January 7, 2009

Whiskey collector to keep most bottles

A Jack Daniel's collector said he has reached a deal with Tennessee liquor control authorities that will allow him to keep most of his 2,400-bottle collection.

Raymond Fraley Jr., a lawyer for Randy Piper, said his client will forfeit several hundred of the least-valuable bottles from his collection to the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission, which will auction the whiskey, The (Nashville) Tennessean reported Wednesday.

Piper's collection was seized in October 2007 after Alcoholic Beverage Commission agents caught him selling a $350 bottle of special reserve whiskey, signed by a master distiller, to a fellow collector.

The underlying investigation was for the sale of alcoholic beverages without a license, ABC Executive Director Danielle Elks said. Their defense was that these are collectibles, but the law says people should not be selling alcohol without a license.

Under the deal, Piper also agreed to pay a $15,000 fine and pledged not to violate any liquor distribution rules in the future.