Bottle Share Nights: What’s the Deal with the Private Events
In my introduction to bottle share nights, I mentioned the massive bottle share events… these are private events that are more than just a bunch of friends sharing their favorite bottles outside of official club events.
Years ago, someone told me whiskey clubs sometimes join forces and they have one giant bottle share… that sometimes people travel for these events in other cities and even other countries and it can last for days. One such starts with an A and ends with -geddon. As you can imagine, it can be fairly scary to face hundreds of bottles daily for four or so days. Or exhilarating and very special. Maybe one day …
In the meantime, I went to a bottle share patterned after a bourbon bottle share in Kentucky. However about half the table had brandy and in particular Armagnac. That was fine by me. I had just gotten back from Armenia and was still on a brandy high from drinking Ararat all week.
By now I’ve come to understand private bottlings. Back in the day, some distilleries didn’t bottle their own product and particularly in the case of Scotch and Irish whiskey. Now, it’s just really cool to drink stuff that isn’t as widely available. And usually independent bottlings tend to be really good. I have been to Whisky Jewbilee in Seattle and saw they had tastings of several of their bottlings which of course they sell. This one was bourbon being this was a bourbon night.
I really love looking at all the cool bottles Beam produced decades ago. Sadly a lot of the decanters contained lead so sometimes it might not be a good idea to drink any you find now. But I took the risk. [edit – this one is colored glass and was safe to drink from]
I learned a lot about how to keep old whiskey tasting good with this handle of Wild Turkey. After it was opened, it might be covered with a film to keep it from oxidizing. Keep in mind any open bottles will slowly oxidize. I have open bottles from a few years ago and I can’t tell much of a difference with clear spirits but my whiskey all taste more mellow.
I also really liked this old Ancient Age bottle.
The metal cover was just so cool.
[edit – apparently this is a paper label but it is still cool. How about Sazarac Company produce a metal cover for an Ancient Age!]
Not everything that night was old. There were some recent craft distiller people were supporting including Belle Meade. I brought a bourbon from New Holland that was finished in a beer barrel. I also brought cask strength cachaca but no one was interested in that… yet. I’ll wait for the whisky guys to get through Armagnac and rum first.
I’m still navigating this world of bottle shares. In my next post, I’ll talk about what happens when you’re not expected to bring anything. But how can it be a bottle share then?
Bottle Share Nights
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