Yikes… I started writing this latest blog and for some reason I just keep putting it off. Which doesn’t even make sense, cause these bottles ROCK!! Let’s get this moving along, and what better day than Whisky Wednesday to post about Whisky!?
When I first started collecting whisky in January, I came across a company called That Boutique-y Whisky Co. They are run by my one of my favorite whiskey providers, Master of Malt. As you may have seen in my first blog about collecting whisky, the first two bottles I got from this company come from the Tobermory distillery. I was only able during that auction, and the last 7 months, to get batch 2 & 3… That is until this past month! I fought with other bidders for 2 bottles of batch #1 of the Tobermory, AND I WON (well, one of them.. can’t be greedy you know)! I also won two other bottles from collections of TBWCo. and the labels alone are worth owning.
What is so appealing about these bottles from That Boutique-y Whisky Co.? I know most people don’t care about the bottling and labels, but I truly love them and the character they give to the branding, as I have mentioned before. The Master of Malt site describes the bottlings the best, “These whiskies are adorned with cultish graphic novel-style labels that feature prominent figures from the whisky industry, tales from the histories of certain distilleries or even (in the case of their Aultmores) a Velociraptor fighting a shark! There are usually plenty of other little details for you to find too…” These bottles are non-age statements, although starting in April 2016 they started adding the age to it to be transparent and these bottles are also very limited in how many are made. That is the other appeal to me. That is also what draws in other collectors/buyers as well.
The end of June auction brought three Boutique-y Whisky Co Bottles into my possession. A batch #1 of Auchroisk, batch #1 of Glenrothes (which I have actually been to) and my coveted batch #1 Tobermory.
The Auchroisk is pretty brilliant. There was only one batch made from this distillery and only 127 bottles. I have number 77. With Zombies on the label it is definitely eye catching and fun and also, it is discontinued. I love the description on MoM’s site, “The first batch of Auchroisk (say ‘Othrusk’) from That Boutique-y Whisky Company and what a label! Rarely released as a single malt, this Speyside distillery has very little do with the impending Zombie Apocalypse but we thought it was about time one of our whiskies featured some zombies!” This, to me, is a gem to have in a collection. At the time of sale it went for approximately £47 ($63USD) and at auction, I have only seen a 2 bottles in past auctions, and it happened to be the same bottle #, and it sold for £65 ($87USD).
Did I mention there were probably 50+ Boutique-y bottles to sort through during this particular auction? And many went out of my price range quickly. I was really stoked that Whisky Auctioneer had so many offerings this particular time because they are so great to work with! I was excited to snag a bottle from the Glenrothes. Not only does the label tell a cool story, but I have actually BEEN to this distillery. It is set back off the road in the cute town of Aberlour. There are several distilleries in this particular area. The neat part about this distillery is that is sits right across from an old cemetery. That is what is depicted on the label. If you have read my other blogs about my bottles you will know that I don’t generally buy bottles that are still for sell. This one happens to still be available on the Master of Malt site, but when I contacted them on availability they told me there were only 6 bottles left (at $87USD), and that was about 3 weeks ago. The Glenrothes in the Boutique-y bottlings only had batch #1 and then a 10-year old bottling. There are 235 bottles in batch #1 and I have #12… yes folks, #12! Here is a history of the label from the MoM site, “...features the Rothes Cemetery (which is next door to the distillery), with its gravestones turning black from the fungus that thrives on the evaporated alcohol vapour from the distillery. A peaceful, moonlit scene, the perfect time for a ghost to enjoy the solitude, which is just what this spectral apparition is doing. This is the ghost of Biawa “Byeway” Makalaga, who was rescued from starvation in Bulawayo by Major Grant as a child, became very popular in Rothes (even playing in goal for the town’s football team), and passed away in 1972. Following the installation of two new stills at Glenrothes seven years later, Byeway’s ghost made two appearances in the distillery. According to a professor, who was brought in to assess the situation, the new stills had disturbed a ley-line, an invisible line of energy, which was subsequently put right and the situation was courteously resolved without the need for Venkman, Stantz, Spengler and Zeddemore to get involved. This started the Glenrothes tradition of raising a “toast to the ghost” with a dram of their superb Speyside whisky…” At auction this bottle has sold for £50 ($67USD) with only 6 left ( as of July) I suspect the price will start going up at future auctions.
And last but certainly not least… the bottle that I had to fight for, even with two at auction. The first time I tried to bid on one of the batch #1 Tobermory’s was in January, but I lost. I almost lost this one as well, but it completes my collection of these batches. Batch #1 is a discontinued bottling, with 200 bottles in the batch. My bottle is #96. As previously stated, the Boutique-y Whisky Co. bottle labels are graphic novel style and depict something that has to do with the town or the distillery. The Tobermory batch #1 is no exception, “…cult graphic-novel-style label inspired by the children’s BBC television show Balamory – famously filmed in the town of Tobermory!” This bottle has gone upwards of £105 ($140) at auction.
If you have any questions feel free to send them my way… Until the next auction… Slainte!!