The Endless, and Expensive, Quest for Rare Objects
Rarity isn’t all about social signalling, though. Pappy’s rarity also makes the bourbon taste better, since people often consume rare products in an especially deliberate way. Precisely because they know rare experiences are scarce, they slow down and savor them, revealing layers of pleasure that might go unnoticed otherwise. After I spoke at the conference in Chicago, the organizer handed me a glass containing two ounces of Pappy twenty-year, and I sat alone in a corner and sipped the bourbon very slowly. Inspired by its rarity, I extracted extra pleasure from a mundane act that I’ve performed many times before. It helped, obviously, that the bourbon was excellent to begin with, but who knows—by savoring a lesser bourbon, I might have increased its value, too. Rarity isn’t essential to savoring, but it does nudge you toward mindfulness when you might otherwise consume mindlessly.