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What did you buy at the liquor store today?


jsmeeker
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Dan,

April Fool's was yesterday..... wait, you're serious. Did you really think that *any* creme liqueur was for you ;) Actually, it can be used to soak cakes, but I wish it were made in a half bottle.

Thanks,

Zachary

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Not exactly the liquor store this time. Was in Hawaii for the past few days (unfortunately not a pleasure trip as it was to attend the funeral for my fiance's father). Her mother asked me to take what I wanted from the liquor cabinet as she doesn't drink.

Quite the odd assortment of bottles to be had. I suspect much of it came from Hong Kong as they traveled there often in the past but probably none of it is less then 15-20 years old. Also it was kept in a typical house in Hawaii with no heating or A/C and the temperatures in the house can sometimes get to 80 or more so they were not particularly well cared for. Scotch was the primary theme. In addition to 2 unopened bottles of Chivas, 2 of J&B and 2 of Cutty Sark there were a few oddities.

There was a half full bottle of Camus XO that looked like it was from the 1980's. Somehow forget to get a picture but the bottle style can be found here.

First are a few bottles of whisky, most labeled as specifically for Hong Kong duty free, and a bottle of Japanese whisky.

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Then a little Russian vodka and Armenian brandy that has to be at least 20 years old as it was from the USSR days. I don't think the brandy has been opened but can it possibly still be any good after all these years? There seems to have been some evaporation from the bottle.

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The vodka bottle seems like a nice curiosity for display anyway. Not sure how good it would be.

The a couple of real oddballs. A bottle from China (Taiwan?) of unknown type that I would welcome any help identifying and a couple of miniatures from Nannerl. The Marillen apricot liqueur must have long since gone bad as that can't be the correct color can it?

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And finally the real find for me. Deep in the back of the cabinet was this Jim Beam commemorative decanter that had never been opened. As best I can tell it is from around 1971. There is still bourbon inside although the plastic seal is breaking down and the gasket between the bottle and the stopper looks to be breaking down as well. Unfortunately it leaked a bit on the trip home. I wish I could have carried it on the plane but not possible these days of course. But the smell of the bourbon that leaked out was surprisingly enticing.

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Trying to decide if I should pop this thing open and see what I find inside. Don't think it has any tremendous value but I would welcome any insight others might have. Just as Hawaiiana kitsch I found it quite appealing.

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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I'm hardly an authority, but the bourbon in that decanter is almost certainly significantly different than what Beam is bottling with a white label today. I'd guess 6-8 yrs, there was something of an aged whiskey glut starting around that time in the US.

The label notes it is "100 months old" so 8 years, 4 months. Just not sure what the next 40 odd years in bottle in the tropics did for the bourbon inside! Probably not anything particularly good.

I also wonder if the fact that it still has something left in it and the tax stamp intact adds anything to the value that would outweigh opening it and giving it a taste.

Probably minimal I would guess. The appeal to me was mostly in the decanter and that seems to only be worth around $50 or so from what I can find.

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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In addition to the odds and ends I brought from Hawaii I stopped by the store yesterday to check out the Willet Single Barrel 4yo Rye blend of LDI rye. Reviews have been pretty good and at $35 it seemed like it was worth giving a try.

While there I decided to experiment with a bottle of Atholl Brose and decided to throw in a bottle of Mt. Gay Extra Old just for variety's sake. Tower here in Atlanta is also having an Irishman Irish Whiskey tasting on April 18th so I think I might pop in and give it a try. Met the local rep who is a pleasant young fellow from the old country. They are bringing out a cask strength (is it just me or is that the latest fad?) of their pot still blend that sounds interesting. Not currently available at the store but will be at the tasting.

I also noticed that have an Irish Cream that is no doubt aimed at the "beeg boy", Bailey's. At $14 for a fifth with a $10 rebate I decided I would be more than willing to give it a little trial of my own!

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It appears my complaint about Carpano has helped save it for a bit longer. It was back on the shelf at Tower for the moment. Unfortunately it was also back up to its regular $35 price as well.

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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Not exciting, but I bought three bottles of Plymouth gin. It's still priced at $26.05 in Manitoba, so I thought I should take advantage of the lower price (same sized Plymouth jumped to $45 in Ontario).

Yes it did... and I'm seriously considering not replacing my almost empty bottle because of that huge price jump.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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former poster flyfish said Plymouth was being repositioned (by the owners) as a premium gin, hence the price hike. I asked an MLCC employee about a potential price hike, and he said MLCC had just done their seasonal price hike, so it would not likely be going up soon here. He had no idea about the LCBO hike or about the attempted repositioning.

It will likely be going up everywhere in NA within the year, so get thee to Winnipeg if you're close!

eta link to article confirming price link

short blurb from said article

Chivas Brothers, Pernod's Scotch whisky and premium gin unit, announced earlier today (18 January) that it will up the price of the brand starting this month, to “reflect the brand’s super-premium positioning within the gin category”.

Article also says the retail recommended price will increase up to 40% everywhere (except Spain where it first tested out the price increase).

Edited by prasantrin (log)
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Not exciting, but I bought three bottles of Plymouth gin. It's still priced at $26.05 in Manitoba, so I thought I should take advantage of the lower price (same sized Plymouth jumped to $45 in Ontario).

Yes it did... and I'm seriously considering not replacing my almost empty bottle because of that huge price jump.

Sheesh, it used to bother me that I could get it for $2 cheaper at the SAQ, but this just boggles the mind.

I might feel ok with paying $30-$35 if they brought in the navy strength, but I can't justify the original gin for G&Ts at $45.

Looks like it's time to stock up. I've still got one old-style bottle left.

oldstyle.jpg

Edited by J_Ozzy (log)
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Not exciting, but I bought three bottles of Plymouth gin. It's still priced at $26.05 in Manitoba, so I thought I should take advantage of the lower price (same sized Plymouth jumped to $45 in Ontario).

Yes it did... and I'm seriously considering not replacing my almost empty bottle because of that huge price jump.

"Seriously considering"? There's no way I'm ever buying a bottle of Plymouth at that price. That's indefensible.

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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"Seriously considering"? There's no way I'm ever buying a bottle of Plymouth at that price. That's indefensible.

Yeah, that's probably a more accurate representation of where I'm at with it. I may be able to snag a bottle at the lower price if it doesn't jump in Manitoba too soon but otherwise I'll live without it.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Happened to be passing the store today so I popped in to check on the price of Plymough gin. 750 ml is currently still a little under $30 where it has always been. They also had a liter bottle with a rather interesting and quite different appearance from the 750ml for about $35.

I was thinking of getting another bottle anyway just in case the gin robber barons struck here and I confess I found the bottle rather appealing in its own right so I ended up buying it. Has a label more reminiscent of the previous style.

Don't have a picture handy but can be seen here.

I note that picture on the link is for a 70cl bottle so that may be the new face of Plymouth. Will have to recheck my bottle to be sure it was in fact a liter size or if I paid more for it than the same size older style bottle sitting right next to it! Would serve me right for not paying closer attention...

Edited by tanstaafl2 (log)

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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Seems my memory was correct and it was a 1 liter bottle.

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Would appear to be the new face of Plymouth gin. I guess the new bottle accounts for the $15 increase in price!

It is a nice bottle though...

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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Armenian brandy that has to be at least 20 years old as it was from the USSR days. I don't think the brandy has been opened but can it possibly still be any good after all these years? There seems to have been some evaporation from the bottle.

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A bottle from China (Taiwan?) of unknown type that I would welcome any help identifying.

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And finally the real find for me. Deep in the back of the cabinet was this Jim Beam commemorative decanter that had never been opened. As best I can tell it is from around 1971. There is still bourbon inside although the plastic seal is breaking down and the gasket between the bottle and the stopper looks to be breaking down as well. Unfortunately it leaked a bit on the trip home. I wish I could have carried it on the plane but not possible these days of course. But the smell of the bourbon that leaked out was surprisingly enticing.

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Trying to decide if I should pop this thing open and see what I find inside. Don't think it has any tremendous value but I would welcome any insight others might have. Just as Hawaiiana kitsch I found it quite appealing.

Still curious if anyone has any info that might help better identify these bottles, especially the one that appears to be from China or Taiwan.

And any thoughts on whether the bourbon in the King Kamehameha bottle is likely to be worth trying or if I should just leave the seal intact and unopened. I am leaning towards opening it and giving it a try.

Original post

Edited by tanstaafl2 (log)

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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And any thoughts on whether the bourbon in the King Kamehameha bottle is likely to be worth trying or if I should just leave the seal intact and unopened. I am leaning towards opening it and giving it a try.

I'm not a collector of much of anything so I'd definitely be leaning towards giving it a try. If you're concerned about whether you'd be destroying the value of something valuable by opening it, do a little research. Shouldn't be too hard to find out what it's worth unless it's not worth anything. Information on valuable things people want is usually pretty easy to find. I like the bottle. If I found it for sale, what I'd be willing to pay wouldn't change much based on if it had that particular booze still in it or not... but I'm not an expert.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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And any thoughts on whether the bourbon in the King Kamehameha bottle is likely to be worth trying or if I should just leave the seal intact and unopened. I am leaning towards opening it and giving it a try.

I'm not a collector of much of anything so I'd definitely be leaning towards giving it a try. If you're concerned about whether you'd be destroying the value of something valuable by opening it, do a little research. Shouldn't be too hard to find out what it's worth unless it's not worth anything. Information on valuable things people want is usually pretty easy to find. I like the bottle. If I found it for sale, what I'd be willing to pay wouldn't change much based on if it had that particular booze still in it or not... but I'm not an expert.

Not really a collector either. At least not to keep bottles of liquor for show. This was a found bottle as it were and apparently not tremendously desirable from the limited info I have found. The decanter itself is not really in mint condition and appears to be worth at most $50-$100 empty. Can't find much info on an unopened one. But given it leaked on the trip home I suspect the bourbon inside could have been impacted.

I am leaning towards opening it and giving it a try. Just thought I would run it up the flagpole here first and see if anyone might have some insight!

Also still curious about the mystery Chinese bottle and the Armenian brandy. Haven't been able to find much of anything about the Chinese bottle.

Yerevan Brandy Company, maker of Ararat (associated with the foothills of Mt. Ararat of ark fame it would seem) is apparently still around (even if the website is currently less than helpful!) and Nairi seems to be there oldest readily available expression at 20 years old. Whether this particular bottle is of any account and what year it was originally bottled is still something of a mystery. I would guess maybe it is 1991 or earlier. It seems very dark and perhaps slightly below what would be the full mark but if the seal is still intact then perhaps it might be good despite probably not having been well cared for.

But my knowledge of what constitutes good brandy is pretty limited so if I do decide to open it I might have to find someone who can help me determine if it is still in decent shape!

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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And any thoughts on whether the bourbon in the King Kamehameha bottle is likely to be worth trying or if I should just leave the seal intact and unopened. I am leaning towards opening it and giving it a try.

Original post

Depends wholly on why you are collecting these things. Personally, I'd probably give it a taste but I only collect things for my own learning, not for any other value they might have, and I have no plans to ever liquidate any part of my collection.

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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The decanter itself is not really in mint condition and appears to be worth at most $50-$100 empty. Can't find much info on an unopened one. But given it leaked on the trip home I suspect the bourbon inside could have been impacted.

I am leaning towards opening it and giving it a try. Just thought I would run it up the flagpole here first and see if anyone might have some insight!

I'd be pretty cautious with this. The glazing used on those types of pieces has the potential to contain some pretty nasty stuff, and what is whiskey but a solvent?

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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Restocking and new stuff run to the Montgomery County liquor monopoly (cheapest prices in the DC area, oddly, and a damn good selection)

2 bottles of Appleton Extra (restocking), on sale for $25

FdC 4 year white (restocking)

Bulleit rye (restocking)

Ron Barcelo imperial - brand new to me

Landy VS (I needed a cheap Cognac for mixing - did I do good for $16?)

Cynar (new to me, but I like what I've had in bars)

For anyone in the area, MoCo has been blowing out Mount Gay and Pusser's since last summer (former XO at $35, the latter at a fat $17), I think it's a steal.

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The decanter itself is not really in mint condition and appears to be worth at most $50-$100 empty. Can't find much info on an unopened one. But given it leaked on the trip home I suspect the bourbon inside could have been impacted.

I am leaning towards opening it and giving it a try. Just thought I would run it up the flagpole here first and see if anyone might have some insight!

I'd be pretty cautious with this. The glazing used on those types of pieces has the potential to contain some pretty nasty stuff, and what is whiskey but a solvent?

Interesting perspective. Hadn't really given that a thought. I figured if I did open it I would decant the bourbon into a different bottle just to minimize the the wear and tear to the original bottle which is Regal China. Regal China was a company in Antioch, IL that went belly up about 20 years ago when the decanter business dried up. They made a lot of them for Jim Beam as well as other stuff over the years. Hopefully the glazes they used won't kill you!

At least not any faster than the booze itself...

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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I did learn the reason for the "100 month old" bourbon and why it came out in 1971 at least. The decanter celebrated the 100th anniversary of the royal Proclamation establishing King Kamahamahe I Day on June 11th, 1871 by his great grandson, King Kamehameha V.

A quite festive day across the islands if you happen to be there and especially in Honolulu where they have parades, art festivals, a hula competition and the now traditional decoration of the statue of Kamehameha I with leis in downtown Honolulu each year. And apparently the only state holiday the celebrates a former reigning king!

If you don't count the birthday of Elvis...

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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