What can you buy with $250,000?
You could purchase a new three bedroom home in Sugar Land.
You could pony up for 10 spanking new Jeep Grand Cherokees.
You could take seven guests on a 106-day around the world tour on the Queen Mary 2.
Or you can spend the entire wad on the 21 bottles of whiskey that make up the Dalmore Constellation Collection, now displayed, and for sale, at Spec’s Warehouse Store. The 21 single cask whiskeys produced by Dalmore’s master distiller Richard Patterson represent the Scottish distillery’s work between the years 1964 and 1992.
Dalmore’s is releasing just nine Constellation Collections worldwide in 2012. With only two of the nine designated for U.S. stores. Spec’s, it seems, has landed a coup. (Dalmore representatives were mum on where the second stateside collection may turn up.)
The rare bottles that make up the Constellation Collection are considered investment grade whiskies. In fact, Dalmore is known for making whiskey investors look smart.
“In 2010, Dalmore released a Sirius, a 1951 vintage, which sold for about $16,000. A year later, the bottles were selling for twice that,” said Trent Roberts, the Texas State Manager for Whyte & Mackay, the parent company of Dalmore.
“The Constellation Collection is an extremely rare and precious offering, and our customers will appreciate the opportunity to purchase something that only a few other people in the world have the privilege of owning,” said John Rydman, Spec’s CEO. “Our customers who purchase some of the rarest bottles of scotch understand that this can be a superior alternative investment, actually outperforming some traditional alternative investment assets, and we are confident this collection will attract the right buyer.”
I can’t be sure the dozen or so of spectators on hand for the unveiling Monday night were purchasers of rare scotches. (They were enjoying free tastings of one of Dalmore’s less lofty vintages.) I know some customers were nonplussed by the procedings, particularly the woman behind me who was telling a clerk that she wanted “anything that’s under $5.”
Still, it was easy to be enthusiastic for Spec’s. The whiskeys can be viewed near the scotch aisle in a specially constructed display case.
Chris Watt, the charming Scot who is the “global head of brand” was on hand at the unveiling and spoke about Dalmore’s long history of producing single malts whiskeys. Speaking about the Constellation Collection, he said each bottle was notable on in its own and pointed to the whiskey’s variations in color, which range from gold and honey to black cherry and copper.
“Take the 1992 (the youngest whiskey in the collection), Watt said. “It’s exceptional not because of its age but because of the maturation process. It was finished in an exquisite port cask. A whiskey is made exceptional by the nurturing, not the aging.”
Single bottles featured in collection will be released as available and will range in price from $3,000 to $30,000.
Whyte and Mackay’s Roberts said it is not unusual for investors to purchase two bottles of a pricey vintage. One is for sipping and one is wealth-building.
As for Spec’s Constellation Collection pricing? “We are asking $237,500 cash price,” says Kylie Boaz, “or $250,000 regular price.”
Spec’s Warehouse: 2410 Smith St., 713-526-8787