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Old 11-04-2017, 06:58 PM
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Default Expensive new hobby

We've talked before about our hobbies and what they cost us but it's been a while.

My wife and I have been developing a new interest that has started to get a bit pricey. Over the past year or two, we've really gotten into bourbon and other whiskey. At first, of course, we were drinking the standard everyday stuff that runs in the $30 range. As we've learned more and tried more, and especially as a result of our week exploring in Kentucky last month when we got to taste nearly 40 products, we've started gravitating toward the better products as we've seen how much of a difference there is.

So now when we're shopping, we're gravitating toward the bottles that are $50-$75. There are many products out there that are far more costly than that but we haven't had a chance to try any of those yet. The most we've paid for a bottle was $80 and just today we picked up a bottle for $75 that we're bringing to a tasting event we're attending on Thursday night (everyone is supposed to bring something to share but the event itself is free).

I don't know if I'd ever see myself spending over $100 for a bottle but if you had asked me a year ago if I'd ever spend $80 I would have said no. I know that at least one of the bottles we'll be tasting this week runs about $170 so I'm looking forward to that sample. There is definitely a very noticeable difference between $30 bourbon and $70 bourbon. I suspect there won't be as much difference between $70 and $170.

What expensive hobbies do you all have? Where do you like to spend that disposable income? And are there any fellow whiskey enthusiasts here?
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Old 11-04-2017, 08:18 PM
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Very interesting. I like whiskey/bourbon myself but nothing close to your experiences. I prefer Jack Daniels ($15.99) over Jim Bean ($13.99). I've tried the cheaper "something" Evans ($9.99) but it's harsh. I haven't gotten into pricier stuff myself. Another notch up for me might be Wild Turkey which I have yet to try.
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Old 11-04-2017, 10:23 PM
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We have bought a few $100+ bottles of Scotch whisky these past few years. We just bought Glenmorangie Astar about 2 weeks ago. I feel it is overpriced, but I'm no expert. To be honest, I can only tell a difference between regions and not prices. I really wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a $200 bottle and a $40 bottle unless one was from Speyside and one was from Islay. I haven't tasted anything I liked from the Islay region. The only bottle I buy with regularity is Auchentoshan 12 year. Two fingers of Auchentoshan with exactly 3 drops of cold water is just lovely. Some people just can't understand why I can like Scotch and hate bourbon. Bourbon has this weird sweetness to it that sticks in the back of my throat that reminds me of vomit. I don't even like to smell it. I also hate this abomination called Irish Mist that used to be my husband's favorite. The smell takes me back, in a bad way.

We don't have much in the way of hobbies, except wine and spirits. We used to spend several thousand dollars a year on alcohol (I posted about it before), but we stopped having get togethers and our current housesitter likes to be paid in food and fast internet access instead of booze. Now I don't upset myself when we spend $50 on a bottle of wine unless it tastes horrible, because that might be the only thing alcoholic we buy all month.

Having said that, we just bought a case of La Marca and a case of this California wine my husband likes today because the holiday sales are starting. We will probably buy a few more cases tomorrow. We like to stock up during the sales because they are usually significant discounts. We also buy a few bottles of Scotch when the local Binny's has a sale, but they are not as discounted as the wines are.
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Old 11-04-2017, 10:41 PM
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Oh man where should I start.

Recently go into board game collecting and some of these from Kickstarter are in the hundreds of dollars range. So far I probably spent 3k on board games.

I also collect movie figures from hot toys. Each figure being about 200+. Also I have some expensive commission pieces in the thousands. Even have a lightsaber in a chassis that is the original hardware used by George Lucas. This piece alone is worth 4-5k.

I would say my movie related things are around 10k and I have a 10k worth of airsoft gun which was a hobby I had years before.

I need to start selling.....
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Old 11-04-2017, 11:27 PM
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My hobbies tend to drift around, from the extremely inexpensive such as reading (libraries rock) and running, to moderately expensive activities like snowboarding, SCUBA diving, photography, cycling, .... and so on. We've gotten into boardgames on & off as well, and have a decent collection.

I think the only two hobbies that truly stick day in & day out for me are reading & cooking. I can (and have...repeatedly) happily spend an entire day cooking or reading and be nothing but thrilled with my day. I'm typically actively going through 2 books at a time (one in eBook, one by audiobook...sometimes a third in hardcopy). And since food is a necessity of life (and my wife isn't nearly as interested in cooking), I get to play with recipes, cooking styles, knife skills, and so on almost daily. Now if only work didn't get in the way.......
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Old 11-04-2017, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kork13 View Post
My hobbies tend to drift around, from the extremely inexpensive such as reading (libraries rock) and running, to moderately expensive activities like snowboarding, SCUBA diving, photography, cycling, .... and so on. We've gotten into boardgames on & off as well, and have a decent collection.

I think the only two hobbies that truly stick day in & day out for me are reading & cooking. I can (and have...repeatedly) happily spend an entire day cooking or reading and be nothing but thrilled with my day. I'm typically actively going through 2 books at a time (one in eBook, one by audiobook...sometimes a third in hardcopy). And since food is a necessity of life (and my wife isn't nearly as interested in cooking), I get to play with recipes, cooking styles, knife skills, and so on almost daily. Now if only work didn't get in the way.......
I really didn't think of cooking as a hobby since I have to feed my family every day, but I guess I could say that. I tend to spend a lot on trying new foods and gadgets out. My husband almost flipped last night when I threw a Buddha's Hand citron in the cart that wasn't priced and it turned out to be $8 for a piece of fruit, but I'm obsessed with it now. I'm thinking of buying a bunch and freezing the zest. I was looking all over for black garlic today and you would have thought that I was asking the stock guys where they keep their "private stash". It isn't a code word for anything. It is just fermented garlic. I think I'm going to skip that chicken recipe.
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Old 11-05-2017, 04:56 AM
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Traveling, Beekeeping, & SCUBA are probably my biggest ones right now.
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Old 11-05-2017, 05:26 AM
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Horses. It is an exceedingly expensive hobby where you can spend extraordinary amounts of money.

Right now I lease a horse which is the perfect situation for me. I pay a reasonable monthly fee (about 100 dollars/month) to ride a horse 2-3 times a week. When I do I also take care of barn chores like mucking and feeding the horse.

If I owned the horse I would have to pay for insurance, buying all new tack (saddle, bridle, blankets, etc), new horse shoes every six weeks if things go well, more often if necessary, dentist 2 times a year, vaccination, stable fees, feed, etc.

But then comes the hard part of not buying too many accessories. Recently I bought winter riding pants, a warm skirt/blanket layer for barn work, and pay a trainer a few times a month. But I try to keep it to a minimum and buy used riding boots and more expensive items.

I enjoy expensive whiskey, but only because I have a good friend whose husband collects them and often offers us one after dinner. I don't think we keep any in the house, there may be an old Chivas Regal lying around somewhere, but I don't think those count
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Old 11-05-2017, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuarterMillionMan View Post
Very interesting. I like whiskey/bourbon myself but nothing close to your experiences. I prefer Jack Daniels ($15.99) over Jim Bean ($13.99). I've tried the cheaper "something" Evans ($9.99) but it's harsh. I haven't gotten into pricier stuff myself. Another notch up for me might be Wild Turkey which I have yet to try.
We were always the same way - Jack Daniels, Southern Comfort, Jim Beam - until we started trying others. I honestly don't even remember how this all started, but once we started learning more and trying more, there definitely is a difference. Not so much if you are making mixed drinks but if you are drinking it neat.

Keep in mind that a big reason cheaper products are cheap is because they are watered down. Jack Daniels Black, which is what most drink, is 80 proof. Jack Daniels also sells a barrel proof that is 132 proof. So the Black was essentially made by taking what comes out of the barrel at 132 and adding enough water to dilute it to 80. As with anything, diluting it waters down the flavor along with the alcohol content. We've come to appreciate the fuller, more complex flavor of the original product.
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Old 11-05-2017, 07:18 AM
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Some people just can't understand why I can like Scotch and hate bourbon.
I totally understand that. They are very different tastes. We like both but they are not similar at all.
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Old 11-05-2017, 07:35 AM
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I recently saw a bottle of scotch locked in a case at Costco for $14,999. I'm sure it's very good, having been cask aged for 50 years.

Expensive hobbies can be fun. As long as they are in your budget and you don't sip and drive, why not?
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Old 11-05-2017, 08:28 AM
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Yes, I am a single malt scotch enthusiast, particularly ones from the speyside and highland regions. While in Scotland a couple months ago, I made it a point to visit the Glenmorangie and Oban distilleries.

For this hobby, I'll go and buy a $60 to $80 bottle and sip it over the course of a year. Each event is kind of OCD: about half a shot in a whiskey tasting glass, a few drops of water, and then tiny sips over about an hour, focusing on the subtle tastes and aromas...NEVER to be mixed or abused.

I love these: Oban, Caol Ila, MacAllan, Talisker, Lagavulin, Kilchoman, Clynelish.
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Old 11-05-2017, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msomnipotent View Post
I was looking all over for black garlic today and you would have thought that I was asking the stock guys where they keep their "private stash". It isn't a code word for anything. It is just fermented garlic. I think I'm going to skip that chicken recipe.
msomnipotent, have you found the garlic yet? I've never seen it for sale, but if you are asking in the stores, try asking for purple garlic, blue garlic, or pickled garlic. When garlic is fermented it often turns purple or blue. It is super mild when fermented.

That gets at my biggest hobby, gardening. Yes, there are expenses, but the effort tends to yield more of what I started with. I started growing garlic, for example, from two single bulbs some 25 years ago. Now I have garlic in three gardens, have enough to gather garlic scapes for numerous meals, even to the point where I'm thinking of selling to a small neighborhood restaurant. I have piles of garlic bulbs for cooking, replant cloves every year, and have plenty for fermenting!

I think my hobby fits very well with my income.
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Old 11-05-2017, 09:17 AM
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DH is a big snowboarding fan so it's very expensive x 4 (i myself am a forced enthusiast). I mean the lessons, the rentals for kids, passes, etc. That's our big spending in winter.

Then there is the traveling. I am realizing we spend a lot more now that we're starting to cut free from only seeing family and they are seeing us too.
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Old 11-05-2017, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by msomnipotent View Post
Two fingers of Auchentoshan with exactly 3 drops of cold water is just lovely.
Specifics like that just screams out for blind taste tests. (One drop is a measly 1/591 of a fluid ounce, so if two fingers is a "shot", then three drops is 1/3 of 1% of the liquid, and I'm strongly dubious that you can taste the difference.)
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Old 11-05-2017, 09:54 AM
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Specifics like that just screams out for blind taste tests. (One drop is a measly 1/591 of a fluid ounce, so if two fingers is a "shot", then three drops is 1/3 of 1% of the liquid, and I'm strongly dubious that you can taste the difference.)
It isn't about diluting the whiskey. Adding a drop or two of water actually changes the chemical makeup of the drink which in turn affects the flavor.

This is really only true of high proof whiskey. Lower proof stuff, as I noted earlier, is already watered down significantly so adding a drop more makes no difference.

Here's one article that explains the scientific reasoning:
https://lifehacker.com/scientists-pr...ste-1797988221
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* Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
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Old 11-05-2017, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by disneysteve View Post
It isn't about diluting the whiskey. Adding a drop or two of water actually changes the chemical makeup of the drink which in turn affects the flavor.

This is really only true of high proof whiskey. Lower proof stuff, as I noted earlier, is already watered down significantly so adding a drop more makes no difference.

Here's one article that explains the scientific reasoning:
https://lifehacker.com/scientists-pr...ste-1797988221
It sounds scientific, but then so does a lot of pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo. Blind taste test FTW!

EDIT: the bottom line is that the easiest person to fool is yourself.

https://www.newyorker.com/tech/front...taste-the-same

The Judgment of Princeton didn’t quite end with a Jersey victory—a French wine was on top in both the red and white categories—but, in terms of the reassurance for those with valuable wine collections, it might as well have. Clos des Mouches only narrowly beat out Unionville Single Vineyard and two other Jersey whites, while Château Mouton Rothschild and Haut-Brion topped Heritage’s BDX. The wines from New Jersey cost, on average, about five per cent as much as their French counterparts. And then there’s the inconsistency of the judges: the scores for that Mouton Rothschild, for instance, ranged from 11 to 19.5. On the excellent blog Marginal Revolution, the economist Tyler Cowen highlights the analysis of the Princeton professor Richard Quandt^3^, who found that almost of all the wines were “statistically undistinguishable” from each other. This suggests that, if the blind tasting were held again, a Jersey wine might very well win.

Last edited by Nutria; 11-05-2017 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 11-05-2017, 10:37 AM
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It sounds scientific, but then so does a lot of pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo. Blind taste test FTW!
I've also seen a lot of reports over the years about wine, even one where wine "experts" were blindfolded and couldn't reliably distinguish white from red.

I'd be up for a blind taste test with whiskey - anything for science .

My wife and I can take on that challenge. We have one high proof bottle in the house at the moment. I can see if we can actually tell the difference when there is or isn't water added. I'll report back when we've had an opportunity to do that.

ETA: The situation with wine is different because there you are comparing entirely different products and just saying which one you like better which is all about personal preference. You aren't trying one and then doing something to alter it and trying it again.
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Old 11-05-2017, 10:55 AM
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My wife and I's most expensive hobby is probably travel. In the past 2 years we have been to Costa Rica, Australia, Maui + Vancouver, and Europe trip (North Italy, France, Spain, and Monte Carlo).

Very expensive indeed.

Side note* - Steve is a bourbon enthusiast?! This seems like the least likely hobby I would ever have pegged you as partaking in! For some reason I was under the influence that you didn't "not drink" but were at least not very enthusiastic about drinking at all, let alone a hobby drinker!

I recently have gotten really into Ryes. I use to prefer bourbon or Irish whiskeys, but lately I have been buying a totally new bottle of Rye every 2 weeks or so (since late spring early summer).

Also, to comment on the scotch / bourbon discussion, I'm a bourbon guy. I really really WISH I liked scotch, so I could enjoy the experience with the many scotch lovers in my life. But I just really can't enjoy it, almost under any circumstances.... It's really a bummer.
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Old 11-05-2017, 11:01 AM
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I've tried some expensive stuff. I'm a bourbon/whiskey guy and don't like scotch. The most expensive thing I've tasted is some Louis XIII by Rémy Martin Cognac. Really like Middleton's Rare Irish whiskey. But my goto is Gentleman Jack.

As for hobbies, I've gone through a few over the last 30 years:

Guns
Radio controlled airplanes
Astronomy
Horses
Radio controlled helicopters
Garden tractors
Watches (winding this one down)

Horses wer the most expensive by far.
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