“Some of the more brilliant older bourbons are Pappy Van Winkle 20- and 23-year-old bourbons, Jefferson’s 17-, 18- and 21-year old, Michter’s 20, Elijah Craig 18-year-old, Evan Williams 23-year-old, and Wild Turkey Tribute. These releases defied the woody profiles old timers held in contempt of whiskey. But these whiskeys were better because of the palates blending them.
Both Jefferson’s Trey Zoeller and Julian Van Winkle have built careers around their ability to blend barrels. Unfortunately, not everybody has this skill, and many older bourbons flooding the marketplace will deceive consumers into purchasing them.” - Fred Minnick
The Buffalo Trace Antique Collection turned up in a few more locations this week. So far it has been reported in NC, ME, IL, WI and GA. No sign of Pappy yet, but that's not unusual. It usually drops around the first of November.
Last year, the first reported Pappy sightings occurred starting on November 1 in North Carolina, Kentucky and Washington D.C. You can check out Bourbonr's 2017 Pappy Release Map to find out what date it showed up in your state. There's no guarantee the dates will be the same, but the progression through different states typically plays out in a fairly similar fashion year to year.
Also, this week Michter's announced it would release its 20 year for the first time since November 2016. You can read the press release below.
There's also a blog post I ran across this week on collecting and investing in rare bourbons. It's from 2014 when things were heating up. Now we're in a full-blown raging fire and the hard-to-find ones are even harder to find. But there's some interesting points here for the newbie, as well as the savvy bourbon hunter.
Plus, Minnick provides an enlightening discourse on the pros and cons of aging bourbon for a long time -- and debunks the myth that the higher the age the better the bourbon.
Also, you still have just over 2 weeks to join the Pappy 15 Raffle on November 5. All current members can buy tickets in increments of $25. These are 2-for-1 tickets meaning you get 50 chances per $25 order.
Note: This was written in 2014 and things have gotten even crazier since then. But it provides a good overview of how many bourbon hunters approach collecting/investing in the brown stuff. Great primer if you're new to the game and want to discover how rare bourbon releases have evolved over the past few years.
I’ve written a few things on the secondary market and collecting. Like many Whiskey geeks, I do wheel and deal with my collection’s excess. Often it’s reciprocally beneficial trades and sometimes it’s buying and selling. Any then profit goes back into my collection, which is often shared with friends and subsidizes the free tastings I periodically do for followers and such. This will be the first of two posts on the topic of bourbon collecting and investing.
I’m seeing some shocking things going on in the secondary market that one needs to balance and put into perspective. For example, I’ve seen the same bottle of a legendary Willett change hands four times in a year. To some, American Whiskey is what goes into Coke or onto a man/women cave bar, but to some it’s a hobby and lifestyle. To some, it is a commodity. For others, it’s for drinking, and for some it’s for showing/bragging/pride/art.
Then there are those for whom it is mix. Regardless of where you are, it’s become competitive as hell. In fact, I’ve never seen Whiskey described as “competitive,” which is very new. It wasn’t three or four years ago, but it sure is now. Let’s dive deeply into what happens when collecting and investing intersect.
Michter's Master Distiller Pamela Heilmann and Michter's Master of Maturation Andrea Wilson have decided to release Michter's 20 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon this year. The last release of this Michter's offering occurred two years ago in November 2016.
"We're really proud of our 20 year and older offerings," commented Michter's President Joseph J. Magliocco. "They come from stocks that we purchased years ago, and we feel that the barrels have developed really well." Recognizing the critical importance of rickhouse management in the aging of older whiskeys, Michter's Distillery has the position of Master of Maturation. This is held by Andrea Wilson, the first woman to ever serve as Chair of the Kentucky Distillers Association. Wilson observed, "One of the most exciting aspects of my job is when I sample older barrels. These barrels were really special and we are thrilled to share this year's 20 Year Bourbon release with our consumers."
Michter's has a rich and long legacy of offering traditional American whiskeys of uncompromising quality. With each of its limited production offerings aged to its peak maturity, Michter's highly acclaimed portfolio includes bourbon, rye, and American whiskey.
The proof of this 2018 release is 114.2, and the suggested U.S. retail price for a 750ml bottle is $700. For more information, please visit www.michters.com, and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Cheers and Enjoy the Chase!