Monday, July 21, 2008

A Drink To Us (When We're Both Dead)

I am working on the text for the contract that will accompany the sale of the 100 year old scotch (or spirit, or whatever we have to legally call it). The challenge will be to have it cover every possible eventuality (prohibition in the future? drastically changed taxation? barrel leakage? etc. etc. ) while still still suggesting some of the themes that the work aims to address.

I am also waiting to hear back from the company that will provide me with the packaging. Not sure what the hold up is. I want a form fitted wooden box, which opens on hinges (called a 'casket' fittingly enough). It is inspired by an existing model but will distinguish itself in a number of ways. The box and contract (with some possible photo-documentation) make up the bulk of the edition, which we haven't decided on a price for yet. Obviously the price would be substantially less than the going rate for the current fifty year, given that the buyer will never taste it. Medical advances notwithstanding, it seems unlikely anyone able to buy it now (legal drinking age, a certain degree of disposable income) would live long enough to claim the bottle in 2108 (the oldest age on record is an unverifiable 120).

I hope I have this right, but I understand that fifty bottles of fifty year old scotch are released yearly, and all sell in the first quarter. This is a story from a year ago, when two fifty year old bottles of Balvanie (made here at the Glenfiddich Distillery) were transported (by Brinks Truck, no less) to the Toronto LCBO. The bottles retailed for $30 000 each, and it is my understanding that they have both sold. Fifty year old is the current oldest whiskey released through WIlliam Grant and Sons, though some private stashes exist that reach into the sixties.

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