Thursday, November 26, 2009

Don't Call Me Cunder!

After all these years of collecting bottles it still fascinates me how bottle collectors "nickname" different bottles and their variants. Whiskey collectors seem to be the most flamboyant with their pet names. "Fatboy" refers to the earliest J.F. Cutter Star in Shield fifth. "Stovepipe" describes a type of top on western fifths and early western bitters. If you are holding a "Fatboy" with a "stovepipe" top.... look out.. western whiskey collectors will be pestering you for that bad boy..... er, I mean "Fatboy"
The tall tapering sided Bryant's Stomach Bitters have been referred to as the "megaphone", "cone" and my favorite the "dillywacker"! The Bryant's sided ladies leg shaped bottle is just called "THE LEG".
Whiskey collectors fondly refer to the "One Name Bear" and the ultra rare "Two Name Bear" while bitters collectors have their "Two Name Hibernia" and "Small Letter Renz".
The rare Thomas Taylor Virginia N. whiskey fifth is called the "Tommy T" the "Virginia N." and lately the "Smiling Bob" and if it happens to be green its called "expensive".
The Lacour's Sarsapariphere Bitters is simply called "Lacour's" because hardly anyone can pronounce sars - a - pear - a - fear!
When your discussing the Turner Bros. square you had better make sure its either a "three line" or "four line" Turner's before you open the discussion on this bottle.
If you are talking Wonser's (DR. WONSER'S U.S.A. INDIAN ROOT BITTERS) are you talking about the "aqua" Wonser's or the "amber" Wonser's and does it have a "kick up" base or the rare "whiskey" base. And for sure don't get these bottles mixed up with the "Wonser's square".
How about all of the millions of Dr. J. Hostetter's Stomach Bitters that are just called "HOSS".
Out of all the the pet names for our western bottles the one that baffles me the most is the CUNDURANGO. The poor Cundurango is called "Cunder", "Cunderango" and sometimes "Conderango" and has even been printed in bottle books as "CUNDERANGO". What the heck is up with this? If you more than casually glance at the bottle you can see it is boldly embossed "CUNDURANGO" - not on just one side - but BOLDLY EMBOSSED on two sides so that it doesn't matter which way you hold the bottle you can see the word "CUNDURANGO".
Don't get me wrong...... I'm not harping on this Cundurango thing..... I just think a bottle as rare and desirable as the Cundurango should get some respect and be called by its correct name (Thanks Mike) "El Cundurango Magnifico".... Nuff said?


  1. "Cunder" is just another colloqialism, a term of endearment if you will. Of course, the spelling is incorrect, but so are many other pet names for bottles, er "jugs". OK, we can be kinder to the Cunder and call it by it's correct title, "El Cundurango". BTW, I like 'em, too.

  2. Here are some more Western whiskey nicks for ya that I've heard,and admittingly even used some of them myself over the yrs.....

    "Non-crown", "Circle Cutter", "Bottled By", "Gem", "Pride", "Spiral Neck Chevalier", "Bird Cutter", "Star-Shield", "Rick-Rack", "Horse", "Duster", "John", "N", "Jessie", "Old Figment", "House", "Guilty", "Shum", Castle Flask", "small oval Millers", "Jessie Flask", Green Grange", "Triple A", "High S.F", "Low S.F.", "3-City Lilienthal", "Louie Taussig".

    Damn, I guess there were more than I thought. Anyone have any others? Any questions??
    I probably should've put all this jargon on the whiskey blog, but the post originated here, so.... oh well. Time to go try'an dig a fullhouse of Johns and N's !