into my favorite Scotch can seem much larger compared to that of an established businessman.

So where do you draw the line?  When do you break out that 21 year old single malt, and finally finish it off?

Personally, I started this blog to correct that very issue.  Knowing that my favorite whiskeys would be chronicled in this blog made me feel much more at ease about finishing my most treasured bottles.  It’s wonderful to have a valuable collection, but it’s even better to enjoy that collection.

What do you think?  Would you rather save those precious bottles, or enjoy them?

 

-Ryan

6 comments

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    • Dan Williams on November 1, 2011 at 5:28 pm
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    I say drink them, remember them, write about them and make sure to share along the way. I REALLY mean that last part!

    • Angie Lancaster on November 11, 2011 at 3:52 pm
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    I say drink them on special occasions…special meaning, any kind of special occasion! Holiday, birthday, the pens winning the stanley cup (hehehehe). I would definitley want to savor expensive/favorite whiskeys over time though. I wouldn’t try to finish a bottle in one night. I also agree full heartedly with Dan when he says you should share it with friends. If I were to buy a very expensive whiskey, I would like to share it over time with many friends to listen to everyone’s different opinions as well as observe their reactions after trying their first sip 🙂 Alcohol is a great way to socialize with friends. Especially when those friends are whiskey lovers too!

      • Ryan on December 18, 2011 at 3:45 pm
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      Agree with you completely, Angie (except for the Penguins part, of course). Sharing whiskey with friends and family can be very special, and is the best way to finish a bottle!

      -Ryan

  1. I’m a “drink ’em” guy. There’s another factor in this equation: whisky degradation. This is a difficult thing to prove, and it depends on the whisky, but I am certain at least SOME whiskies seriously lose some flavor after being open only two months or so. I’m sure my Talisker 10 lost some “zing” after a couple months as I tried to savor it and make it last. My Johnnie Walker Black Label changed a lot, and not for the better. And my Jack Daniels tastes like bananas now (though, I obviously wasn’t trying to savor the Jack, I just wasn’t drinking it for a while).

    So, that means I decided to limit the number of open bottles I can have at one time (I’m still experimenting with the exact number – four, plus or minus). Also it means that I decided I wouldn’t do special occasion whiskies. I might wait and open one on a special occasion, say I’ll open a special bottle over Christmas break or something, but once it’s open, it’s for drinking, and I try to finish it within two months or so. If you want to stretch them out, you can always pour some of your favorite into some smaller bottles without any air, and then they should stay fine indefinitely. A lot of work, I know, but hey, we’re talking about expensive stuff here!

      • Ryan on December 18, 2011 at 3:48 pm
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      I have heard many different theories on whiskey degradation. I recall an article in Malt Advocate (now Whisky Advocate) stating that once the bottle is down to 10% or so, it will lose a lot of its complexity. I personally have not noticed anything too drastic with my bottles that have been open for a long period of time. I suppose I will have to start paying more attention, and finishing my whiskeys a little faster!

      -Ryan

      1. I know, I’ve seen people say that they’ll pick up a bottle after a couple years and it’ll taste just fine, so it’s hard to know what the truth is. I’ve either seen changes in a couple months, or my palate has evolved over those couple months, but there’s no way to know if it was the whisky or me that changed.

        I also like drinking them because I have my own OCDs too, and having too many opened bottles drives me nuts for some reason ;-P

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