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Issue 121 - Collecting and Selecting

Whisky Magazine Issue 121
July 2014


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Collecting and Selecting

Fred and his search for that rare American whiskey

When I was a kid, every spring, I rode my bike over the railroad tracks and through an old man's yard to Red's Grocery—my hometown's No. 1 baseball card store. I slammed my little blue BMX to the ground and sprinted as fast as I could to grab the first package of Topps baseball cards.

I saved money from allowances, mowing yards and doing kid grunt work that would be considered criminal today just so I could buy the whole box. I hoped for rookie cards, special limited editions and couldn't wait to analyse every hitter's homerun and RBI (Runs Batten In) counts. I passionately collected baseball cards and treasured them more than the baseball game itself.

Whenever mom took me shopping, I rushed to the store's small corner card section next to candy bars and gossip papers. Did they have the allusive Fleet cards Red's Grocery never carried? Perhaps the Donruss cards with the special Ken Griffey Jr. Rookie card? Or could they have the shimmering glossy score card I loved so dearly?

Yeah, those were the days; and I'm as geeky about American whiskey as I was about my youth's baseball cards. My collection includes a 1940s W. L. Weller Barrel Proof, 1920s Waterfill & Frazier Mexican Bourbon, a Korean labelled Evan Williams and 1940s Kentucky Tavern, which sadly only has a drop or two left. I've purchased these at auctions, received them as gifts and found them the old fashioned way—walking into a liquor store.

During my Wisconsin “Whiskey Women” book tour, I took a co...

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