Sunday, February 21, 2010

Western Flasks- Top 10

For many years there has been the ever evolving, and controversial "Top 25" for Western Whiskeys. There has even been a recent survey to try and rank the "Top 25" Western bitters. These rankings show collector opinion as to the "weight" of one bottle against another. It sometimes translates to monetary value, but most often is a subjective opinion as to what bottle someone would want to have in their collections compared to others. It is general, and not specific to a particular example. I have seen some lesser ranked whiskeys with spectacular color, and character, and a number 1 ranked example that I did not find attractive at all. is my opinion of the top 10 Western Flasks. There are fewer early flasks than cylinders, or bitters, so a "top 25" would not work in my view.It also does not include two notable flasks: the A.M. Smith Salt Lake City, and the Dr. Hausman's Bitters. These are hard for me to rank as my desire for each is not at cardiac rising levels, though they are unique in undamaged condition. Remember, this is MY opinion only, and is the product of many years of collecting Western flasks, and having great friends and mentors like Ralph Van Brocklin, Jon Lawson, Dennis Eastley, and Bill Anderson. I would appreciate your opinion as to your "top 10". I would like to conduct an actual survey for other collector's opinions. There are not alot of us passionate for the flasks, and most whiskey collectors have a few, usually to pair up with a cylinder. I love the early open face glob flasks the most, and my list does not include any slug plate examples even though they are usually very rare. let me know what you think.

1) N. Grange (either variant)

2) Wormser Bros. (horizontal embossing)

3) J. Angeli San Francisco

4) Old Bourbon Castle Whiskey

5) J. H. Cutter (crown on shoulder)

6) Jesse Moore

7) Wormser Bros. Fine old Cognac

8) Miller's Extra (small design)

9) AAA Old Valley

10) J.F. Cutter Star in Shield


  1. Great Picture of the Jesse Flask Dale. I think you have pretty much nailed it down, but, what about stuff you don't really see. I know the Triple A Old Valley Flask are around, they are Popular, but what about the, say..... Stevens flask from Visalia, Cal.? or the Wolter Bros (1 Known)so it is said? and the Nanscawen & C0., Visalia, Cal. I doubt many of us have even seen these flasks around? I sure haven't, but, then again I am fairly new to collecting Western Flask. Where do these fall? Dr.B

  2. A valid question...I did not include any of the slugplates even though they are usually very rare. The S. Adolph Salem, O. the Wolters variants, Visalia flasks, and Peruvian Bitters, Nixon, and Brassy, are all more rare than most of the early flasks, but like the cylinder rankings, the slugplates are not as attractive in my opinion. Also most of the slugplates are tooled tops, with very few exceptions. The A.M. Smith has not really built up as much collector desire outside of Utah, as no intact examples were known to get people "turned on". That one would likely make the list if an official survey was conducted. I value others' opinions.

  3. Top Ten Flasks An Opinion
    1 Grange
    2 Wormser (Horizontal)
    3 Angeli
    4 Castle Chevalier
    5 Wormser Old Cognac
    6 Coleman San Francisco
    7 Cutter Martin (shoulder crown)
    8 Miller's Weil Bros
    9 Miller's (small circle)
    10 Jesse Moore


  4. From Eye appealnot $ point of view .
    1.Jesse Moore
    2.Wormser -Horz.IXL top
    4.Grange-I can't picture a miner with one of these in his back pocket
    6.Crown Shoulder Cutter
    7.Star Shield Cutter
    8.Old Valley
    9.Lg circle Millers
    10.Wormser Fine Old Cognac


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