Friday, July 3, 2009

Where Have all the CUTTER'S Gone?

I received a mail yesterday from a fellow collector and dealer in Western Whiskeyana. He was wondering if I had any Cutter fifths that I wanted to sell. Cutter fifths? Hmm.. I took a look at my Cutter's and thought - sell?- heck, I need to buy a few, I'm kinda' short on Cutter's for a guy that collects western whiskies.

All of a sudden it dawned on me "Hey, where are all those Cutter's you saw on the tables at bottle shows?" A while back someone I knew always had a few Cutter's for sale, and come to think of it, I haven't seen a decent Cutter up for grabs in a while. This got me to thinking.....

I fired up the laptop and dialed into Western Glob Top Whiskies to take a look at any information I could find on the disappearing consummate western fifth.

Now things were coming into perspective. Heck, there were no less than 22 posts on Cutter whiskey bottles. The first post I read was from a collector in San Diego that had in one day purchased or traded for 2 Cutter whiskies at a BBQ and 2 more at a bottle show the next morning. This same collector posted a picture on the American Bottle Auctions site showing his color run of 5 star-shield fifths.

The earlier post titled "J.F. Cutter Star in Shield" showed pictures of 29 different Cutter fifths from about 5 different collectors. That's a rough average of about 6 Cutter bottles per collector.

Now things were getting interesting...

Seems to me this western whiskey blog has really made certain collectors more aware of the so-called lowly Cutter bottle. Why just the other day I was talking to a whiskey collector and he was relating to me the fun he was having putting together a "run" of Bottled By globby fifths. Why, Bottled By fifths? Here's what I was told by a beginning collector. "Its a way collectors that can't hack the buy in price of high dollar fifths can put together a grouping to be proud of. It takes as much time and effort to put together a run of lower value fifths as it does high ticket ones and the satisfaction is just as great without breaking the bank!" I don't even own a Bottled BY fifth, but maybe I better get one before they are all gone.
Don't even talk to me about color runs.... seems like every western whiskey collector I talk to has a color run of some Cutter variant.

Have you tried to buy a Star-Shield fifth lately? Those $100 fifths now start at $300 and go on up in price depending on the color. And how about the 4 piece circle Cutter, when was the last time you saw one of those for sale? These "circle's" are coveted and bought & sold in the parking lots of bottle shows - like they were McKenna's or Teakettle's.

Cutter OK's start at $200 - 225 if you can find one and the tool top version, that used to be a $15 bottle, now starts at around $100.

In this old collector's opinion the Cutter fifth has finally started to get the respect that it deserves.

So....... better start stocking up on those Cutter's -while there are still some left !!!


  1. HA!! Lowly old Cutters, eh? I can't begin to tell you how many circle Cutters I've dug. One pit had over a hundred and twenty of 'em in it. I took me FOREVER to get rid of those at 25-35 bucks per. There ain't a one, except maybe the intense yellows and greens that should bring over a hundred, but they do. Not to me, though. Star Shields, too. Those things are common as dirt, but for some reason they are coveted, too. I sold one that I dug last year for $400, but it was three shades of yellow amber and hammered to death.

  2. im happy to save shards,digging a lowly cutter will always put a smile on my face and ive had my fair share of good luck in a shit house.
    just to get out and dig is what its about,digging a rare bottle is nice but its a good day to find any lowly bottle!

    27 lowly cutters in the mole cave.
    mole man

  3. Interesting post G.O. It certainly gets one to thinking...
    Whether there are hundreds or many hundreds of a certain Cutter out there does not change the fact that collectors seem to be holding on to them. I believe I have some insight as to why. It is interesting that the Whiskey collecting hobby in the West was at it's pinnacle according to some while the "Western Whiskey News" newsletter was being produced, and now the hobby is in a definite upswing again, I believe partly due to this site. It is a chance for those with a passion for Whiskey bottles to have their spirit rekindled because of the contact with other collectors. Kind of like a bottle show all the time. Whenever we find common ground with someone, and it is discussed or shared, it fuels the interest in the subject. I for one find it encouraging to see. The Western whiskey is the symbol of the old West, and common or not, a nice bottle is a nice bottle. Even the most common Cutter has the characteristics that attract collectors. The Teakettle is an interesting case in point. With all of it's beauty, can you imagine what it would sell for if there were 4 known? It is still extremely desirable because of what it has going for it. The Cutter line is similar. They are mostly attractive, and desirable without breaking the bank. More collectors can enjoy the hobby without dropping $10k to acquire a nice colored and crude example. If you add the fact that there are many collectors who feel the same way, people just do not want to let go of theirs. Cannot blame them.

  4. I Agree with G.O., M.E. and Mole getting a nice Cutter is a delightful situation in every respect.

  5. It slightly bothers me that certain collectors hold NUMEROUS examples of each Cutter variant in nearly identical colors. One would be foolish to pay what certain sellers are asking for these common 5ths at present. Patience will pay off and eventually down the road a few years the same people that are hoarding these 5ths may have a hard time selling them............

  6. I could not agree more, Anonymous. You reap what you sow.

  7. Many Cutters showed up for sale at the Pomona Show....For those who didn't go to the show, but are looking for Cutters, I have a few that I'll be selling. By the way, I just listed a pretty nice Sole Agent Circle Cutter on ebay...


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