Highly appreciated whiskies

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mikemikemike
Posts: 119
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:25 pm

Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by mikemikemike »

I love Japanese whisky.

I started drinking these years ago. They were esoteric but fairly cheap at the time, so I bought a few cases of Yamazaki 12 and 18 yr, Hakushu 12 and 18yr, and Hibiki 12 and 17 yr.

J whisky has since gotten really popular, and those bottles now sell for a lot of $. (Like >5x what I paid).

I bought these to drink, not as an investment. But I find it hard to justify opening a bottle of whisky that currently costs $500+ at retail. I wouldn't buy them at their current prices.

I could auction these off and buy several years' supply of much cheaper Scotch (or some index funds I guess). Or I could just drink the whiskies that I bought for small $ with the intention of drinking.

Any advice from the finance wizards on this board? How do you deal with the financial decision regarding highly appreciated consumables that you never intended to sell but wouldn't buy at their current prices?
7eight9
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by 7eight9 »

mikemikemike wrote: Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:18 pm I love Japanese whisky.

I started drinking these years ago. They were esoteric but fairly cheap at the time, so I bought a few cases of Yamazaki 12 and 18 yr, Hakushu 12 and 18yr, and Hibiki 12 and 17 yr.

J whisky has since gotten really popular, and those bottles now sell for a lot of $. (Like >5x what I paid).

I bought these to drink, not as an investment. But I find it hard to justify opening a bottle of whisky that currently costs $500+ at retail. I wouldn't buy them at their current prices.

I could auction these off and buy several years' supply of much cheaper Scotch (or some index funds I guess). Or I could just drink the whiskies that I bought for small $ with the intention of drinking.

Any advice from the finance wizards on this board? How do you deal with the financial decision regarding highly appreciated consumables that you never intended to sell but wouldn't buy at their current prices?
I guess the question is how much happier would you be drinking a $500 bottle of whisky vs. a $100 bottle of whisky? You could likely pick up a bottle of Hibiki Harmony (no age statement) for around $60 where I live. Nikka Yoichi Single Malt @ $84. Etc.

That said, I remember something I read (can't find it at the moment) about Pappy Van Winkle. Basically it was that there was only one problem with 23 year old whiskey --- it takes 23 years to make (can't be rushed). And the bottles you have are in shall we say rare supply. I don't recall the exact prices the last time I was in NRT or HKG (which promises the lowest prices) but they were up there for the bottles you are describing.

I probably would keep back a bottle of two of each whisky --- auction off the rest (sell to friends, etc.) --- and buy something that you would have no problem justifying opening and pouring liberally. If you need any help drinking off your stock I am available.
I guess it all could be much worse. | They could be warming up my hearse.
ausmatt
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by ausmatt »

I’m not in the category of whom you requested to respond, but if you like them more than you could acquire a reasonable (to you) priced whiskey, then drink then and enjoy them.

If they are not that important to you, then sell them. Life’s too short to drink cheap spirits.
BusterMcTaco
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by BusterMcTaco »

I have a fond association with the Hibiki 12 and 17 from a great vacation a few years ago. I would not pay $200 for a bottle of 17 much less $500. Sell it if you can!
ohai
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by ohai »

Yamazaki is for impressing your alcoholic friends when they come over. I don't think most people sit at home and drink a $500 whisky alone...
skinsfan
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by skinsfan »

If it were me I'd probably sell some and keep some, at least one of each bottle. I've built up a small bourbon collection and I would love to have a some $500 bottles that I only paid $100 for (my price point is usually $30-$50).
LFS1234
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by LFS1234 »

mikemikemike wrote: Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:18 pm I love Japanese whisky.

I started drinking these years ago. They were esoteric but fairly cheap at the time, so I bought a few cases of Yamazaki 12 and 18 yr, Hakushu 12 and 18yr, and Hibiki 12 and 17 yr.

J whisky has since gotten really popular, and those bottles now sell for a lot of $. (Like >5x what I paid).

I bought these to drink, not as an investment. But I find it hard to justify opening a bottle of whisky that currently costs $500+ at retail. I wouldn't buy them at their current prices.

I could auction these off and buy several years' supply of much cheaper Scotch (or some index funds I guess). Or I could just drink the whiskies that I bought for small $ with the intention of drinking.

Any advice from the finance wizards on this board? How do you deal with the financial decision regarding highly appreciated consumables that you never intended to sell but wouldn't buy at their current prices?
Depends on your financial situation. If you're in desperate straits, you may have to sell the whisky. If you've got an extra $10M sitting around, it would be a bit silly to do so - unless perhaps if you've decided to become a teetotaler.

You should take into account the fact that any sale would involve selling expenses, in addition to which you would owe taxes, potentially at a relatively high rate if whisky is taxed as a collectible.

Whisky is a lot easier to store than wine is, and AFAIK the risk of it going bad is minimal. Can't say the same about wine. There is at least a reasonable possibility that it may appreciate further. You could consider it part of your diversified portfolio, with the additional benefit that it could be sold in the future if you need money and consumed if you don't.

You bought the whisky because you could afford it, had the space to store it, and intended to drink it yourself. Presumably, if its value hadn't gone up, all of these would still apply. If I were in your shoes, and I were financially secure without selling the whisky, I'd keep it.
Topic Author
mikemikemike
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by mikemikemike »

Thanks for the replies. I don't need the $ from selling.

It's just hard to open a bottle that is now worth so much more $ than I would pay for it.

I've drank and enjoyed at least 1 bottle of each of these but still have a bunch laying around.

I agree there's no rush, and I like the suggestion/reminder that I can sell some and keep some.

Definitely will keep selling expenses in mind if I go that route.
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Kenkat
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by Kenkat »

Auction them if you are comfortable doing so. There are plenty of other options out there to try.
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elcadarj
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by elcadarj »

If I had them, I would share them and or use them as gifts for special occasions for special friends and relatives, e.g. marriages, first big promotion, births of grandchildren, my retirement party, etc. If my circle of family or friends wouldn't appreciate it (i.e. I'll have a Bulleit & Diet Coke, luckily not the situation for me) then maybe I would sell excess to acquaintances who would appreciate it at a fair price.
mak1277
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by mak1277 »

I would simply not concern myself with the current market value. Not everything is a financial decision. If you don't like the product, then by all means sell it, but don't use the current market price as a reason not to enjoy something you bought at a price that you were happy with.

If I could buy a bottle of Pappy at retail price, I'd gladly do so and enjoy drinking it, not resell it.
jebmke
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by jebmke »

We bought Bordeaux futures for 1982 and 1983 at ridiculous prices. Most were ~$120 per case and at peak, many retailed for hundreds of dollars per bottle. I had no problem consuming them. I still have a handful of 1982s left.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
Yinks
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by Yinks »

mikemikemike wrote: Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:18 pm I love Japanese whisky.
This is your answer.

Unless you are strapped for cash, enjoy what you love. Don't worry about what it's worth now. You didn't purchase it as an investment, you purchased it out of love.

Buy low sell high doesn't work for the things you love.
MJS
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by MJS »

Talk to a local expert, such as the owner of a high end liquor store, about the actual resale value of one of your bottles. The cases aren't necessarily parallel, but the resale value of diamonds is often far less than the retail cost.

Myself, I would drink them while delighting in my good fortune (and cleverness.) You could leave any remaining bottles to The John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy, to auction off to support Bogleheads! :beer
khh
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by khh »

Check your state laws to be sure you can sell it.

Man Arrested in Pennsylvania for Selling Bottle of Whiskey Secondhand

http://www.drinksreform.org/blog-1/2017 ... secondhand
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flossy21
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by flossy21 »

I would drink it but I understand the allure of selling it as well.

My state has an ABC program so you can't buy whiskey legally, outside of beer & wine, anywhere but in a state run store. The state ABC commission runs online lotteries that are open to all residents of the state 21 and over to enter. You can buy a "limited availability" bottle of bourbon, whiskey, etc. if you "win" the lottery. The best part is that you pay retail for this bottle.

As an example my state recently ran a lottery for Pappy Van Winkle 20 year Bourbon at $169 per bottle. There were 331 bottles allotted to my state. There were over 38,000 lottery entries. This bottle sells on the secondary market for $1,500 to $3,000. I did not win so I don't have to worry about it now but hopefully I'll face the same decision in the future.

https://www.abc.virginia.gov/products/l ... ailability - Virginia Limited Avail. Lottery site

https://www.liquorama.net/pappy-van-win ... 750ml.html - Retailer selling a bottle for more than $2,000
FreemanB
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by FreemanB »

I love whiskey also, although I tend to stick mostly to my old friends Jim and Jack. If you can't see yourself opening a bottle just to drink due to the current value, I'd probably keep 1-2 bottles of each for a special occasion and sell the rest. Otherwise, what's going to happen to them 10, 20, or more years from now? If you don't think you'll actually drink it, then its just taking up space.
TSR
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by TSR »

I'm not in your financial situation and I'm guessing that money would mean more to me than it does to you, but I'd still say drink it or give it away as gifts to people who'd enjoy it. I'm suspicious of artificially inflated values on things, as those values tend to go up and down (there is a lot of great whiskey that is coming "on line" these days as newer distilleries let their 12-year and older product out). I've had some of the Japanese whiskey you're talking about, and it really is great to drink, so I'd just do that. You made the right call when you did, and now you get to enjoy it. Have one for me, please.
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ryuns
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by ryuns »

I think the economically rational answer is that if you wouldn't pay for it what it's currently worth, you're better off selling it. This is basically the subject of Richard Thaler's favorite behavioral economics anecdote, about the colleague who wouldn't sell his highly appreciated wines, but also proclaimed that he's *never* spend as much for the wine as it was worth. If it were me, I'd sell it, but then allocate the proceeds to something extravagant that I *did* find worth the money--a different bottle of whiskey, a fancy dinner, etc.
An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered. -- GK Chesterton
oxothuk
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by oxothuk »

jebmke wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:35 am We bought Bordeaux futures for 1982 and 1983 at ridiculous prices. Most were ~$120 per case and at peak, many retailed for hundreds of dollars per bottle. I had no problem consuming them. I still have a handful of 1982s left.
I thought I was the only one who had any 1982’s left!

Last year my wife and ate out at a restaurant where we saw a bottle we had recently drunk on their list for four figures.
prairieman
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by prairieman »

In my opinion, and you can call me tasteless if you want, I would try to sell them to some sucker willing to pay a lot for something that only spends a few minutes on the lips. I like whiskey but think there are plenty of good varieties at much lower prices.
“As long as the roots are not severed, all is well.” Chauncey Gardner
ronno2018
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by ronno2018 »

I like the idea of gifting them at appropriate opportunities, but really selling them is fine. Take the proceeds and buy some Hibiki Japanese Harmony or some Togouchi Premium or splurge and get some Kirin Fujisanroku 18 Year Old.

I went on a tour of the https://www.nikka.com/eng/distilleries/ way back in 1985. Wish I had bought cases and cases.
Pu239
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by Pu239 »

mikemikemike wrote: Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:18 pm I love Japanese whisky.

I started drinking these years ago. They were esoteric but fairly cheap at the time, so I bought a few cases of Yamazaki 12 and 18 yr, Hakushu 12 and 18yr, and Hibiki 12 and 17 yr.

J whisky has since gotten really popular, and those bottles now sell for a lot of $. (Like >5x what I paid).

I bought these to drink, not as an investment. But I find it hard to justify opening a bottle of whisky that currently costs $500+ at retail. I wouldn't buy them at their current prices.

I could auction these off and buy several years' supply of much cheaper Scotch (or some index funds I guess). Or I could just drink the whiskies that I bought for small $ with the intention of drinking.

Any advice from the finance wizards on this board? How do you deal with the financial decision regarding highly appreciated consumables that you never intended to sell but wouldn't buy at their current prices?
Save some, sell some. Result: you'll have a great story to tell your friends as you share and savor the few bottles remaining.
Between the idea And the reality...Between the motion And the act...Falls the Shadow - T. S. Eliot
Irisheyes
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by Irisheyes »

Sell 'em. They are not any more delicious now than when you bought them at a fraction of the price.

I have sold quite a bit of wine over the last few years that I bought when no-one cared about it but has since become "trendy" and rocketed in price.

On the few occasions I've not sold it, and drank it instead, I find myself regretting it because the wine clearly is good -- which is why I bought it in the first place -- but not anywhere near worth the price people are now buying it for.

I usually plough the proceeds into wines that are delicious but not highly sought after.
koozie
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by koozie »

You aren’t the first person to ask this question, but the last guy won a Nobel prize.....

https://www.businessinsider.com/richard ... sts-2015-3

According to him you would not be drinking cheap whiskey (sunk cost), you would be drinking expensive whiskey (opportunity cost).

I don’t know how to advise you, but for fun I wanted to point out that professional economists would value each sip as expensive, so use that to help with the decision you make.
esteen
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by esteen »

I have the answer to your decision-making woes! Simply send it over to me and I will personally taste each one to ensure it is of optimal quality to sell :mrgreen:

mikemikemike wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:50 am Thanks for the replies. I don't need the $ from selling.
This is a great situation to be in. I think there's no wrong answer to your question, and it will ultimately depend on your personality. Me personally, I love whiskeys but there's a certain point where they don't really taste any better per say (usually beyond the $70-100 range) and I would have a hard time drinking a bunch of $500+ bottles when I could use the proceeds to buy 8x as many whiskies I liked just as much. That said, I can completely see the viewpoint of drinking them all yourself.

Either way, have fun and cheers!

-ES
BruDude
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by BruDude »

Invite me over and I’ll help you finish them so that you never have to experience this level of stress again. :sharebeer
TheOscarGuy
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by TheOscarGuy »

mikemikemike wrote: Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:18 pm I love Japanese whisky.

I started drinking these years ago. They were esoteric but fairly cheap at the time, so I bought a few cases of Yamazaki 12 and 18 yr, Hakushu 12 and 18yr, and Hibiki 12 and 17 yr.

J whisky has since gotten really popular, and those bottles now sell for a lot of $. (Like >5x what I paid).

I bought these to drink, not as an investment. But I find it hard to justify opening a bottle of whisky that currently costs $500+ at retail. I wouldn't buy them at their current prices.

I could auction these off and buy several years' supply of much cheaper Scotch (or some index funds I guess). Or I could just drink the whiskies that I bought for small $ with the intention of drinking.

Any advice from the finance wizards on this board? How do you deal with the financial decision regarding highly appreciated consumables that you never intended to sell but wouldn't buy at their current prices?
Thaler described something similar in his latest book titled 'misbehaving'. The book describes a professor who bought wine at price X and it went up significantly. Someone offered to buy at that high price, and they refused. Thaler called it "endowment effect" you tend to value things you own more than their actual worth. He also did an experiment where he asked the respondents to value a wine whose price has gone from $10 to something significantly higher.
I would value it at its current price. I would have to pay that price to replace it. I would still enjoy it, maybe at an appropriate occasion, rather than sell it. You would get different responses if you do an internet poll.
noco-hawkeye
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by noco-hawkeye »

I would drink them on special occasions, trying to keep in mind what you paid for it. You aren't trying to make money off of these things, these are things you enjoy and are special to you - treat them as such.

This seems like a case where you are looking for the economically best possible answer, and ignoring the bigger picture. You like 'em, you didn't pay and arm and a leg for them - so enjoy them as appropriate. You only get so many trips around the big ball of fire in the sky, don't forget to have some fun on the way.
mslaw
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by mslaw »

Actually very good question and our family of serious bourbon collectors has developed an evolving strategy. We will open bottles for tastings that are for family and friends. These bottles are shrink wrapped between use. The tastings are a wonderful, multi generational gathering.

Non opened bottles of the same bourbon are set aside for a later decision. However, they do need temperature and light protection, not like wine, but it is an issue. At some point the value of a particular bourbon has indeed crossed a line and the bottle becomes an asset that may or may not be retained.
And yes, Pappy 23 is so good, but so is a year of college education.
MiddleOfTheRoad
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by MiddleOfTheRoad »

Let’s flip the question.

If a $500 bottle is on sale for $50 (for you only, not market price) would you buy it and drink it? Or flip it? :greedy
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whodidntante
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by whodidntante »

ohai wrote: Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:18 pm Yamazaki is for impressing your alcoholic friends when they come over.
It could be that some people who do not have a disorder like it.
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whodidntante
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by whodidntante »

It comes down to what you value more.

If you would rather have the $500/bottle, including the hassle of finding a buyer and doing the sale, then sell your collection. That's probably what I would do. Most of my whiskeys are in the $60-$80 range, with some outliers. I can even be content drinking $25 Wild Turkey 101 which might be the world's best value in whiskey if you consider bourbon pleasant.
politely
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by politely »

I have the same problem, but different whiskey. I did make the decision to sell, but then found that the obstacles to selling were high, so I've just kept the bottles. There are state-based restrictions on secondary sales of liquor, as well as restrictions on shipping. Selling whiskey is more difficult than selling wine. Most of the obvious venues don't handle whiskey, and I don't have a lot of interest in sending to, or meeting up with, a bunch of individual buyers to sell one bottle at a time. If there were an easy way to sell, without taking a big hit on commissions or dealing with a lot of logistical hassle, I would probably reconsider.

Let me know if you come across a good solution. :happy

On the other hand, it's not the end of the world if I happen to have a bunch of cases of highly desirable, envy-provoking potables, either. :beer
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willthrill81
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Re: Highly appreciated whiskies

Post by willthrill81 »

mikemikemike wrote: Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:18 pm I love Japanese whisky.

I started drinking these years ago. They were esoteric but fairly cheap at the time, so I bought a few cases of Yamazaki 12 and 18 yr, Hakushu 12 and 18yr, and Hibiki 12 and 17 yr.

J whisky has since gotten really popular, and those bottles now sell for a lot of $. (Like >5x what I paid).

I bought these to drink, not as an investment. But I find it hard to justify opening a bottle of whisky that currently costs $500+ at retail. I wouldn't buy them at their current prices.

I could auction these off and buy several years' supply of much cheaper Scotch (or some index funds I guess). Or I could just drink the whiskies that I bought for small $ with the intention of drinking.

Any advice from the finance wizards on this board? How do you deal with the financial decision regarding highly appreciated consumables that you never intended to sell but wouldn't buy at their current prices?
What you are describing is a textbook example of the endowment effect.

If you would not pay $500 or more for a bottle of this whisky, then logically you should sell it.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings
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