Stop Freaking Out About Whisky Shortages
We’re not running out of whisky.
Stop worrying about it, and start making plans for the amazing things you’re going to try in the next 15 years.
News organizations love a good emergency. Even if they have to make one up. If you’ve been online in the past month, or if friends know that you like to drink whisky, you’ve probably been forwarded a half dozen articles about the fact that we are RUNNING OUT OF WHISKY.
The truth is simple, obvious, and not at all surprising. And it’s not the end of the world.
Not sure about what I mean? Here’s one of the quotes that has fueled the fire, but (like most news articles) it seems no one is actually reading it.
“The shortage of old and rare single malt… has already started, and it’s going to get worse,” Rickesh Kishnani, who launched the world’s first whisky investment fund, told [CNN].
Here’s the key part of the sentence. “Old and rare”.
Here is the dose of reality for the news outlets, and hope for the future.
Yes old, rare (and extremely expensive) whisky is running low because of the explosion of interest in whisky. Of course it’s running low. That’s exactly why it’s called “rare”. Is that surprising? Only to people who don’t drink whisky.
If you weren’t the kind of person who could spend 4 figures on a single bottle of whisky, it’s going to affect you about as much as a dramatic increase in the cost of haute couture.
An example in the article is a bottle of 30yr old Bowmore that used to go for $110 in 1994 and now costs around $7,000. Is that too much for one bottle of whisky? Not to people who can afford $7,000 for a bottle of whisky. And you know the most shocking part of that to me? Bowmore 30yr used to cost $110. That’s incredible to the point of criminal.
Let’s be honest. It’s shocking how inexpensive whisky has been for so long. I don’t mind a price increase in the daily bottles I buy. I’ve always felt mildly guilty that I can buy something a distiller spent 20 years making for only $100-$200. Makes me feel a bit like a bandit of some sort. Which is fun, actually.
I remember finding a Signatory Fettercairn 1996 for only $50 at a local store. I bought it with cash and ran out the door hoping the manager wouldn’t recognize the mistake before I could escape. Turns out, that was the market rate at the time.
The truth is that you are living in the golden age of whisky. In the next 10 years, you will get to taste and experience whiskies that we’ve only dreamed of limited only by the imagination of distillers across the world.
In 15 years, the market will be flooded with astounding varieties of beautifully mature whisky, and hopefully hundreds of new options in the under 12yr market.
If you’re just getting into whisky, you couldn’t have picked a better time. If you’ve been drinking whisky for years, the best is still yet to come.
Let them rant about shortages all they want. Those of us who truly love whisky and the people who make it are in this for the long haul. Overblown emergencies be damned.