Maverick: Why is an old Bugatti car from 1920's or 1930's considered valuable today? I mean, even the technology is outdated, the car doesn't contain the luxury features and amenities that todays cars do. And certainly it must drive like an old piece of junk when compared to the smooth sailing of today's vehicles?!
Right..Maybe it is valuable because there were not so many around in the first place. Perhaps the fact that few survived to see this era has something to do with it. Perhaps also the fact that none will ever be made, certainly not in the same way at least. My goodness, we have discovered a collectible!
I would say that most likely even the same standard bottling of a whisky was made to taste a bit different thirty years ago than today. Which is better, is a matter of taste, but no comparison is possible ever unless some 'sad' collector has kept the older bottlings closed until this day.
With unique vintages, or single cask whiskies, or other types of limited releases it becomes fairly obvious that unless someone keeps these bottles for the future, the people then cannot ever taste or experience (not even see) this product. Some may see no value in this type of excercize, others may indeed see value in it. To me each whisky bottle represents a piece of history to some extent. Another aspect of collecting is the possible financial gain. I have two bottles of Ardbeg 1975 vintage at home. I have tasted this whisky, and loved it. I do not, however, any more make this whisky the tipple of the day personally, as I believe that there's plenty of existing whiskies to sample. These bottles may rise in price so much that I consider them too expensive to drink (at least both of them - or at least unless I win lottery and can say bugger-all to financial concerns).
As a commercial product, Whisky has a high alcohol content, and as such it has properties that make it possible to keep for long periods of time in reasonably good condition. It fits the long-term collectible bill well, better than most wines for example.
I started this chain of conversation due to the fact that I've noticed a drop in the level inside some oldest bottles of mine, despite of keeping them stored upright, in a closed closet, at steady temperature. Obviously this is not sufficient to totally stop the effects of time in all cases from affecting the whisky bottles.
I am now trying to conduct some studies to various materials which could perhaps be put on top of the closed bottles' neck and mouth; materials which would not leave any marks on the bottle itself or the lead etc., but which would assist in sealing the bottle far better. I have been thinking of a seal or a sleeve made of some form of reasonably think silicone or rubber, that stretches enough that one could slip it in place and remove it without any harm to the bottle. I am not certain if alcohol vapours pass though these materials, or if they do, how well they do this.
Personally I feel that there may even be a small niche market for such a product, should someone decide to experiment and productize it. Collecting alcohol products is after all quite a popular hobby, and well, if you have such a product, and sell each seal for 1.75 euros for example, and manage to sell it to 15,000 collectors in first year, each averaging a collection of give or take 70 bottles, well...There's a real business case.
Such items could be easily sold via internet, minimum marketing, storage & sales cost, reaching the whole world..Sounds actually quite lucrative! And one would have the added satisfaction of thousands of happy customers worldwide. Goodness, I would buy such a product at a reasonable price if I had any proof at all that it does the job - after all, I VALUE my whiskies!
At this point cornering this market is very possible. Please give credit for the idea, anyone who actually takes this up.