How to Start a Whiskey Collection and 4 Must Have Bottles

Whether you’re a long-time whiskey connoisseur or someone dipping their toe into the whiskey world, embarking on a whiskey journey doesn’t have to be intimidating. From the smoky depths of Scottish single malts to the rich heritage of American blended whiskey, each bottle holds a story waiting to be told. But not to fear, we’ve got you covered with a step by step guide on how to kick off your whiskey collection.

Understand the Basics of Whiskey

Before we dive headfirst into the world of whiskey, we’ll need to run through the basics. While it may seem complex, we’re here to break down the barriers and make your journey as smooth as your whiskey. Getting a grasp on the common whiskey lingo and terminology not only enhances your enjoyment of each sip but also serves as the bedrock for honing your research skills as you seek out new bottles to add to your collection. Understanding things like how whiskey is made, the aging process, and what cask strength means are the perfect starting points to launch your exploration.

Sample Whiskeys and Discover Your Palate Preferences

So now you know how to talk about whiskey, but it’s time to move onto the fun part and start putting your knowledge to the test. Grab a few bottles and start sampling (responsibly). And for the step-by-step guide on how to drink whiskey to get the most of your tastings, we’ve got you covered. We recommend starting sipping neat and then to really bring out the most of your drams, add a couple of ice cubes and enjoy your whiskey on the rocks.

Decide What You Want to Buy

What’s important to remember is that not all whiskeys (or occasions) are the same. Embarking on a whiskey collection can take many forms, each as diverse as the spirits themselves. Whether you’re in it for the enjoyment of tasting unique flavors or have your sights set on building a portfolio of rare and valuable bottles, the world of whiskey collecting offers endless possibilities. Not sure what you’re looking for? Try thinking about the below. 

  • Bourbon whiskeys from various Kentucky distilleries
  • Whiskeys from around the world 
  • Cask strength whiskeys
  • Vintage or historical bottlings
  • Whiskies from independent or craft distilleries

Consider Investing in Limited Edition Whiskey and Rare Bottles

Want to know what’s more fun than investing in than stocks? That’s right, whiskey! Investing in rare and limited edition whiskey offers both financial potential and personal enjoyment, with bottles often appreciating in value over time. With any collectibles, it’s important that you source them from the right places to ensure you’re getting the real deal. And most importantly, aim to get two bottles, one that can sit on the shelf and the other to pour in your glass. BLACKENED’s regular limited edition releases serve as the perfect launch point to your collection. Check out some of our newest launches to start yours.

Learn Where to Buy Whiskey for Your Collection

When it comes to purchasing whiskey for your collection, there’s no shortage of options, but ensuring you source your bottles from reputable dealers and retailers is huge. Here are some trustworthy places to consider:

  • Specialty Liquor Stores: Dedicated liquor stores often have knowledgeable staff who can offer guidance and recommendations tailored to your preferences.
  • Distillery Shops: Visiting distillery shops allows you to purchase bottles straight from the source, often offering exclusive releases and insights into the production process.
  • Online Retailers: Reputable online retailers provide a convenient way to browse a wide selection of whiskeys, with detailed descriptions and customer reviews to aid in your decision-making.
  • Auction Houses: Auctions offer an opportunity to acquire rare and limited edition bottles, but it’s essential to research the auction house’s reputation and understand the bidding process before participating.
  • Whiskey Clubs: Joining a whiskey club not only provides access to curated selections and tasting events but also fosters connections with fellow enthusiasts and industry insiders that you can buy from or trade with.

Learn Where to Buy Whiskey for Your Collection

So you now have a kickass collection of whiskey bottles, but will your whiskey go bad? In short, the answer is no. However, we want to make sure that we’re keeping our whiskey properly stored to ensure the flavors remain the same year after year. To effectively store your whiskey collection, consider the following:

  • Store Bottles Upright: Storing whiskey bottles upright prevents the cork from drying out and minimizes the risk of leaks or evaporation.
  • Maintain Consistent Temperature: Aim to store whiskey at a consistent temperature between 59-68°F (15-20°C) to avoid fluctuations that can affect the aging process.
  • Control Humidity Levels: Ideally, humidity levels should be around 60-70% to prevent corks from drying out and maintain the integrity of the whiskey.
  • Avoid Strong Odors: Keep whiskey away from strong-smelling substances, as they can permeate the cork and affect the flavor of the spirit.
  • Keep Rare Whiskey’s in the Box: If you have any whiskey that you consider an investment, keep it in it’s original packaging. Similar to rare action figures, the condition of the label and box can play a factor in the product’s value.

You’re proud of your collection. It’s time to showcase it to the world. Here are some ideas on how to display your collection: 

  • Glass Display Cabinet: Showcase your collection in a glass display cabinet, allowing guests to admire the bottles while protecting them from dust and light.
  • Behind the Bar: Display your whiskey collection behind a home bar for easy access.
  • Off-Site Storage: If space is limited, consider storing your whiskey collection off-site in a professional storage facility equipped with optimal conditions for aging.

Catalog Your Collection

Cataloging a whiskey collection and keeping detailed notes on each bottle can offer invaluable benefits. It provides a structured record of your inventory, including essential details such as distillery, age, and provenance, which can help manage the collection over time. Additionally, documenting tasting notes allows for a deeper appreciation of each whiskey’s unique characteristics, enhancing the enjoyment of tasting sessions and helping inform future purchases.

Track the Value of Your Whiskey Collection Over Time

So now that we know that whiskey can appreciate over time, it’s time to track all of our earnings. There are several factors that can contribute to the rise in the price of a bottle. For collectors and investors, tracking the value of whiskey can help uncover market trends and the potential appreciation of their collections.

Factors influencing the value of whiskey include:

  • Rarity: Limited edition releases, discontinued expressions, and bottles from closed distilleries tend to command higher prices due to their scarcity.
  • Age: Older whiskies are often perceived as more valuable, with longer aging periods contributing to increased complexity and rarity.
  • Provenance: Whiskies with well-documented histories and prestigious pedigrees, such as single cask releases or bottles from renowned distilleries, may fetch higher prices.
  • Packaging: Bottles with unique or aesthetically pleasing packaging, such as rare decanters or commemorative editions, can attract collectors willing to pay a premium.
  • Brand Reputation: Whiskeys from highly regarded distilleries or brands with a strong track record of quality and innovation may maintain or increase their value over time.
  • Whiskey Awards: Recognition from prestigious whiskey competitions and awards can enhance a bottle’s reputation and value in the eyes of collectors and enthusiasts.

Protect Your Investment in Your Whiskey Collection

Once you’ve assembled your collection, taking steps to protect your investment becomes even more important. One option to safeguard your collection is to secure insurance coverage tailored specifically to whiskey collections. Whiskey insurance policies offer protection against risks such as theft, damage, and loss.

Network With Other Whiskey Collectors

Whiskey is best enjoyed with others and the same goes for collecting. Networking with other collectors offers tons of benefits, including opportunities for knowledge sharing, bottle trading, and access to exclusive events or tastings. To find other collectors to connect with, consider joining online forums, social media groups, or whiskey clubs dedicated to whiskey appreciation and collecting. Attending whiskey tastings, festivals, and events also presents opportunities to meet fellow collectors in person and develop long lasting relationships for years to come.

More Whiskey Collecting Tips

Here are some additional quick tips for whiskey collecting:

  • Young Can Be Good: While older whiskies often command higher prices, don’t overlook younger expressions, as some can offer exceptional flavor profiles at a more affordable price point.
  • Explore Different Styles: Branch out beyond familiar favorites and explore a diverse range of whiskey styles, regions, and distilleries to expand your palate and appreciation.
  • Invest in Quality Glassware: Invest in quality glassware, such as Glencairn glasses or copitas, to enhance the tasting experience and fully appreciate the aromas and flavors.
  • Experiment with Pairings: Experiment with food pairings to complement and enhance the flavors of different whiskeys.
  • Share and Enjoy: Share your whiskey collection with friends and fellow enthusiasts, hosting tastings or gatherings to share knowledge, experiences, and bottles with others.

Whiskey Collection Must-Haves

Here are some must-have whiskeys for a well-rounded collection, including select Blackened products with short descriptions.


Flagship Blackened Whiskey Bottle

Our flagship expression is a marriage of the finest North American straight bourbon & rye whiskeys and uniquely finished and sonically-enhanced in brandy casks, using the BLACK NOISE™ process to extract more flavor from the wood. The whiskey is further enhanced with the brandy cask finish adding notes of apricot, which plays perfectly alongside the honey and caramel notes of the blend. The best a man can get.


Blackened Whiskey Cask Strength Bottle

The same award-winning blend as the original BLACKENED Whiskey expression. The whiskeys are then married and finished in brandy casks, bottled at cask strength, and non-chill filtered, offering a viscous mouthfeel with an even bolder flavor profile. Each volume of Cask Strength is its own unique batch and limited in quantity.


Blackened Whiskey Rye the Lightning 2024 Edition

Bottled at 92 proof and inspired by Metallica’s 6x platinum sophomore album, Ride the Lightning, our non-chill filtered blend of straight rye whiskeys has notes of green apple, barn hay, caramel, and banana bread on the nose with pear, honeysuckle, muscovado, almond, cinnamon, sawn-wood, and waffle cone on the palate.


BLACKENED X Rabbit Hole Master of Whiskey Series Bottle

This limited-edition expression is crafted from a 13-year old straight Tennessee bourbon whiskey, which is 64% corn/36% rye, and Rabbit Hole Heigold High Rye Double Malt Kentucky Straight bourbon, 70% corn/25% malted rye/5% malted barley. The bourbon whiskey blend is then finished in Calvados apple brandy casks, bottled at cask strength, and non-chill filtered.

Add BLACKENED to Your Whiskey Collection

Visit our online shop and get your whiskey collection started with BLACKENED’s award-winning whiskey. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or just beginning your whiskey journey, our lineup offers something unique for everyone. If you want to make stocking up your collection easy, grab the Fill Your Bar bundle that comes complete with five different BLACKENED products including two of our limited edition whiskeys. Happy hunting!

Blackened Whiskey Collection

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