“Hold this,” Bill Thomas whispers as he hands me a bottle of Macallan 18-year scotch that he’s just plucked off the top shelf at a liquor store in Hagerstown, Md. “We’ll talk about it in the car.”
A peanut-sized dust bunny lands in his beard, but he’s too excited to notice.
He grabs three other bottles of whiskey and checks out. Including the $199 bottle of Macallan, the total comes to $660. His girlfriend, Brittany Garrison, a local publicist, and I follow him to the car, which is relatively tidy save for a vintage ceramic decanter clinking around in the back seat.
“This is absolute gold to me,” he bursts out once we’ve shut our doors. “I’m literally overjoyed right now.”
Garrison pulls out her iPhone and searches for “Macallan 18, vintage 1988” on a website that appraises alcohol.
“OK, in 2013 it went for … holy s—!” Garrison says. “Well, this was in Hong Kong. Which is interesting because Asia has started purchasing a lot of American whiskeys in the past couple of …”
“Are you going to tell us or what?” Thomas asks.
“$1,840,” she says.
“I can’t believe this is the first store we hit, and this is what we found,” Thomas says. “Let’s go. It’s already a really good trip.”
Jack Rose Dining Saloon, Thomas’ bar in Adams Morgan, housesmore than 1,800 bottles of scotches, bourbons and ryes, making it one of the largest retailers of whiskeys in the Western Hemisphere. That’s still a nip compared to Thomas’ private stash of 4,000 bottles that he stores at his Northwest D.C. home….follow the link for more