The famous philosophical thought; “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” The saying talks to the theory that if there is no one around to experience the sound of the tree falling, does the sound actually occur at all? Well I have a new thought for whisky lovers to ponder.
We often see and hear about amazing whisky in people’s collections. The bottle is worth significant financial value, is a rarity in the market or has some sentimental value. The owner would never part with the bottle and wouldn’t dare open it. My question is this;
If a bottle is not opened and experienced, then is the whisky actually amazing?
In the movie Neat: The Story of Bourbon, Freddy Johnson who is a 3rd generation employee at the famous Buffalo Trace distillery tells a story of how his father was given an amazing bottle of bourbon as a present. The story goes on to how after opening the bottle with his Father and Brother, Freddie was going to put it away to save the bottle because of its financial value. Freddie’s father was insistent that they would enjoy it then and there because that was what the bottle was for. So they did.
Within that year Freddie lost both his Father and Brother, that bottle being one of the last great memories they shared.
Although as I am sure you can tell from this article that I am in the open and enjoy camp. I can still appreciate that there are some bottles that you will purchase that you may never open, particularly when there is sentimental value involved.
We as consumers though need to remember that when distillers produce these whisky’s they are doing so for them to be shared and enjoyed and although their bottles value increase, there is no price that can be put the experience of tasting and sharing amazing whisky.