Catoctin Creek Distilling Company’s Scott Harris and His Personal Whiskey Collection
When Becky, Scott Harris’ wife, called from the Vancouver airport asking if she should pick up an 18-year-old Macallan scotch in duty-free, he said yes: buy two. She paid $80 (U.S.) for a bottle that in 2014 costs $199.95 (at the Vienna ABC store). “I wish now she would have bought 12,” says Harris.
But that was in 2005, before Harris became a collector of fine spirits. Now, the owner of Catoctin Creek Distilling Company stocks 104 bottles—divided between his office, kitchen and home bar—with gin, brandy, liqueurs, piscos, cachaça, kirschwasser. A full third of the collection is whiskey. For a comparison, Harris says restaurants usually carry about 80 bottles.
These days, in that golden space between dinner and bedtime, Harris reaches for a 12-year-old Yamazaki, a Japanese single-malt whiskey. But he doesn’t usually stick to any one brand or variety. Because he’s in the industry, Harris often receives gifts or swaps bottles with friends, distributors and other distillers from across the country. “A lot of time it just sits there waiting to be enjoyed,” says Harris. “Because along comes another bottle and another bottle and another bottle. It would probably take me, honestly, 100 years to drink all of the whiskey that’s in my collection.” —Stefanie Gans