What Would You Buy If A Bourbon Time Machine Existed?
What would you buy if a bourbon time machine existed? Anyone who's collected bourbon over the years will know that prices aren't what they used to be. For many new bourbon enthusiasts, the landscape is completely different to the one experienced by collectors 10 years ago. With bottles in greater demand than ever, 10 years ago you'd frequently find bottles at a fraction of the cost they are now. I often ask friends and fellow whiskyphiles the question: what is one bottle you would buy if a bourbon time machine existed? Let's set the scene, you're allowed to go back a decade to 2012 with the knowledge you have now and bring back 1 bottle with you, but only one...
What would you choose? What is the one unicorn you've been searching for over the years that you've never found, that you might've found way back when? There are countless options to choose from, but here are a few of our favorites, why you might pick them, and how they've changed over the years.
2012 Price: $24
2022 Price: $193
A fantastic 107-proof wheated whiskey that has experience a bit of a facelift since 2012, the Weller Antique 107 is a fantastic sipper whose average price has increased around 800% in the last 10 years. Sure, a good bourbon and a decent choice - but not the number 1 time machine whiskey if you had a large enough selection to choose from.
2012 Price: $51
2022 Price: $192
The world's first single-barrel is one of the best pound-for-pound whiskeys ever produced in Kentucky, and with astronomical increases in demand and an outrageously short supply, Blanton's Original has become a highly-sought after commodity. While its value has risen steeply over the past decade, it's not quite the unicorn that warrants time travel based hunting.
2012 Price: $54
2022 Price: $397
The Stagg Jr. silo has sadly been discontinued, replaced by a new slightly more senior iteration 'Stagg' following 2022's Batch 17. As such, this fearsome, fiery barrel proof will never be seen again under the Jr. moniker, which explains the rise in its value over the last decade (up 735%).
2012 Price: $74
2022 Price: $2,590
Now we're talking... if there ever was a bourbon to go back in time 10 years for, this would be it, or any of the BTAC Collection really! With surging growth in bourbon enthusiast numbers over the last few years, in 2022 it's near impossible to get your hands on a bottle of Eagle Rare 17. That's the problem with short supplies and high demand!
2012 Price: $368
2022 Price: $7,052
For many collectors, this is the pinnacle of bourbon whiskey. Pappy van Winkle's 23 Year Old Bourbon Whiskey represents the height of bourbon collecting, and thanks to iconic status as one of the finest whiskeys ever produced, it's a bona fide needle in a haystack. Back in 2012, however, it was much easier to come by, and a far more approachable price point. This would be the first pick for the majority of collectors stepping out of that time machine.
2012 Price: $75
2022 Price: $12,615
If you get in a time machine and can bring a bourbon back with you, this is what you pick. There's no argument here, just pick it up, take it with you and enjoy - either by enjoying one of the most iconic one-off release whiskeys in the history of spirit-making, or by enjoying around 12.5k in profits. It's a win-win.
Well that's my rationale for a few bourbons that I'd be on the lookout for given the chance. What would you pick if you could go back in time and bring 1 bourbon back with you?
*All statistics source from wine-search.com historical data based on avg. price since 2012.
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