We get asked this question a lot. “How much is my Jack Daniels collection worth?” The answer is, it depends. There are a lot of factors that go into determining the value of a collection. We will try to cover some things, but likely not all, that go into evaluating a liquor collection.
What are you collecting?
Are you collecting just Jack Daniel’s, or do you collect other bourbons and whiskeys as well? What you focus on collecting will be important.
Do you have lots of non-bottle items in your collection? I have a few things, a couple of barrels, a yard stick, a bat, and a variety of smaller items, couple of signs, but the majority of my collection is (and almost always will be) bottles.
How long have you been collecting? Many Jack Daniel’s collections have been put together over decades. I personally have been collecting since around 1998, though early on I wasn’t necessarily collecting, I managed to save a lot of things over the years.
How much do you think you have invested in your collection? Seriously, think about how much you’ve spent over the years. I can guess what I’ve spent over the years, though with my inventory sheet I have a pretty good idea of what I’ve spent in the last 12-24 months. Going forward, keep track of your purchases (see inventory below).
What condition are your bottles in? Is the glass clean? Have they been regularly dusted? If you haven’t dusted them lately, do they clean up when you do dust them? You can often times clean them with a solution, but be careful not to damage labels, tax stamps, or seals.
Are the labels intact? Have they been damaged? Are they faded? Do they have any rips or tears in the label? Is the label crooked? Does the label have any stains? All of these things can impact the value of a bottle.
Are the bottles full? If they are unopened, and full, they are worth more. If the bottle has been opened, than you can’t prove the contents are legitimate, there are definitely people out there who fake bottles.
Is there any leakage? If the bottle has leaked, the value of the bottle might be reduced, but this can actually be fairly common for older bottles and might have little impact on the value.
Do the corks look good? Are they in good shape? Have you regularly rotated the bottles so that the corks don’t dry out? If they dry out, they can fall apart and fall into the bottle. This can decrease the value of the bottle and the contents.
Are the seals intact? If the seals have been tampered with, the value of the bottle can be greatly reduced.
Is there a tax stamp? Older bottles oftentimes have tax stamps, they can actually allow you to get a date for the bottle. Newer bottles don’t have tax stamps, so you have to look at other things to try to determine age.
Are there any chips or cracks in the bottles? If so, the value will be impacted.
How old are the bottles? Do you know how to tell? Sometimes you can figure out the age based on a tax stamp, some times you can figure out the age based on a marking on the bottle? Often times with Jack Daniel’s bottles there is a number on the bottom of the bottle to determine the year. With JD Single Barrel products you can determine when it was bottled based on the label around the neck.
Are they from a limited release? Jack Daniel’s has been doing special bottles and releases for decades.
How many bottles were produced? That will completely vary based on the release, each release is definitely different, and sometimes, for example the Eric Church bottles there were actually multiple releases.
Where can I sell my collection?
That one can be a tricky question to answer, there are a lot of
factors to consider.
Where do you live?
Do you know what the laws are around selling alcohol in your
Do you want to sell them all at once or one at a time?
Do you want to sell them to a private collector or a retailer? If you are in our around St. Louis (6 hour radius) and interested in selling, be sure to reach out to me. I might be interested.