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Monday
Oct312011

Appreciating vs. Hoarding

I've met many a whisky drinker who made the transition from wine to spirits because of the fact that whisky keeps.  An open bottle of whisky can last years with little drop off, while a bottle of wine might start to degrade after the first day.  For people who drink alone or in small doses, it just makes sense.  Plus, there's no aging involved - whisky is always ready to go from the moment you buy it.  Booze still needs to be drunk, however, and the thought of saying goodbye to some of our favorite bottles can be too much for some enthusiasts.  While collecting whisky to appreciate is a fun and healthy endeavor, hoarding is a dubious side effect of it.  It happens to the best of us.  In order to keep yourself on the straight path it's important to recognize the difference and confront those tendencies immediately.

-If you're saving a bottle to open later, you're appreciating.  If you're afraid of opening a bottle for fear it will be gone too soon, you're hoarding.

-If you look at the last pour in a bottle and think, "Yes! I've got one last sip!" then you're appreciating.  If you get to the last pour and then leave it in the bottle forever to prevent from having to finish it, you're hoarding.

-If your friends come over and you pull out the Oban 18, Springbank 18, or Bladnoch 18, you're appreciating.  If you reach in back of those bottles and pull out the Glenlivet 12, you're hoarding (and you're stingy).

-If you buy a bottle of Ardbeg Corryvreckan and you put the bottle on your bar, you're probably going to appreciate it.  If you leave the bottle inside the box on top of your bar, you might be showing some hoarding tendencies.  (Especially if you went through every box on the shelf to find the cleanest one).

-If you buy one bottle of Pappy Van Winkle 15 every year, you're probably appreciating it.  If you call every store across the country in a mad attempt to get as many as possible, you're probably hoarding it (that or selling it for a profit on EBay while other people who have never had it miss out - both suck).

-If you're freaking out because you can't decide which of your whiskies you want to drink, you're appreciating (and you have a lot in common with me).  If you're freaking out because you can't decide which of your whiskies you're willing to drink, you're hoarding.

-David Driscoll