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If you could do it all over again...

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@Nozinan
Nozinan started a discussion

I am currently paring down my cabinet of open bottles to a more manageable size. It got me to thinking...How did it come to this?

We all come by our current cabinets through different routes. For me, I got into whisky late, and in my zeal started accumulating bottles faster than I could open them. Between FOMO and FORO I never have enough of any one expression, yet more than I can consume in a lifetime, and still I see new expressions I want to try and some to own (and for the tough ones, to "try to own").

If I could do it over, I would have held off on buying multiples of most products, especially the replaceable ones. I would have done more sample swaps rather than buying full bottles, and I would have gotten into the habit of buying in the moment, enjoying, and moving on.

There is no need for dozens of bottles that take years to finish, and even more that may never get opened. Sure, it was cheaper then, but it would be even cheaper to buy as required rather than sink money into bottles that wait a decade or two to be unsealed, if ever.

I love hunting for and buying bottles, like others like getting shoes or handbags. If I could do it again, I would spend that time buying for others more than myself.

If you could do it again would you change anything?

5 years ago

20 replies

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge replied

@Nozinan, nearly a decade ago I began to gather bottles of whisky that I enjoyed. I was harvesting my favourites, some in multiples and others by the case. Previous to this I had occasionally purchased two or three bottles at a time, chiefly to have stock on hand through holidays or when retail outlets were closed on Sundays and evenings.

If I could do it all over again, I would buy cases of my favourites and forego the variety I currently have, an amount approaching two hundred different whiskies. I did not know a whisky bubble would form in the second decade of this millennium; however, I did understand the concept of whisky never becoming cheaper than it is today and also understood the concept of identifying and accumulating product of exceptional quality. Cases of Alberta Premium 25 YO, Wiser's Legacy, and Alberta 30 YO were easy scores that made large expenditures justifiable. Yes, I would find the gems and hoard them for future enjoyment...and that is exactly what I would do if I could do it all over again.

5 years ago 7Who liked this?

@fiddich1980
fiddich1980 replied

@paddockjudge I completely agree! The goal of the whisky journey is to find that seminal whisky. My nephew made a proclamation at the tasting on his favourite whisky. I think he is fortunate because he knows which whisky gives him the greatest contentment..He is not out there researching, hunting the latest, the greatest or the rarest. Sure, it's fun to try different kinds of scotch and appreciate them. Generally, I treat these scotches as one off, unless there is a something more ... to them. For myself, I would be more than content to have only Glenfarclas 25 and Lagavulin 12 Cask Strength, Lot 40.

5 years ago 4Who liked this?

@nooch
nooch replied

Interesting topic. I think my whisky journey has been shaped by my location to a large extent. Living in Ontario means that it is difficult to try a variety of whiskies before you buy. The result for me was that I would read lots of reviews then try to hunt down bottles that were in my price range. In hindsight I should have attended a few whisky shows, which would have given me a wider range or tries before buys. For the most part I would say that there are very few bottles I own that I regret but there are some. I definitely have a much better idea of what I enjoy now.

5 years ago 1Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

I've been 'in the game' for a lot less time than most on here and the last few years doing cover/temp work has left a dent in the expandable £££ zone . . . that said, I don't do too bad but I do regret buying up lots of whisky that was 'OK' but at a good price.

I've made a little pact with myself that any whiskys bought from now on will be ones I like and are good value e.g. Benromach 10, Ardbeg 10, Springbank 10. I may buy the odd new one if I feel it warrants a purchase i.e. from a distillery I like. I'd happily buy a case of Talisker 18 if I had the cash though . . .

5 years ago 1Who liked this?

@nooch
nooch replied

Takisker 18 and Macallan 18 are two drams I’ve never tried but want to.

5 years ago 0

@nooch
nooch replied

@RianC I’d happily buy one bottle of talisker 18 if it ever came to our shores!

5 years ago 1Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@nooch - Are you in Canada? Well, I hope you can get one at some point - it would be worth the hassle! Never had the Mac 18 either but would like tyo try. Cheapest I've seen though is over £200! No way . . .

5 years ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@MadSingleMalt Not sure what a regert is but I'm sure there's a medication for it...

I don't think you have to actually regret something to improve on it and do it differently.

5 years ago 0

@Hewie
Hewie replied

@Nozinan ha ha just Google "tattoo no regerts". I was going to add a picture but there are just too many to choose from laughing

5 years ago 3Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt

I was gonna post one too, but as @Hewie says, it's more fun to just go Google-hunting yourself. They're awesome.

To answer the original question: I regert nothing about the bottles I've bought & opened over the years. I do regert sinking money into some bottles that are just collecting dust waiting for their "someday" to come. Especially regertable are the "buying up lots of whisky that was 'OK' but at a good price" bottles like @RianC talked about. I don't need a supply of cheap blends in my life.

5 years ago 2Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@MadSingleMalt so there ARE regerts.

Hindsight is 20:20 (though my eyesight is so bad it would only be 20:40). I would probably have bought fewer bottles, but many of those I have exchanged or traded away since. SO it's better to look forward, not back.

And going forward, knowing I need buy nothing to maintain a supply for life, I can be more selective. and if I run out of one type of expression, like Lot 40 CS rye, in 20 years, I'm sure I can buy something then to take its place...

5 years ago 2Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

I may be getting more curmudgeonly as I approach the big 4-0. I’ve only been drinking whisky “seriously” (does that even make sense?) for 5-7 years. I wish I hadn’t felt the need to buy a bottle of every whisky under the sun (within my budget) for the first 3-4 years. I could have been happy without ever owning a bottle of Auchentoshan 12 or Cardhu 12.

I also wonder if ignorance is bliss. One of my best friends buys naught but Macallan, Highland Park, Aberlour, and Oban. He doesn’t research anything and he seems easier to please than me. Maybe I regret “diving in” to the knowledge pool....

5 years ago 4Who liked this?

@Hewie
Hewie replied

@OdysseusUnbound yes, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing". My friends still buy their bottles based on the labels and I'm sure they have no regerts either! The 'knowledge pool' is more like the rabbit hole - who knows where it will lead.

5 years ago 3Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt

Perhaps in response to this thread (but also, I'm moving soon), I had it in mind yesterday to unload some of the bottles I stocked up on in the past but don't really expect to open anytime soon.

A few texts to some buddies later, and I'm about eight bottles lighter and $450 richer.

Regerts smegerts!

5 years ago 4Who liked this?

@ajjarrett
ajjarrett replied

I wouldn't suggest that this is a 'regret,' but if I had to do anything different is buying two bottles of the Glendronach 15 and the 17yo Taketsuru, when they were reasonably priced.

However, I did learn a valuable lesson, which is it can take just a few months for things to turn against us enthusiasts with modest income, so maybe buying a spare bottle (of something you truly enjoy) is a good thing to do. I remember when back in the Fall of 2015 on my way back to Beijing, I flew through Tokyo and picked up my first bottle of 17yo Taketsuru when it was just 70 USD, in Narita's Duty Free. When I went back to Tokyo, for a 10 day visit in late January of 2016, they were no where to be found in Duty Free, and prices in the shop jumped way up. Oh well. Lesson learned.

It is okay to do this with even whiskies that are still available, as long as you don't "blow" you budget, and as long as you don't mind giving up other opportunities e.g. opportunity cost. For example, I am one of those whisk(e)y enthusiasts that likes to buy more of bottle of what he likes and not really branching out into others. I do that vicariously through those reviewers on Youtube.

5 years ago 3Who liked this?

@PeterG7
PeterG7 replied

Collecting single malts to me is a hobby and like any hobby it could get out of hand. Over the years I have become much more selective when I make a purchase. When I first started, I didn't know what I didn't know. So I bought with out much thought to the distillery, the flavours, etc. As I evolved I have become much more selective. I've never been one who has gone into the LCBO and cleared the shelf of a particular malt. I have bought 2 and in some instances 3 of one malt but only because it was from a distillery that I was partial too. I. too, will never finish what I have. I think it's time to take my wife's advice and open the bottles

5 years ago 2Who liked this?

Jonathan replied

As my Uncle Al used to sing-exclaim when my family gathering got to Streisand's "'Tell me would we, could we?", I want to say "NO!:"

But prices were more reasonable so few years ago, and for so much more quality. , And to be honest, I'd buy more Macallan CS, 12; every Ardbeg;the Laphoaig 18, and Tali 18, I'd kill my bank account, but think of the savings!

I wouldn't buy more Kilchoman, though, because it still tastes just as good and the price hasn't changed.

5 years ago 0

Jonathan replied

I'd probably also buy Lavagulin DE and 12 which were under 100$ when I started this hobby, and that wasn't that long ago . Oh, and Old Rip 10 was 35$. They offered me Handy for about 80.Not joking! I screwed up on the Saz 18,, as a fellow whisky conn knows. I wouldn't wish a popped financial bubble on anyone, but prices are going out of hand : 70% now for Tali 10?

5 years ago 0

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@MadSingleMalt