I Drank My $100,000 Bottle of Whiskey and I Have No Regrets
Whiskey is for consuming, not hoarding.
Regrets, I’ve had a number of, not restricted to consuming drugstore sushi, most of my highschool class photographs, and shopping for a small amount of Ethereum (which I remorse to tell you is cryptocurrency) within the spring of 2021. Not on the checklist: consuming each final drop of my bottle of LeNell’s Purple Hook Rye, which now lists for as much as $100,000 on the open market. I want to state for the document that I didn’t spend the equal of a Porsche 911 on this bottle of whiskey (perhaps if I might picked up that Ethereum again in 2015). However even on the time I purchased it — roughly 2008 — that $75 or so I spent on Bottle 5/228 from Barrel 1 was a serious stretch for my price range, and positively greater than I might ever splashed out on booze earlier than. However I wished to help my buddy who owned the good, most anarchic liquor store I might ever seen, taught me nearly each single factor I knew about whiskey, and was delving into bottling the stuff herself.
To listen to LeNell Camacho Santa Ana inform it, I used to be a daily buyer at her pioneering Purple Hook, Brooklyn bottle store from just about the get-go in 2003, and seeing as I dorked out each time I got here in, she provided me a job to which I replied, “You’ll be able to’t afford me.” In my recollection, that’s true as much as the final a part of the sentence, as a result of A. I am not vulnerable to that form of sass and B. what I think about I used to be making an attempt to convey is that the final time I might labored in a retail store the place they offered one thing that spoke to my passions (that’d be the HMV document retailer in Herald Sq., kitty-corner from Macy’s within the mid ’90s) I could not really afford it as a result of I took full and frequent benefit of the worker low cost and primarily needed to deposit my paycheck proper again into the until. Nonetheless, she did not appear to take nice offense and I held on her each little bit of knowledge about whiskey in all its varieties, in addition to life, love, and the significance of not lacking an opportunity to open the good things. On a random weekend within the winter of 2008, for example, she’d busted out a few bottles of 1970 Lafite to take pleasure in alongside a potato-chip-topped squash casserole my husband and I introduced over to her loft as a result of that is simply how she lives.
Just some weeks previous to that elegant casserole evening, LeNell had observed the vultures starting to circle. She was a number of bottlings into her restricted Purple Hook Rye manufacturing, which she’d fastidiously chosen from 4 barrels of 1984 Willett whiskey and offered solely at her namesake store, when she observed they have been all of the sudden out there through extra far-flung channels. From a retailer e-newsletter on the time:
Tue, Oct 28, 2008: RED HOOK RYE is about to be featured in TIME OUT NY. Nevertheless, bottles left quantity within the teenagers. I’m a f’ing feminine canine I do know, however the value is now $300. I am simply uninterested in morons making an attempt to select it up and ebay it as collectible for greater than I’m promoting it on the store.
Maybe I ought to have taken heed and saved it corked, however within the phrases of John A. Shedd and the ethos of LeNell herself, “A ship in harbor is protected, however that’s not what ships are constructed for.” Whiskey is made for sipping, gulping, savoring, and sharing, and I did simply that. Not willy-nilly, however to mark events over the following few years — a brand new job, a buddy in mourning, being alive. The spirit is fiery, makes its presence identified first up the nostrils, then down the hatch. It calls for to be paid consideration to, and I did each time I cracked it open.
The public sale and sale value of the 850-ish bottles of Purple Hook Rye has escalated within the years therefore, from that preliminary $75 (perhaps it was $100?) to $300 to $20,000 to a penny wanting six figures, but it surely’s not like I can not un-drink it. I’m left with an empty bottle now and I can not say I’ve any regrets. Whiskey is for consuming, not hoarding. And Ethereum? Nonetheless making an attempt to determine that out.