I’ve been meaning to write an article about the prices of whisky in the last couple of years. I just can’t seem to put it to words in exactly the way I want it.
What it boils down to, without all the elaborate case making is this:
Whisky is apparently worth the prices that are asked, since the stuff sells out immediately. Especially if it’s expensive.
We, mere mortals, should not busy ourselves with ranting about the fact that we’re no longer able to buy the OB Port Ellen that comes out. We weren’t last year or the year before, or the year before that. Worse, when they ‘just’ cost € 200 to € 250 most of us thought people who spent that much on a single bottle of booze were insane.
Then we all went and started spending that much as well, so there was a large gap to be filled at that price category, since there suddenly were 1000s of people spending that much. Of course someone will fill that gap.
Distilleries and the companies that own them are not in the business of giving us picturesque holiday pictures and sparing us a dram in the meantime. A distillery is a factory and stuff that comes from it has to be at a profit. A big one if possible.
If we’re all so hung up on the fact that whisky is overpriced today, shouldn’t we just buy stuff that we’re finding at acceptable prices? There’s quite a lot of that around if you’re willing to shell out anywhere between € 40 and € 100, with the occasional escapade at € 150.
Yes, that means you’ll no longer be able to get that 1973 Clynelish, or 1974 Karuizawa, or 1976 BenRiach. Is that all there is? I’m perfectly happy occasionally buying a sample of such drams and drink affordable stuff the rest of the year.
Oh, and as Maltstock Teun said recently: “If it’s so expensive, I cannot afford it. That also means I don’t have to care about it. Diageo proves me a favor”. I agree. If Brora would cost € 200, I would have to save up the second half of the year and work my ass off to get a bottle since they would still sell out in a second. Now, at € 750+ I don’t have to worry about it.
Oh, and maybe, just maybe, whisky is actually worth the amount that is charged for it. Maybe it’s just that only in the last couple of years Scotland (and others) have recovered from the distillery genocide around the 1980s. Maybe waiting for 30+ years for a cask to mature only hoping that it’ll still be good by the time you bottle it is worth a shitload of money. Just maybe.