Of Beer and Scotch
by Dan H. Lycombe
Hello Bob and all his readers. I want to share my joy with all of you in
finally removing a stain on my frugal beer hunting life. Yes, I admit
being dumb enough to once pay $125 for a single bottle of beer made
in 1946. Of course it was almost undrinkable, though I did persevere.
The bottle in question was a Ballantine Burton Ale, at one time
considered the Holy Grail for historic beer collectors, well at least for
those of average means. I rarely tell anyone since it's hard for some
to fathom such an expenditure. "You're crazy" was the most
common thing I heard from those who knew. Well, now I feel so
much less crazy thanks to Scotch. No, I haven't drank any; I've just
heard about some who just spent $38,000 for a single bottle of the
stuff. My measly $125 purchase now looks most sane.
The Scotch in question is a Balvenie 50 single-malt, and the proud
owner will be the Stage Left restaurant in New Brunswick, NJ. Only 15
bottles of Balvenie 50 are heading to the United States; 131 will be
available worldwide. Many will end up in the hands of collectors, who will
hold on to the whiskey, wait for it to appreciate even higher in value,
then sell it. And yes, I did think of doing that with my Burton Ale but
hey, it was only $125 so why not drink the 'cheap' stuff.
It seems that the owners of Stage Left are going to drink it too, but in
a decidedly different way. They intend to sell it to their customers for
a bargain price - only $1,800 for a one-ounce pour. That's almost
giving it away.
There are 24 ounces in each bottle; if they pre-sell 17 portions by
December 19, they'll bring in the bottle. Given the upscale clientele
that frequent their restaurant they just might pull it off. So far they've
announced that three people have signed up for that big one ounce
and that's only from word of mouth advertising. Just wait until their
marketing machine goes into gear. If all goes according to plan, the
bottle will be opened next January 10.
If you like Balvenie 50 Scotch with food you're in luck. On that historic
night a special dinner will be held. Cost is $2,015 per person. Of
course that includes THE Scotch. And as a bonus you get to take
home a bottle of Balvenie 21-year PortWood, single-malt Scotch at no
If you however prefer to dine without the Scotch (can't imagine
anyone who would) you will be allowed to reserve a seat at the dinner,
for just $299.
I'm guess you're wondering what does a $38,000 scotch taste like?
Well, " it's matured in an European oak sherry hogshead rarely used in
whiskey making, Balvenie 50 is a wonderful fragrant and floral whisky,
velvety sweet with a beautifully balanced combination of sweet citrus
notes and gentle hints of honey, spice and oak,'' according to the
distiller. Ah, almost sounds like my Ballantine Burton Ale.
One last note to anyone who is thinking of purchasing a full bottle of
the stuff. Just think, for that $38,000 we could team up and buy
nearly 375 bottles of Burton Ale and sell tastes of it, oh say, a
generous 6 ounce pour for only $180. What a deal - 6 times the
amount for one tenth of the price. Sam Walton would be proud of us.
So there you have it Bob. If anyone contacts you about the deal let
me know. I'm in!
Hey Dan, loved your article. Fun stuff for sure. Hope you can send me
another one. As for your offer, well, I'm in for one bottle of the B
bottles. Right, the Ballantine, not the Balvenie.
I'd like to invite everyone to send me their own columns about anything
related to beer just as Dan did. I select the best and publish them
here.So join in and get writing!
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