Wednesday, December 16, 2009

More on the Orizaba Bitters

One of the two known Orizaba Bitters.
I believe this example was sold to a Texas collector earlier this year.
Sure is a beauty!
Now let's work this out; 210 cases equals 2,520 bottles @ $9,000 a piece equals $22,680,000. I could live with that!


  1. There was a picture of one in an old bottle book i think it was old bottles of the west.Ive never dug a piece of one or ever found a piece of one odd bottle.

  2. Same here. No pieces, nada. It must have been a poor seller, perhaps the alcohol content was too low for most imbibers.

  3. I'm no math whiz, but played around with a calculator just for grins. Based on the noted quantity in the auction advertisement, and assuming that none had previously been sold at retail, the survival rate is an astonishing .000793%.

    Inquiring minds want to know... Ever wonder how that compares to other similar rarities in the western bitters world? And then to stray back over to my dark side, western glop top whiskies?

  4. My late digging partner and friend Jim Kaufman dug a slightly damaged one in Blue Canyon at a remote cabin in 2001.There were pieces of another broken one with it, but still an extremely rare bottle.

  5. I have never dug any pcs of this bottle, but would venture to say that the non-alcohol part of the main ingredients for this bitter's recipe came from Mt Orizaba (Pice De Orizaba)in southern Mexico, the highest mtn in that country (18,500 feet). I have been there and seen it, and remember being told that the peak has glaciers and permanent snow. Besides also being a volcano, it is where pine trees grow at the highest altitude in the world.
    So, I can just imagine old J. Maristany Jr. thinking if he got some stuff from this famous mtn and bottled it, he'd become the next Dr Hostetter !!

  6. Yes, in reply to desterskys remembrance of an Orizaba Bitters in a western bottle book, there is one pictured on page 47 in the book 'Redigging the West for Old Time Bottles' by Lynn Blumenstein. Lynn was an Oregonian, digging Oregon very heavily in the 1960's, and at the time of the printing of this book (1965) he valued the bottle at $100 - $115. Very few bottles in his books were valued over $100, even his amber Cutter Old Bourbon coffin flasks (1 from Portland, 1 from S.F.) he valued at under $100, which gives an indication of how rare he thought the Orizaba bottle was. ML