Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Old Bourbons and a New Year

Happy New Year! Here's to a fine 2015!


  1. WOW!...HOLY Sh#* !....WOW! That's one hell of a collection. Love those Western Bourbons.

  2. Thanks, California Kid! Note, the bottom picture was from the Reno Star & Shield Shootout a few years ago...
    My collection has actually shrunk significantly over the past 3 years or so....and that probably won't reverse course as I have 2 kids under 2 who will be on the payroll for the next 18+ years ;) In the meanwhile, my goal is to have about two dozen fifths that I like consisting of a few classic western picture fifths and some nice cutters in various colors. Perhaps one day I can go about rounding up some of the Fifths in the Top 25....

  3. Hey, you and I are in the same boat. Kids are first. My daughter graduated high school this past summer and is on her way to collage. I have not bought a heavy hitter in over 10 years and have had to part with 95% of my collection that I have dug or found since I was a kid, nearly 600+ western bottles. ( No regrets, its just stuff) My Western Bourbons are the only bottles I have hung on to. Less than 30 and some in the top 25. They mean a lot to me. I do still by small $ whiskies/ bourbons. Be patience my friend, it seems that the retirement age is the time to buy. Happy New Year, Mike McKillop

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  5. Indeed, Mike! Unfortunately I've had to let quite a few early ones amber Duster, Jockey Club, OPS, McKennas, Fenkhausen, Phoenix, Roth, Spruance Stanley, ANo.1, Mid Crowns, Shoulder Crowns, a color run of Tea Kettles, and several nice J. Moore Fifths....all my Sodas, all my Bitters, all my Meds, Jakes, Pharms and Foods; also some nice flasks, including a half pint Kane O'Leary I dug. I'm not quite at losing 95%, but will be within another year or two :(

    Luckily, most of the bottles I've let slip away now reside in the collections of close friends and family so there's a chance to reacquire a few somewhere down the unknown road. As long as I can manage to hang onto a handful of JF's and a few of my favorite bottles I've dug I'll be plenty happy. Family health and survival should always trump a lavish collection, right?

    Maybe when I retire at age 82 there will be tons of nice western bottles to be bought for pennies on the dollar with hardly any other collectors to compete with? Then I can hoard a massive collection for a decade and in the blink of any eye, pass them all onto the subsequent generation of collectors (that is, if any are left in the year 2075) -- Hey, most JF's will be 200 years old then!!!

    Here's to the past, present, and future of the hobby!

    Sent from my iPhone

    1. 110% right. You and I both will have a treasure trove of great western glass to pick from in the future. So,... you older collectors be careful and don't break anything. :)

  6. You don't have to have a big collection to have a nice one. Those are some beautiful whiskies. That green Cutter is awesome!
    Kelly P.


  7. Very true, Kelly! Some of the best collections I've seen are the ones that have been rescued from the darkness of divider boxes, displayed beautifully on shelves with natural light or good backlighting, and not overwhelmingly large. The quality, colors, crudity, rarity and provenance of a 25-50 bottle collection can truly be outstanding!

    I personally wouldn't ever care for owning much more than about 15 of the "Top 25" Whiskies on the list. Although some are very rare, I'd rather have an early no-crown Hotaling than a Whiskey Merchants, a nice crude OPS instead of a Weil Bros., a colorful J.F. over a Chevalier-Spiral neck, or a well struck one name Bear in lieu of a Durham. But I really admire the old school quest of collecting the book, checking off the list, or seeking every number and variant like a set of baseball cards.

    It's crazy to think how much color and crudity have out-favored rarity in the past few decades (and I only go back one when it comes to the whiskies). But it makes some sense since collecting used to be based on what was seen at shows or in the black & white print of "Spirits Bottles of the Old West," versus all the great photography on the blogs, auction sites, Facebook and eBay. At some point one would think that the Western flasks, German-connection fifths, and rare slug plates will once again reclaim their place on the Hot List....