Special Occasion Whiskey: Raise Your Spirits By Raising a GlassBy Jake Emen
The eternal debate for any whiskey collector, along with spirits aficionados of all varieties, is when and whether you should open a special bottle. The truth is you should never feel bad about cracking open the special occasion whiskey you’ve been stowing away. Sometimes that realization only comes with a perspective change due to what’s happening in the world around us.
Many people save bottles for important events, whether an anniversary, a round number birthday, or maybe a promotion, graduation, or even the birth of a child. There’s nothing wrong with that, either.
If that has been your reason for holding off, then surely you must acknowledge that this is a special event. Being stuck at home and unable to visit your local bars and restaurants is the ideal time for helping yourself to a taste from the very best of your collection. That’s what it’s there for, and if you’re lucky enough to have something extra special on hand, put it to use. Relish the moment, cherish the flavors, and remember that when times were tough, you pushed ahead by pouring that Macallan 25, Hibiki 17 or William Larue Weller.
Buy To Drink, Not To Collect Dust
Simply put, life is too short for bad booze. There is no need to slog through the plastic handle hooch when you have delightful drams on hand. Strive to make the most out of every drink.
In the spirits world, few people receive as much scorn as the hoarders—and for good reason. These bottle flippers don’t even enjoy the in-demand booze they’re buying, but merely want to snap it up off store shelves and then resell it for many times the purchase price. Surely, nobody from our spirits community reading this article finds themselves in this group. You bought that bottle because you planned on drinking it one day. Well, what better day than today, my friends? Treat yourself to a taste of your special occasion whiskey.
Don’t worry, I’m not telling you to do one thing while not doing the other, either. On this past St. Patrick’s Day, I soothed away my semi-quarantine status with a cask strength Teeling 23 year old single malt, from a bottle I hand-filled at the distillery. The bottle’s gone; I wouldn’t bring it back. The next chance I get, it might be that Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Cornerstone Rye that’s been giving me eyes from across the room for months. Or maybe it’ll be the iris-shaped bottle of Remy Martin Cognac XO Excellence I’ve looked at longingly for years. Then again, there’s always that 2018 Laphroaig Cairdeas Fino Cask I sipped on and reviewed before popping it back into its tube for a rainy day. Well, it’s raining folks.
Host A Small (Virtual) Tasting
Maybe I’ll open them all and host a small tasting. A few great bottles for a few good friends, enjoyed at least a few feet apart. Or perhaps I’ll try having a virtual happy hour where members of the group shows off their own special occasion whiskey collections. This is how we adapt to the times, and there’s nothing better for raising spirits than excellent spirits themselves. But at any time in the future, consider carrying the same sentiment forward. Ernest Hemingway once wrote, “Enjoying living was learning to get your money’s worth and knowing when you had it.” Wouldn’t you say it’s time to test that theory out? Try it on as your new personal credo and see if it fits.
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