Paul Clarke? And what Apocalypse?
Yes, Paul Clarke. And just name your favorite end of civilization.
And why, pray tell, do you think this?
Yesterday, I ran across a post on a liquor blog I had not previously seen called Liquor Locusts (thanks, Insty!). Entitled The Whiskey Standard, it tells the tale of the blogger’s grandmother, who always had three full cases of Old Crow bourbon under the stairs of her home. Now Grandma was not some sad old alcoholic. Nor was the whiskey some treasured collection of rare potables
laid down for investment purposes. (Obviously) It turns out that this stash was not connected to her personal drinking habits at all, it was emergency supplies.
One impression (of Depression and Prohibition survivors) was that you could count on whiskey. It did not go bad. If you wanted, you could drink it. But more importantly you could always spend it. In some ways, it was better than money. It was inflation proof. It did not suffer from devaluation or inflation. There were always people who would trade you for whiskey. They would fix your car, paint your house, doctors would look at your kids, people would sell you food, all for that wonderful commodity-whiskey.
This woman was smart. No matter the situation, so long as people are alive, there will be trade. While the classic emergency currency is gold, whiskey has much to recommend it as an alternative.
As Grandma understood, booze has uses of its own, unlike gold. And if the greater world finds you have a stash of gold, many out there in it may be moved to take it from you instead of trading goods and services for it. A stash of whiskey in hard times is more likely to win you friends….
But Old Crow?
This too, makes sense. It’s perfectly good stuff, but cheap enough to make laying in a stash affordable. And it is not so exotic or esoteric that the average person would look on it with uncertainty. You want people to see it and feel reassured as to its universality.
And why bourbon? This too is understandable, since bourbon is America’s great spirit. Perhaps vodka would work as well. Everybody drinks it nowadays, and it’s more generally useful for not drinking applications. In really hard times though, I see a dark liquor as more comforting and valuable.
But are three cases of Old Crow really the best asset for your post-apocalypse bank? I used Paul Clarke for my poster boy on this post because his liquor collection would leave him in high clover for a long time, and because his head looks less ridiculous on Mel Gibson’s body than Rumdood’s. (Hell, my head looks less ridiculous on Mel Gibson’s body than Matt’s….) But would a bottle of Old Potrero Single Malt Straight Rye Whiskey 19th Century Style really be any more valuable to a shade-tree mechanic (who you want to mount a machine gun on your dune buggy for you) than a bottle of Early Times?
Help me out here, folks. What would you (what will you) lay in down in the cellar for an (acid) rainy day?
Here’s what I think I’m going to add to my emergency preparedness locker in the basement, alongside my water, filters, medical supplies, and indestructible foodstuffs: three cases of Jack Daniel’s and one of generic American vodka. (I’m a cocktail nut, I can’t even talk of a zombie-ruled wasteland without focusing on ratios!)
Would you bother with gin, rum or brandy? I would think they might be less valuable in hard times, but you tell me. And if you live outside the United States, what would you want to have in your wallet?