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Whisky Resolutions for 2020, anyone?

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@Nozinan
Nozinan started a discussion

Wow! another year has flown by. Has anyone else noticed that each year goes by more quickly than the last?

Looking back at this thread:

connosr.com/plans-resolutions-for-2019-whi…

How did things work out?

As the clock counts down, do you have any new plans for 2020?

6 months ago

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Replies: page 1/2

@RianC
RianC replied

Yes! To buy less ... grin Although in fairness my hands will be a little more tied this year re. finances and I've certainly 'made hay ...' this year so I shan't complain too much. There may be many instances of green eyes monster though ...

6 months ago 2Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

So how did 2019 work out?

I had hoped to end the year with a collection of sealed bottles that equaled last year’s total. I am currently up by 14.5 bottles (last year I was up by 15 bottles so a slight improvement?) with no plans to open any more this year. I simply have no more shelf space for open bottles.

Which brings me to resolution 2: Have fewer open bottles (ie: finish some of my heels) than I did at the end of last year. Oops. I have 88 open bottles, 16 more than last year.

I had plans to open 11-13 specific bottles at the beginning of the year. I actually opened only 6 of them. I think that if I buy with the intention of opening, the longer I wait to open, the less likely I will. That happened with my Cairdeas Fino Sherry in particular. I did open 19 new bottles (counting 2 of the bottle swaps as 1), and either gifted, returned, or resold 8 bottles (one was a gift that I opened, tasted, and passed along).

I thought I could finish off 9-12 of my open bottles. Looking back, I finished 7, but 2 of those were Booker’s batches that I put together so the total is 6.

In terms of purchases, I had estimated I would buy about 7 new bottles this year as nothing was really on my radar. I didn’t exceed my expected purchase of NBC bottles (3). However, I purchased 37.5 bottles (3 were bottle splits), and received another 6 as gifts.

For the first time I tracked how much alcohol (in ml) was coming into and leaving my collection (purchases and gifts vs drinking, serving and samples out). I discovered that my ins were 250% of my outs.

I also tracked my personal intake of whisky from all sources (other than cooking). I have nothing to compare it to but it will be useful in future years to detect dangerous trends. It also hit home that I don’t need to buy any more whisky for 30 years and I won’t run out.

New Plans

I need to turn things around. I no longer have room for the bottles I own. FOMO is now greater than FORO but I need to bring it under control. In 2020, the collection MUST not grow. But I must make room for future can’t miss out items.

How will I achieve this? It’s a work in progress. Made more difficult by the discovery that you can ship 9-10 bottles from Zyn for less than $60… For one thing, I have told my B-I-L he should not alert me to sales in Calgary.

Cracking the seal:

There are a few bottles I had hoped to open and never got to. These will be high priorities:

  • AP 20 YO - I never got to it and I have an option on a spare if I want it - I need to decide

  • Amrut Portonova - I have a couple of batch 1s in the bunker but I bought one in 2018 specifically to introduce my MP friend to it. In 2020 I’m determined to make that happen.

  • Milk and Honey Distillery cask bottling - determined not to hide it away but to open this and share (OK, I have a spare)

  • Aside from that, there are only 3 others in my collection I can see myself possibly opening

Purchases:

Given I only have 6 I plan to open, I will need to be far more selective in what I buy. Try to live in the moment, meaning ONE bottle of any new expression. So I may never see it again. Something else will always be there. The only exception I might make could be for Amrut or a BTAC. Shared bottles like the Kaiyo and the Cairdeas are great because by definition they have to be opened.

I have very little on the radar this year. I will give Lot 40 CS another chance and pick up a spare or 2 IF it is good. If an affordable Amrut or Octomore present themselves, I will pull the trigger.

Most bottles I buy this year, and it will have to be a lot less than last year, will need to be opened in 2020.

Finishing bottles:

I may have to throw a “heel” party to make some room in my cabinet for new openings. I have up to 15 bottles that I could reasonably hope to finish. Part of the problem is that some of them are “never to be tasted again” bottles and I want my palate and mood to be just right. But I have to clear some one these out to make room for new expressions.

Only time will tell if I’m to be successful. I do not want to consider the nuclear option.

6 months ago 4Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

I am going to try and get rid of any open bottles that I have not visited for over a year. I am either going to finish them off before opening anything new, or give them away to friends. I’m thinking of things like Glenfiddich XX, HP Valkyrie, Glen Grant Major’s Reserve, Port Askaig 14 and several others that I bought out of curiosity or because they were on sale. I tried them a few times and then totally ignored them. They’ve gotta go. I’m going to try and buy less, but buy better next year.

6 months ago 5Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

I plan on significantly reducing my “new bottle intake” as well as the size of my collection in 2020. I got carried away in 2019 and acquired far too much. I managed to find new homes for a few bottles I had no real plans on drinking, so that bit was successful. In 2020, I will get FOMO under control. I’m thinking of establishing a list of whiskies I absolutely want and then really following the list. As it stands, I’m already looking at a + 5 or + 6 bottles accounted for in 2020. There are 3 bottles waiting for me in Toronto and 2 or 3 coming back from the U.S. of A. I’m hoping to land something from the BTAC, but that’s as likely as me winning the Miss America pageant so we’ll see....

6 months ago 4Who liked this?

@fiddich1980
fiddich1980 replied

I have no 2020 resolutions to cut back, curtail purchases, or increase/decrease my whisky consumption. In 2019, I realized that if I had the ability and means to purchase and if the opportunity presented it's self - I would. Good research and investigations provided insight and clues into what seemed worthwhile purchases, for myself. Moreover, the rabid demand and mania for specific special releases meant competition among consumers for limited releases. Sadly, it has become the norm and a game just to acquire and purchase a "decent whisky". It is not the FORO or FOMO but, the simple act of getting a bottle, given the whims of our provincially run liquor board. If I manage to get an excess of a product "the little whisky group", I'm an unofficial member of, will have to opportunity to purchase at cost or trade. If there is a bottle in my collection which I can not see myself opening, consignment to an auction is possible.

I initiated the acquisition of a few versions of Kavalan Solist in later half of 2019. Hopefully, in 2020 a tasting comparison can be done.

6 months ago 7Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge replied

@fiddich1980, we are all "unofficial" members, we don't even have a name for the group! lol

Love that pic!

6 months ago 5Who liked this?

Astroke replied

@fiddich1980 Great pic, the Solist Rum cask is calling out to you from Alberta :)

6 months ago 0

@fiddich1980
fiddich1980 replied

@Astroke They're all calling. However, I'm awaiting a couple of bottles "Rachel's Revenge", which are expected to be "available shortly, at the SAQ.

6 months ago 1Who liked this?

@fiddich1980
fiddich1980 replied

@Astroke Glendronach 18 Allardice post Billy Walker.

6 months ago 1Who liked this?

Astroke replied

@fiddich1980 , look forward to your thoughts as I traded my last unopened 2017 and failed to get the 2018. Down to 1/3rd full bottle of a 2017.

6 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Hewie
Hewie replied

I'm excited to have tickets to my first whisky festival in March. It's NZ's only proper one and is a biannual event. dramfest.co.nz It's got plenty of big names coming too - unfortunately I'll just be going for one day as I'm there with my wife (who doesn't like whisky) and some friends who I've been introducing to some decent whisky. I'm looking forward to sampling some bottles that I haven't had the opportunity to try yet. As for purchases etc. - I'll keep doing what I've been doing. Limited but thoughtful and planned purchases. My 'collection' is nothing like what most of you have but works for me and my limited budget. Lastly, I hope to do some more sample swaps - which has tended to be a bit of a challenge finding like minded and willing people.

6 months ago 6Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@Hewie You should be glad you have a smaller collection. It is less of a burden/obsession.

6 months ago 1Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@Hewie - there's always someone with a bigger one than you stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye

6 months ago 7Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@Nozinan - right!?! One gets the sense there was real love and passion went into that collection. Conversely, the mental image of vultures picking at a corpse comes to mind after seeing the clip. All those Black Bowmores for starters ...

6 months ago 3Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@RianC

This reminds me of the man who inspired me to get into whisky.

He had 9 bottles of Black Bowmore 30 yo. Bought them for $100 a bottle in the 90s from LCBOI once asked him what it tasted like and he said “never tried it”. He died never having tasted it.

He had “only” 2 sets of shelves with spirits that someone estimated were worth about a quarter of a million dollars.

He had no descendants and very few living relatives. When he died I cannot imagine what happened to his collection.

6 months ago 3Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge replied

@Nozinan, rumors of a film industry executive with a case of ginger ale and Black Bowmore (it has been reported his lady has a thing for Bowmore) are circulating in the whisky underground.

6 months ago 4Who liked this?

@casualtorture

I wouldn't mind exploring some more independent bottlers in 2020.

6 months ago 5Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

The one time I predicted that I would seriously cut back on buying I failed to keep to that prediction. Now I make no resolutions or predictions, but I have been very quiet. Yes I will buy Stagg or Van Winkle if offered.

6 months ago 5Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

@Victor You, sir, are a very wise man. Happy New Year.

6 months ago 2Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@BlueNote, and a very Happy New Year to you too! ( a couple of days early)

6 months ago 2Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge replied

2020 Vision

...I will change my focus for the coming year. Rather than concentrating on the harvest of favourites, I will aim to unburden myself of lingering unopened bottles.

This past week I touched every bottle in my possession, not all in one day. There are bottles I will never drink. I will be trading, returning, gifting, and sharing them. My aim is to turn as many of these bottles as possible into useful, serviceable bottles.

I have begun the process. Today I returned three undesired gifts to the government liquor monopoly and, combined with a gift certificate, parlayed them into four highly desirable and highly drinkable bottles, all for the affordable price of $38.60.

Happy New Year! tumbler_glass tumbler_glass

6 months ago 9Who liked this?

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@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

@paddockjudge Always good to have a spare....or two....or three....or four. laughing

6 months ago 2Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

Update: I let 2 of my bottles go in December, they went to a better home. I didn't remove them from my database though, by accident. So in fact I'm only up by 12.5 bottles this year. That's a 1/6 improvement on 2018.

I also identified a couple of other bottles I might be able to open so things are looking up. Now I just need to find a way to get through the bottles quicker...

6 months ago 1Who liked this?

@JasonHambrey
JasonHambrey replied

My resolution this year seems similar. I've cut my collection down to 120 bottles, with a strict one-in one-out policy now. Whisky does change, but you can always get good whisky, and if not, I'm still set for decades. I've grandfathered in 20 that I can't replace once consumed, and downselected my core collection to 100 total - opened and unopened - that are my core list. I gave away the rest directly or through parties and tastings. It is hard, as I'll only drink a handful of bottles a year, so it really makes me think hard about what I choose to buy.

Oddly, as I started to do this last month, I've found that it forces me to really enjoy my collection. As I want to explore, I actually need to spend time with some good whisky to make space. So the one-in and one-out policy has actually been not a chore but something I've really enjoyed. I was getting into the habit of accumulating lots of unopened "celebration" bottles and only opening one in the last 5 years (I had 40). So, its been fun. I finished a Stagg 2012 (almost 17 years old and 71.3%!) with some bourbon loving friends (in a tasting alongside Stagg Jr., Blanton's, Blanton's straight from the barrel - all four with generous pours over 6 hours). It had just gathered dust for years, and I was tentative to ever have any of it. I couldn't have thought of a better way to enjoy it.

I've enjoyed trying to curate a well-rounded collection with a limit. It makes for some interesting decisions. I recently fell in love with a cask strength Virgin oak finish whisky from Shelter Point, and had to finish my last 2018 Wiser's 35 to make space (because I'm loaded up with old Canadian whisky at the moment). Hard decision, but I really enjoyed the rest of the whisky and expect Corby to keep delivering - so it's not a big deal.

So, that's my resolution. We'll see if I can keep the core 100 up. Right now I have 18 American, 51 Canadian, 4 Indian, 2 Irish, 2 Japanese, 20 Scotch, 2 North American (i.e. Little Book and Mister Sam), and 1 Australian. That list also informs on my drinking tendencies....

Next year I might have to enforce a cap on my other spirits, as good brandies, rums, and grain spirits do call out to me...

6 months ago 7Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@JasonHambrey so you and your friends devoured an entire bottle of 2012 George T. Stagg at one sitting, in addition to the other whiskeys?

6 months ago 1Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt

I will more frequently immediately open any bottles I buy. I did that a couple times in 2019, and it was fun! It reminded me of my carefree early whisky days before I got so "into" (serious about) it.

6 months ago 8Who liked this?

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