Let’s talk about your bourbon “bunker”.
I’ve heard a fairly common theme amongst bourbon enthusiasts lately. “I have to grab everything I can because there is far more demand than there are good bottles available.” A quick perusal of social media confirms this thought process when you see people posting pics of their Bourbon Bunker. You see a wide variety of bottles but often, stocking up of the same bottle. I can understand grabbing the “unicorn” bottles but when I see people own six bottles of Four Roses or Willett Reserve Pot Still I shake my head. They are very good but think of it this way. If a bottle you like disappeared tomorrow and you couldn’t buy it anymore, what would you do? You would look for a replacement. Something else that can become your new favorite drink. Half the fun of drinking bourbon is trying new and interesting pours. Maybe that local distiller has a few barrels they’ve been aging that are finally ready. Maybe you try one of the bottles you see all the time on the shelf but ignore in search of the same bottles everyone else is chasing. Bottom line, it’s not the end of the world if you have to drink your bunker.
OK, that may have appealed to your heart now let’s go for the brain. The math is simple; a 750ml bottle holds 25.3605 ounces or just over eight drinks containing 3 ounces of brown water. That is 2-3 healthy pours 3-4 nights per week. Some of you might hit that by Tuesday, others might make that stretch a couple of weeks but I think that is a decent middle ground. If you have anything over 50 bottles at home, you could last an entire year without purchasing another drop before you run out. This also might alleviate some of the pressure we’ve all felt to buy a bottle we know we don’t need based simply on FOMO. That’s right, the Fear Of Missing Out. It is a psychological phenomenon that we are all living with in the Bourbon world these days. A subconscious response to a situation that we can’t control.
Let’s be honest; you will buy more this year. The chase can be exciting and getting the call from your local liquor store about that special bottle they are holding for you is as close to Christmas morning as adults get. Here’s a prescription (I’m clearly not a doctor) that allows you to buy more intelligently and if you are like me, make your spouse happy. Buy what you will drink in the next year and make it your goal to get bottles into your recycling bin instead of your bunker. Distillers are investing hundreds of millions into capacity that should keep your collection worthy of Instagram for the length of the Bourbon Boom. In the meantime, if the demise of good bourbon does happen, for $40-60 you can get your hands on some outstanding sipping tequila. For less than that, there is an ocean of great wine and craft beer. You will spend less time chasing and more time sipping, or as we call it at Bourbon and Banter, #drinkcurious.
Growing up in Minnesota gives a person a great appreciation for anything that warms the body and soul. Whiskey and wine have been helping to warm Luke for many years. Jim Beam and coke morphed into whiskey waters and eventually Bourbon. Two buck chuck led to several trips to Napa Valley and a love for most varietals of wine. He is fortunate enough to have traveled most of the US through his career in financial services. A beautiful and understanding wife mostly tolerates his other hobbies including golf, hunting, and reading. 2 young kids keep them busy as well. Appreciation for the subtle differences that each decision a distiller makes keeps him coming back for more and has him excited for the future.
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