Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mis-Identified Bottles Tarnish Bonhams Whiskey Auction.

Collectors of alcohol products confront a dilemma most other collectors do not. The normal buying, selling, and trading that goes on in any other collecting hobby is, in their case, illegal. It is prohibited everywhere in the United States to sell any type of potable alcohol without a license.

One solution is auctions, which are legal in several states, although the auction house has to obtain an appropriate license. Whiskey auctions have only recently become common in the U. S. and the inclusion in them of American whiskey is an even more recent phenomenon.

This post from the L. A. Whiskey Society describes some problems with a recent Bonhams auction. Coincidentally, a correspondent wrote to me today about this same auction. In his case, he was offended by a bottle of Elmer T. Lee bourbon described as 'circa 1950s' that is more likely from the 1990s. Several other bottles fall into the same category.

Rightly, the L. A. Whiskey Society piece also criticizes the boneheads who pay high prices for items they could go into a store and buy for a fraction of the auction price. As much as one hates to see an error-riddled catalog tarnishing what is otherwise a good thing, it's hard to feel too sorry for anyone who has more money than sense.

Here's a link to the Bonhams catalog.


Lazer said...

single barrel bourbon from the 1950's??? even I know that's BS.

Justin said...

The LA Whiskey Society article is a great read. To me its yet another sign that this boom of whiskey enthusiasm we have been in is officially on the decline. I personally see this as a good thing. I would rather see the winds die down just a little bit and have the newbie experts loose interest and go start buying up vintage bottles of tequilla so I might actually be able to get another bottle of Old Rip Van Winkle 10.