BC Clark Magazine 2023_2024


Macallan 1946 single malt scotch whisky select reserve


I n 2020, wine importer and distributor Caroline Debbané discovered a noteworthy alcohol collection in a cellar in Lakeview Terrace, a suburb in the San Fernando Valley. The collection belonged to Hollywood heavyweight producer Cecil B. DeMille ( The Ten Commandments, King of Kings ). Over 200 bottles were found — some empty, some full — of spirits, wines, and ports. The exceptional collection was just sold for five figures, a major score for a growing legion of booze “dusty hunters.” The New York Times

hit shelves. They are often still marked with the original price sticker from 1970! Be careful, though, loose lips can actually backfire on you. A less-than-savvy hunter calls a shop owner and makes some comment on how much more a located bottle is worth, and lo-and-behold, when they arrive, they find a shiny new, market value sticker price. The real rule is if you see it, buy it, leave, and give thanks to the whiskey gods. This booze hunting hobby has truly grown nationwide, making it more difficult to procure vintage treasures. After all, prices for collectors

have skyrocketed. Over the past decade, people have begun to realize that buying old bottles is like building an investment portfolio. In some cases, bottles that cost $20 have become worth as much as

describes dusty hunters as people searching for “still- sealed bottles of vintage alcohol, usually American whiskey.” However, cruising around town hunting for bottles of George


Whiskey has a unique status as an investable item because it has a very stable longevity compared to other alternate investments. Distilleries no longer in production still enjoy confident positions in whiskey investor rankings, because their diminishing stock appreciates in value the more time passes. In addition, as with most commodities, production and inventory levels are down, creating attractive investment opportunities.

$800. Hunting these bottles down is a lot more fun than buying a stock. Like treasure hunting shipwrecks in the Caribbean, it is exhilarating, exciting, and lends itself to great adventures. If you’re looking to get into dusty hunting, follow the exploits of Eric Witz; his Instagram @aphonik goes into minute detail about many of his discoveries. Or you could check out bars that showcase their owner’s extensive collections, be it Canon in Seattle, Brooklyn Heights Wine Bar & Kitchen in New York City, The Crunkleton in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Milk Room in Chicago, Old Lightning in Los Angeles, or the Jack Rose Dining Saloon in Washington, D.C. With the recent proliferation of collectors, there are sure to be more examples every day.

T. Stagg isn’t just a fruitless endeavor — it’s a quite foolish one as well. That’s not exactly dusty hunting. Dusty hunting is more readily recognized as driving to out-of-the-way liquor stores in small towns and remote locations in search of old bottles. Not all dusty bottles are desirable, of course. You’ll need to be able to read barcodes, identify tax stamps, and know where good “juice” was distilled and when. Opportunists who have developed these skills could end up scoring some major rarities — rarities most folks aren’t schooled enough to even know are worthy. Why? Because whiskey doesn’t age — or usually degrade — once bottled, no matter how old it gets. The real bonus is that these dusties can often be found for the low, low retail prices at which they first

Glenfiddich 55-year single malt scotch


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