The Netherlands national Bay van der Bunt has claimed the title of owning the “world’s largest collection of old liquors”. Sadly, however, he’s willing to relinquish the title for the price $8 million (US). The historic collection holds over 5,000 bottled liquors to include 250 years old cognac, whisky, armagnac, port, madeira and rare liqueurs.
The 63-year-old Dutch speaking collector, who oddly doesn’t drink not the precious elixirs himself, has over the years dedicated his life to finding the rarest and finest spirits on earth. Many of the cognacs, dating back to 1789, the year of the French revolution and the inauguration of George Washington as the 1st President of the United States. According to Bay, he and his wife do not have any children or potential heirs who would be able to take care of their prized collection.
“So sadly, I have to let it go,” he said with a sense of remorse.
“Over the last 35 years, I frequented worldwide auctions like Christie’s and Sotheby’s. I bought from famous restaurants like Maxim’s and La Tour d’Argent in Paris and Le Cirque in New York when they thinned-out their cellars. Some cognacs even belonged to the estate of the Duke of Windsor,” he added.
Noting that it would take another two to three generations to gather a collection like this and assuming you would still be able to find such rare liquors, Bay said he inherited some of the liquor cache from father, who had inherited from his father (Bay’s grandfather).
“My grandfather had hundreds of bottles which my father passed on to me, so collecting is something I have grown up with,” said Bay, who for over 10 years has shared his passion with the world through his website www.oldliquors.com. Admitting he never intend to sell his liquor collection, Bay sadly said: “But now age is forcing me to do so. ”However, he’s hoping for a collector who shares his passion to take over the entire collection, which contains many bottles of the last remaining in the world, which makes them very unique objects to have.
Otherwise, the rare spirits may find their way to connoisseurs, exclusive restaurants and hotels or even royalty through selected channels. “Collecting cognacs and old liquors was very time consuming and cost a fortune, but it proves to be the best financial investment I have ever made,” admitted Bay.