I’ve been collecting Ski Country Bourbon Whiskey decanters for about 10 years. They first sparked my interest as while I was searching for ski vintage, I found a decanter shaped like a vintage leather 5 buckle ski boot, made by Ezra Brooks, and was instantly smitten.
After finding that first decanter, I started wondering how many other snow related decanters may be out there. And so, the hunt for snow themed decanters was on.
In the 1960s ceramic figure decanters became popular in the USA. They were mass produced with thousands of the decanter being sold. Jim Beam was a leader in these decanters, but Ezra Brooks, Lionstone, Old Taylor and others released ceramic decanter shapes ranging from the Old Taylor distillery castle to vintage ski boots, to Elvis. The more rare and valuable ones were created for special events or groups. There may only be hundreds of these types of decanters, and they will have a greater value to collectors.
The Ezra Brooks brand was created by Frank Silverman in 1957 and was bottled at the Hoffman Distilling Company, in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, up until Hoffman Distilling Co. went out of business in the 1970s. In 1993, Ezra Brooks was purchased by a company called Luxco.
The Foss Drug Company, who sold liquor in Colorado for more than 100 years, partnered with Luxco and introduced a house bourbon called Ski Country in 1972 that came in a choice of three porcelain art decanters sculpted in the form of skiers. The porcelain liquor decanters were produced in limited quantities and bottled by Ski Country Ltd., in St. Louis, Missouri.
For nearly 25 years Foss & Luxco would produce 195 different decanter designs, that were extremely popular. The Ski Country decanters became a big part of Luxco’s business, with all the bottles were allocated and sold before even being produced! The sales team would sell the decanters from pictures, the retailers would take orders from bottle collectors, and from the pre-sales we knew how many to produce. Like the American Kelley Blue Book for cars, there existed a trading “blue book” for decanter values and the Ski Country decanters were routinely at the top of the list as the most valuable.
But, by the 1990s, the decanter craze was over.
My vintage snow decanter collection is predominantly made up of Ezra Brooks and Ski Country decanters. I’m always hoping to unearth a new brand in my searches, and one day maybe I will. But for now, my little decanter collection brings a smile to my face and a snow themed ornamental element to my bookshelves.
So next time you’re wondering what to add to your bookshelves to get that Three Birds Renovation styling look, which reflects your passion for snow and can’t be bought in a shopping centre, visit www.idreamofsnow.com
Maybe what’s missing in your styling vision board is a vintage snow decanter shaped ornament. After all, why be like everybody else and settle for being mainstream.
I Dream of Snow.