Still, I see folks here with record numbers of unopened bottles, so I'm thinking I'm strictly small-time.
How much cash do you spend each month on whisky?
For me, "the good stuff" (anything over $45) is a splurge that I save to mark special occasions. Examples from the past year:
Got a raise = Springbank 100 Proof
Got a bonus = Talisker DE
My birthday (gift) = Kilkerran WIP
Father's Day (gift) = Laphroaig QC
As much as I have to forego the many delicious bottles I leave on the shelves, I like this system. In addition to controlling costs, it helps "the good stuff" stay special. And I like having each good bottle mentally attached to some positive event as I nurse it down over the course of a year+.
EDIT to add: I don't think I've ever spent more than $60 on a bottle*. There's a lot of tempting, not-too-unreasonable stuff in the $60-$90 range, but it's hard to justify the expense when there's totally good stuff in the $40-$50-$60 range that I haven't had yet. Give me a few years and maybe I'll have moved up a level to find new thrills.
*Possible exceptions: Smaller (20cl, 40cl?) bottles that I brought back from Scotland to the US. In an ill-advised moment of back-o-the-napkin figurin', I calculated these were the equivalent of like $100 bottles or something if you converted for both bottle size and the currency exchange rate. Lesson: Never do the math!
I have now stopped the urge to collect and this has seen my unopened collection come down from its peak of nearly 40 bottles. Now I have some 4-10 bottles at any time. Another change is the pattern of buying few favorites to use as regulars as opposed to as many variety as possible. The number of bottles of Glenfiddich 15 solera I bought in the past year is quite high. Ardbeg 10 comes second. Of course I do buy an occassional ~$100 +/- whisky now and then.
As far as I'm concerned, I don't collect. But I like to have several bottles in hand to enable myself to compare. I rarely have had less than 20 open bottles at my disposal. Unfortunately, I find I have the palate of a dog, but that's another story...
And each splurge will probably be 3-4 times a year so i guess monthly average is £100
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