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09.2014

Massachusetts Beverage Business

AtPressTime

THE TEETOTALER AND HIS COGNAC

When it comes to buying expensive spirits, teetotaler Bay van der Bunt just can’t help himself Although he is currently selling off what is known as the world’s largest collection of old liquors, he is not giving up collecting just yet. The 64-year-old, who oddly doesn’t drink, paid the record breaking amount of $31,65O at a Swiss auction for a bottle of 1789 cognac, the year of the French revolution and the inauguration of George Washington as president. Bunt’s historic spirits collection holds over 5OOO bottled liquors that include 25O years old cognac, whisky, Armagnac, port, Madeira and rare liqueurs. He is willing to part from his collection for the sum of $12.8 million. This is including his latest purchase of the cognac Saulnier Frères, Réserve de Saint Amant de Graves, Grande Fine Champagne from vintage 1789, which was hammered of for the highest amount to date for a bottle of this type. “Until the entire collection is sold, I will keep attending worldwide auctions like Christie’s and Sotheby’s. Collecting is something I have grown up with,” says Bay, who for over 1O years has shared his passion with the world through his website oldliquors.com. He’s hoping for a single collector to take over the entire collection, which contains many bottles of the last remaining in the world. 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,” said Bay.

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