I'm a whisk(e)y novice...

I’ve been thinking recently how it’d be good to have a small stash of barter goods on hand in the event of an extended lawless situation (colloquially known as the SHTF situation), be it weather related, solar flare, societal issues, zombie uprising, the coming of the Great Green Arkleseziure and/or The Great White Handkerchief…

Having some small, tradable and desirable goods onhand would make sense, and for some reason I thought of whisk(e)y (which is it, BTW, whisky or whiskey?), it’s small, portable, desirable, and since I don’t drink all that much, I won’t be tempted to drink it myself… Basically stock a “vice” that I don’t partake of

Of course, being of a scientific mindset, research was in order, so I bought a couple of those single serve mini-bottles of Jack Daniels No. 7 and Jim Beam white label, and a 350 ml bottle of Makers Mark to be my barter brand (okay, so I liked the hand dipped wax seal, is that so wrong? :wink: )

I tried each one, a different day for each, at the end of the day, when I knew I wouldn’t have to drive anywhere… Here’s my palate impressions of them;

Jim Beam white label; dear OG is this garbage unpalatable, straight from the bottle it tastes like battery acid and burns my gut like I’m drinking liquid fire (hmm, the origin of the Native American term “firewater” I’m guessing…), diluted with water it becomes less harsh, but still like diluted battery acid, mixed into some lemonade Vitaminwater (all I had on hand at the time) the evil acidic taste is masked, revealing a slightly smoky chaser…

1 out of 10, won’t be buying any more of this rotgut

Jack Daniels No. 7; overall not too bad, still tastes like…burning, but not as bad, can’t really put a finger on the exact taste, but it’s pleasant enough straight, diluted with water opens up the bouquet a bit and numbs the tongue less, I feel no need to dillute the nastiness by mixing it with another beverage

7 out of 10, might be worth adding to the bartering stock, may also be good for cooking, marinated chicken perhaps, glazed salmon?

Makers Mark; very nice, flavorful mouthfeel, less burn than JD, a mellow smokiness almost, with a touch of honey and blackberry, less water was needed than JD to slake the burn, and adding that dangerous compound Dihydrous Monoxide really opened the flavor up, it had a depth and complexity that neither other two contenders could match

8.5 out of 10, if I was to become a regular enjoyer of whisky/bourbon, this’d be where I start, this would also work well for cooking as well, steak, salmon, maybe even a good tuna steak seared rare

…of course, since I opened my starter bottle of MM, I had to replace it in my barter closet, replaced with the bigger 750 ml bottle…

…hmm, what’s this Makers Mark 49, looks interesting, a tad pricey for barter, but it looks fascinating…

The correct answer is ‘Scotch’.

I’m a beginner, too, and I am learning to like single-malt Scotch. If you want to dip your feet in, McCalland has examples of the four major regions that are relatively inexpensive – nice starter scotches. I’m partial to the Speyside region and Speyburn is very nice (though it’s highland, not Speyside). The Islay region is for the more advanced drinkers; it has a stronger peaty taste.

At the last Maltcon,* I tried the Jamison Irish whiskey Caskmates, mostly because I’d heard the commercial all the time. Pretty good overall.

*A traveling scotch/whiskey party held at selects east coast SF conventions.

Scotch smells and tastes like old paper.

Dissolves like smooth sweet smoke, I tell ya.

Are you dead set on Whiskey?

Are you restricted to alcoholic drinks? There are many factors involved in choosing commodities and alcohol is not necessarily the best choice. There are many other better choices to be made.

So, are you willing to hear about any other kinds of commodities? Or do you just want to hear about whiskey and other alcoholic drinks?

Really depends on the Scotch. The Speysides don’t taste that way (although I tend to prefer the ones you probably categorize as “old paper.”)

Any other inexpensive commodities would be good… No problem going off on a tangent here, but this was mainly about learning about whiskey

My criteria for barter is that it shouldn’t be too valuable to part with, nor be able to be used against you…

Alcohol, toilet paper, heirloom seeds, fresh veggies, apples, eggs, surplus chickens (be they baby chicks, extra roosters bound for “freezer camp”, or extra laying pullets) tobacco products, all tradable commodities that can’t come back to haunt you

Canned goods or other preserved/shelf stable foods, too valuable to trade if resupply lines are down, hold on to these as last resorts after the fresh stocks are consumed

Weapons/ammo/reloading components, no way, too valuable and too chancy they could be turned against you

The way I see it, stock up on a few “vice” goods I don’t use (alcohol/tobacco products), but put more stock into renewable and easily replenish able stock, a few baby chicks, or a couple pullets and a rooster would end up producing eggs, hatching out more chickens, and can be fed on table scraps and free ranging…

OK. You seem to have a good handle on things. I’ll just add a few points that I think may interest you. Pls excuse me if I repeat anything you’ve already said.

Seems to me the best kinds of commodities are:
. in demand by a wide range of people (almost everyone)
. comparatively light weight and comparatively small volume so they are easy to move from place to place.
. comparatively long lasting (they will not become stale or useless after time) - Did you know gasoline becomes useless if stored for longer than one year?

Food & drink may be the best choices of all since they are essential to life but as you’ve said, they can always be a double-edged sword. Maybe best to store most things in multiple locations. Bottled water may be the very best commodity because it is so essential to life. I’m guessing you must know what happens to people after 3 days without water? It ain’t pretty.
Coffee is much lighter than whiskey and is in demand by a much greater percentage of the population.
Believe it or not … hand soap may be one commodity that is in demand more so than any other. I’ve read that just during and after WW2, in Berlin, hand soap was the one commodity in highest demand.

I say “hand soap” but it’s used to wash the entire body. I’ve never been exactly certain of the reason. But I guess people just don’t want to socialize with other people if they smell bad. I can understand why younger people who put a very high demand on sex, would feel that avoiding smelling bad would be something near the top of their list. I would think that smelling bad would put an end to most any kind of social interaction with anyone else.

In Chinatown, I can get sell hand soap in cartons that is real cheap and in the event of some kind of calamity, I’m guessing each bar of soap could demand a real high price.

I know that sounds kind of flaky. But buying hand soap in quantity is just so cheap that it’s hard to argue with buying a few cartons and stocking up.

I think you are very wise in your attitudes towards weapons. Can you imagine investing years and a major part of your budget in all kinds of things and losing it all in a few minutes to someone who snatches one of your own weapons? That would be just pathetic.

P.S. I talked about commodities that are comparatively light weight and small volume. The primary reason is not because they are easier to move. Sorry.

The primary reason is so you can store a lot of your wealth in a very small total volume and weight.

If you have, let’s say, a total of one thousand dollars that you want to use to buy commodities, it would be best to buy things that would fit in a car trunk instead of a warehouse. I’m sorry if I failed to explain that very well above.

My basement is stocked with hookers. Come the apocalypse I’ll be a wealthy man.

It just better come before too long because they have an expiration date.

  1. Buy real whiskey next time! Beam white may be the best selling bourbon in the world, but that just means there are a lot of fools out there. :wink:

  2. RC, the next time you mis-spell the name of Perfection, I’m going to smack your hand with a ruler. Probably Charles V. It’s Macallan.

  3. Maker’s 46 is pretty good stuff.

  4. Pretty much every whiskey needs a little water to open up the nose and let it express itself.

  5. For serious smooth, try Buffalo Trace, Gentleman Jack or Evan Williams White Label.

You like Maker’s, which is a wheated whiskey. I’d suggest going for a high rye bill whiskey, like Eagle Rare, next, to help isolate some of the flavors you like.

Personally I mainly drink scotch, but Dry Fly (out of Washington) makes a very nice wheat whiskey. I’m ecumenical in my scotch drinking; right now I have a couple of bottles of heavily peated Islays and a couple of Speysides open.

Whisky generally refers to scotch or scotch-style spirits, while whiskey generally refers to everything else. Right now, you’re drinking whiskey.

Silenus, for #2, I think he meant these guys. McClelland’s Single Malt Scotch Whiskies. Though a Macallan from Islay would be “interesting.” I’d try it, anyway, and I don’t really even like Macallan.

In that case, I’ll just smack him with William III. :smack:

The problem with threads like this is they tend to evolve (devolve?) into debates whether or not Jack Daniels is bourbon (it isn’t).

There’s nothing wrong with Jim Beam White label, but if you want to survive in comfort after the apocalypse stock plenty of Bookers. Same Beam family, but far, far better whiskey!

So just because, I’ll take the opposite side of that argument. :slight_smile:

First dial 1-888-551-5225 and tell them Jack Daniels is actually bourbon. When you win that debate report back here!!!

Here is my view on the subject, given the goals of the OP.

Also for reference

Cheap whiskey = Whiskey that is <$18 for a 1.75L handle
Medium range whiskey = Whiskey that is $25-50 for a 750ml bottle

Alright. I have only tried a few medium range whiskeys, but I have tried a couple dozen different cheap whiskeys. Of the cheap whiskeys, Old Crow is the best by far. Far better than any other brand of bourbon, scotch or blended cheap whiskey. I also preferred Old Crow to the medium range whiskeys I have tried (makers Mark, Jack Daniels, A few local varieties I’ve tried over the years, etc). I am not a connoisseur of medium range whiskey, and I’ve never tried an expensive whiskey but of the several dozen I have tried, Old Crow is the best.

Having said that, if your goal is to barter in a post apocolyptic world, why would medium range whiskey have more value than cheap whiskey? I can buy a 1.75L handle of Old Crow (or a different brand if need be) for $16. A 750ml bottle of high end whiskey may be $35. Ounce for ounce, that makes the medium range stuff 4-5x more expensive than the cheap stuff.

I like rice, and I eat several pounds a month. But I like Basmati rice over the cheap stuff. However Basmati rice, even when you buy the generic walmart brand, is still 4-5x more expensive than cheap rice. A 50# bag of cheap rice is $17, while Basmati is about $3.50 for a 2# bag.

If I were in a survival situation, having 4-5x as much cheap rice would be a better bartering tool than having a smaller amount of luxury rice.

The only situation I can think of where that may not be true is if someone is desperate to feel something luxurious, so they desperately want higher end alcohol or food. In that case, maybe you can barter it. But realistically, do you think in a post apocalyptic world that people will value 10lb of basmati rice over 50lbs of regular rice?

If you really want to barter and get your money’s worth, get some jugs of cheap vodka. That stuff starts at $9 for a 1.75L handle where I live. If you are spending $35 for a 750ml bottle of medium range whiskey, you can get 9x more hard liquor by buying Skol (and other cheap brands) of vodka. Realistically, will you be able to get more by bartering 1 750ml bottle of makers mark or by bartering four 1.75L bottles of Skol vodka?

Also, on teh subject of bartering food is probably more important. Rice lasts a long time and like I said, a 50# bag is about $17 or so. So buy a few 50# bags and store those. Most people would appreciate 100# of rice over a 750ml bottle of makers mark if the world falls apart. 100# of rice is 2 months worth of calories.

Oh, please. MacTech just needed an excuse to booze it up. The EOTWAWKI was the least of his concerns.

Evan Williams White, Old Granddad Bonded, Wild Turkey. Good to go.