Sunday, June 28, 2009

Is That Bottle Really Green?

Every bottle collector (and don't let them tell you different) collects for color. But do they really know what color a bottle is? Do you? Do I?

Why does everyone percieve color different? Well, because color is the distribution of light energy interacting with light receptors in the eye.

Hey all you whiskey collectors -the picture at left is what the rest of the world calls amber.





Nuff said?


  1. There is an adage amongst most collectors that have been at it a while. Simply "Color is King". Well actually I consider the three "C's" Color, Crudity and Condition as being the determining factors when I look at investing in a new critter to add to the flock. But at this stage of the game, color plays a major role. Case in point are the two SHM glop top whiskies that I currently have. I can't justify keeping them both. One is crude as can be, loaded with seed bubbles and character, and is what I call a light dried apricot amber. The other looks like it was made yesterday but has a strong greenish caste; what we've come to call old amber. Decisions, decisions; who to keep and who to cut. In this case it sits, next to it's greenish brother, while I exercise my right to procrastinate.

    That brings us to accurately describing colors prior to offering a bottle for sale, whether is be via email or online auctions. No two people interpret color the same, and no two monitors display color the same. Over the years, I attempted to fine tune the description process and combine it with accurate digital photos. With luck, and diligence, most collectors can combine a visual image with the written description and combine the two in order to form a mental picture of the bottle, much as if they were holding it in their hand. Most people can relate better to an accurate comparison of a material object than they can a color wheel. The preceding post lends credence to that. I can mentally picture and compare lemon yellow to apricot than I would, say primary vs. tertiary yellow.

    And so I sit, trying to figure out just what color my Lacquor's really is... According to the color wheel, it's kind of a cross between tertiary blue green and a secondary green. Bill Wilson called this one Nile Green. Having never been to Egypt, I'll just call it pale sea foam with a subtle undercurrent of fire aqua... Works for me~

  2. I've always said and will continue to say that one thing the bottle collecting hobby needs is some form of color standardization lingo among collectors. Often you'll here bottles being described as green here on the West Coast but in reality are more of an amber color with an olive tone. Back East when collectors describe green it's generally a true shade of green with no amber. More than once bottles being offered for sale to me have been described as being pure green only to find out their really olive amber. 12% of men are color blind with often the inability to perceive differences between guess what, shades of green. The problem is further compounded with photography. It's been my experience that shades of amber and green are among the most difficult to get accurate reproduction color representation of. Color is definitely "king" as mentioned earlier and can make a huge difference in a bottles value.

  3. If you go to fruit jar colors. Greg Spurgeon has done a great job trying to standardize the names for the inbetween shades of green, aqua, blue, amber, etc....

  4. I agree with aphotaling, Spurgeon's site did a remarkable job with the different shades of colors. A good site to visit for this subject!