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New distilleries are pricing themselves out of relevance

whisky show

“But the price went up. And then it went up again until no-one on Todday could afford even a dram. So they all lived unhappily ever after. Oh, except for Sergeant Odd and his Peggy, for they were not whisky drinkers. And if that is not a moral tale, what is?” (Whisky Galore, 1949)

The Thames slurps and curdles its gralloching way through autumn London. Gelatinous, glutinous grunge-grey, like the bottom of yesterday’s roasting pan. It gulps and slops at HMS Belfast and gloops past the haughty loom of Old Billingsgate. A warship without war and a fish market without fish. Almost Ozymandian; two vast and trunkless legs. Though we’re hardly standing in the desert here. You couldn’t accuse Southwark of being lone and level sands.

The fish might have flopped off, but Billingsgate still throbs and pulses with bustle and reek. Roll up, roll up – The Whisky Show’s in town; The Big One. Definite articles and capital letters. Three days, seven-hundred-odd whiskies, hundred-quid a ticket, six hours a go. Eating’s cheating, spittoons are for wimps, last one to Karuizawa’s a rotten egg, and ten points to whoever first spots a pro whisky writer off their noddle.

Priciest whisky here? God knows. A house deposit? A few kidneys? 100 years before The Dutchman’s mast? Come back next year and it will have doubled. A former satirist holds sports-jacketed court on the main stage: “if you have money, you can make money.” The Tower of London is just down the road, but whisky’s crown jewels are here. Bottles beyond thought; a brain-mangling cornucopia. Sipped and gargled and goggled and gawped at by dewy-eyed neophytes, slick mixologists, tweedy Rumpoles, pinstripe hipsters, meat-handed Vikings, vaulted luminaries and thruppenny hacks. This is The Whisky Exchange’s gift to the world; Sukhinder Singh’s pedestal. Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.

Brothers and sisters, I must whisper a confession: I love it.

whisky show

I try not to. Every year I try to flint my heart, to curl my lip, to flicker a knowing, long-toothed gaze of seen-it-all-before nonchalance over the whole shooting match. And every year it crumbles into boggle-eyed, bambi-stepping, wet-eared Tiny-Timmery. I am the kid in the sweet shop; the dog on the way to the park; Quixote with a windmill; haggis with neeps and tatties. I totter and flit from stall to stall, clutching my glass (upgraded, this year, by the way) like a little lost waif; a mendicant with a stemmed alms bowl; a boozy Oliver Twist. “Please sir, may I have some more?”

As close as I get to an ambivalent shrug, as more forbearing Malt readers will know, is my use of the spittoons, which is absolute. I am an equal-opportunities spitter. From Pappy Van Winkle and Dalmore Constellation to rubbishy new Allt à Bhainne, it all goes out the way it came in. But even then, it’s not careless insouciance. It’s just a wino’s force of habit. Expectoration for robots.

The Show’s trump card is its breadth. Its ability to winkle out tiny distilleries from Scandi nooks and Alpine crannies that you’ve never heard of but whose whisky is breathtaking. I’ve never come away from The Whisky Show without some new illumination, and if you have, then you’ve wasted the entry fee. I first tasted Langatun here, and High Coast, back when they were called Box. I’ve globe-trotted through Old Billingsgate from Australia to Israel, from Denmark to South Africa; around the world in 80 glasses.

I’m not sure why I thought this table was going to be my 2018 Damascus moment. Maybe I didn’t. Maybe I just toddled up having clocked low-level punter coagulation. Their stuff wasn’t even whisky yet; I’ve churned out words longer than they’ve churned out spirit. But it was terrific.

I mean really terrific. Eyebrows-on-trampolines, stardusty tingle-tingle, purringly, shiveringly terrific. Fireworks that no two-and-a-half-year-old spirit has any business setting off were wheeling and fizzing with sparkles and glittery pops. The fruit – my God – the fruit. It was (possibly) better than The Cotswolds was at the same age. Then a range of single casks; virgin oak, Pedro Ximenez, Bourbon, Port. Each one crackling and blasting; dazzling an embattled palate; waltzing over a jaded tongue.

bimber

Better still: the brand ambassador – and that’s a tawdry undersell – was brilliant. Everything that we grouse and bleat for on Malt. Enthused, knowledgeable, passionate, genuine. Or a jolly convincing actress. Reader, I came away inspired. It was my cool water in the desert. It was just what I’d hoped to find.

As is my wont – millennial and all that – I took to Twitter at once, trilling over my discovery. I felt newly wise and informed. Whisky, I imagined, had an imminent new star. And – what luck – an English star. Whose galaxy wasn’t far, far away, but a short schlep along the M4. I could visit. I would visit. This very weekend. I was armed with a business card and first name terms. All I needed was the postcode. With eager fingers I tapped their website into my phone …

And felt no end of a moron.

That two-and-a-half-year-old spirit? That beautiful not-even-whisky-yet? Yours for £120. Or, to put it another way, 48 quid per year of ageing. As for the single casks, forget about them. Two hundred and fifty notes each. Or all four for four times the price. As though they saw the lambasting of the Lakes Distillery for the avaricious vanity of their Quatrefoil Collection and said: “hold my drink”.

The wind dropped from my sails like a fan turned off. I thought about the brilliant, enthused brand ambassador and my online oh-my-Goddery, and the deflation set in. The full popped balloon. The geophysicist had to ask if I was feeling alright. But, really, I don’t know why I was surprised.

If I had a pound for every time I’ve grumbled about whisky’s price I’d be able to actually afford some of it. It’s one of the tenets of Malt malcontentment; possibly the central tenet, given I’ve a hunch that a few of my colleagues don’t really give a dodgy mushroom about terroir. And, as with all of our grizzlings, it inevitably inspires refrains of “shut up, “deal with it” “why do you hate on life?” “who the hell even are you?”. Usually from one breed or another of industry peon who knows which side the butter’s on. Or else from folk to whom price isn’t really an object.

But my price-gripery this week is more specific. It’s not about whether long-loved expressions are creeping out of reach, or well-aged whiskies not being priced as they once were. Instead I’m concerned with the financial statements being made by brand new distilleries without so much as a shred of history, pedigree or reputation behind their minimum-age-or-younger liquid.

The current era of new distilleries is unprecedented. Distilleries have opened at rates of knots before, but never to so much public speculation; never in such visible form as the class of 2010-or-so onwards.

Say you’re a whisky lover (and, given you’re reading this, you most probably are – in addition to being clever and attractive). Say a new distillery opens somewhere near you. Say it’s the first in Fife or York or Toxteth or Tidsbury or Butlins or Glamorgan or Skegness or your Granny’s kitchen since Wee Angus MacSmuggler strode the fair, ericaceous glen. Say you schlep over to see the new build, to see the stills lifted in, to see the new make splashing through the spirit safe, to see the casks rolling into the warehouse, to see the novice distillers realising a dream. Say you ping a juicy post on social media, declaring to the world that exciting things are happening in GlenBilious. Say GlenBilious retweet it. Say you get on first name terms with their charming tour guide, brewer, distiller, owner, café soup-seasoner. Say you give them a cheery wave at festivals and chew the fat about how their spirit’s coming on. Say you spend three years getting excited, telling your friends, waiting for whisky, giving a toss. And say, when the three year klaxon sounds, it’s only to herald a rapacious, small-minded, exclusionary piece of contemptuous vaulting ambition. A price you couldn’t possibly stretch to. An exorbitant price. A f*** you price.

That, largely, has been the story of 2018. Daftmill, Eden Mill, The Lakes Distillery, Annandale. Not one of them has launched their first whisky with change from £200. Daftmill’s follow-up in the summer cost £95, and Eden Mill released their rather unusual hip flask series, but besides that there’s been nothing under three figures. And all of them, with the exception of Daftmill, were young-as-possible nappy-rash toddlers, whose bottling wasn’t dictated by when the whisky might be ready to drink, but by a century-old law instigated by a Welshman, inspired by the Temperance Movement’s ropey conviction that aged spirit got folk less pissed.

The bottlings won’t slow down. Jason highlighted it all rather wonderfully in his piece on the subject, accompanied by more-than-reasonable advice to run and hide. Kingsbarns and Glasgow Distillery Company are standing by for launch, and all the while, watching from Twitter’s periphery, are Torabhaig and Raasay and Ardnamurchan and Lindores and my Whisky Show friends Bimber and Spirit of Yorkshire and Waterford and so, so many other distilleries. All with friendly, smiley social media accounts and engaging communications teams. All sounding so reasonable, so switched on, so passionate. All of them perfectly capable of launching their first grog with another two fingers to anyone on less than a six-figure salary.

Perhaps you’re snorting that that’s how capitalism works, and that I ought to live in the real world. Where art moulders in locked vaults, Russian-owned London houses rattle with emptiness, wind and woodworm, and whisky makes the headlines only when it’s a bottle that will likely never be drunk.

Here’s the problem with that. Exorbitant prices are sustainable only for as long as there are people willing to pay them. Macallan can sell its rarest barrel juice for the price of a mansion because it has spent decades cementing itself into the premium sector. And because, once upon a time, it made (probably) the best proprietary-bottled single malt in the world.

Right now, these newbies are a fad. A novelty. Something adventurous and exciting. And people are happy to pay their inaugural pots of gold for the “I was there” factor. For the story to tell their friends over late evenings, when plates are cleared away and the glimmering decanter is popped to a peal of clinking tumblers. “First in the Lakes, don’t you know?” I get that sentiment, even if it’s a bit of a sour grape. I get why those who are able will pay that sort of money. First-time bottlings are peacock feathers. Up to a point, that’s fine.

whisky show

But when they’re not new, when the copper’s worn down a bit, when the bottles aren’t show-off crystal nestling in velvet and hardwood, when the social circus moves on to the next opening, when they’re just another infant distillery without the age statements and dark colours that the non-whisky-literate understand, what then?

So I suppose, as much as I rage and blast, what I most feel when confronted by these prices is worry. Worry that these smaller, obscure, niche, crafty distilleries are trying to be Dalmore before they can walk. Worry that they’ll be written off by whisky-loving folk before their liquid even gets a chance to really strut its stuff. Worry that the end to these genuinely interesting, friendly, quality-minded distilleries could be as sudden as their beginning. And that their gleaming inaugurals will sit, dust-sprinkled, on somebody’s shelf unhappily ever after, glanced at occasionally and never opened.

There is another way. Look at Arran, and at Kilchoman. Both distilleries built from the ground up during my lifetime, and both now with established faithful and reasonably priced core rages. Look at Kilkerran, so highly prized and praised (not least on this site), albeit built with the financial might and established credentials of J&A Mitchell behind it. Most pertinently, to whiskymaking freshers, look at The Cotswolds. Released last year at £45 per bottle, and already backed by thousands of global admirers; able to consolidate and build; both in range, and quite literally, as they break new ground on their site. The Cotswolds Distillery is here for the long haul.

£45 isn’t cheap. Most of my friends wouldn’t pay that for a bottle of whisky. But, given the quality of what the Cotswolds produce and the expense they go to in producing it, it’s a price that they can justify. A price their following can aspire to. A whisky aimed at the drinker. I know I’ve been pretty glowing in my praise of the Cotswolds (though I’ve not always given them the highest scores) but honestly, what’s not to like?

The theme of The Show this year was “the future of whisky”. That meant (quite rightly) stands celebrating the burgeoning European rye scene. It meant a broader range of whiskies available. It meant new ways of presenting whisky, of drinking whisky, of promoting whisky. And all of that was laudable and proper.

But the subject of cost simply isn’t arising when the great and the good of the spirit we love sharpen their stylos. New distilleries are being trumpeted, appropriately, but not one paid professional seems prepared to stick their neck out and question the asking-prices for brand new whiskies of unproven provenance. No one in a position of influence, whose voice carries meaningful weight, is encouraging distilleries to look past the green notes and crystal of bottle number one.

I worry that if these powerful voices remain silent on the matter, then the future for new distilleries may be one of cynicism and scorn and contempt. In which the people genuinely interested in trying new and diverse whiskies are either priced out, or are not prepared to pay what is asked. In which the party, inevitably, comes to an end for these nimble, process-focussed, labour-of-love operations.

This isn’t a rant. It isn’t an accusal. It isn’t a witch hunt. It’s a twofold plea. To new distilleries: consider your following when you launch your first bottling. I get that it’s a unique, special moment. I get that it’s a celebration. But that’s all the more reason to welcome your most fervent supporters.

And to further-reaching, louder-voiced professional writers: speak out wholeheartedly against the industry’s more unsavoury shades. Question and highlight those areas in which whisky can do better. It’s not negativity; it is criticism. It goes beyond flash-in-the-pan, sniffy-sippy tasting notes; it is part of an effective, useful and evolving conversation, and it is vital to both the industry and the consumer. Proper criticism is accepted and encouraged in every field from cars to sport to restaurants to media. Its paucity along the spectrum of whisky writing is both astonishing and damaging.

The future of whisky ought to be one in which all parties – industry and commentator – are held to a higher standard for the betterment of the liquid and the benefit of the drinker.

Right now all I can do is keep my fingers crossed.

 

(Credit to Wells snr for digging up the wonderfully apposite opening quote.)

 

CategoriesUncategorised
Adam Wells
Adam Wells

Lover of all things whisk(e)y, with or without the “e”. Uses up all his holiday visiting distilleries. Gets shouted at at events for using the spittoon. Also scribbles for the British Bourbon Society, and spends his actual working hours writing about wine.

  1. Michael says:

    Just brilliant!
    I must admit: I threw my name in the hat for the Glasgow ballot – and was pullet out.
    But that was “just” a £100 (ha!) – and it will be opened and (hopefully) enjoyed…

  2. Greg says:

    Very good read mate and could not agree more… wrote a few things about this a few months ago… see site link in this comment as it won’t let me paste here… G

  3. NineteenEightyTwo says:

    Adam – Excellent article, with added points for literary merit. A few observations/questions (excuse the windy length of the exposition):

    The pure capitalist would say that “whatever the market will bear” is the only fair price – for whisky or anything – and we should vote with our $/£/¥ if we object. However, I’m willing to consider a more cooperative approach.

    I understand that whisky making is capital intensive. Beyond the price of the land and building and kit, there’s the working capital tied up in a bunch of barrels sitting quietly, doing nothing, producing no return on investment for at least three years. I presume nobody is opening a new distillery as a charitable endeavor- meaning, like all businesspeople, they should expect a return on their capital at some point in time.

    So, if a new distillery is doing everything right (as it sounds like is the case with the distillery you mentioned) and they need some financial support from enthusiasts in the early years, shouldn’t “we” (defined as diehards, but I’ll pitch a big tent and include the hipster trend jumpers) help them out by overpaying for their young whisky? Don’t Diageo and Pernod Ricard need (and perhaps deserve) our money less than a plucky upstart producing quality distillate with integrity and transparency?

    The flip side of the bargain would be that, once production is running at economic levels and the stock is sufficiently aged, they should start releasing bottles with price tags more in line with going rates for whisky of comparable age and quality. Is it naive to trust them to remember us a decade from now, and to sell aged whisky for £50 when they’ve been selling out their new make at £100+?

    Chichibu is my test case (and, indeed, I asked a similar question of Jason following his review of the 2009 Public Bar Islands). In 2020, Akuto-san will have some 10 Year Old whisky to release. He’d be leaving money on the table by releasing it for ¥10,000, when he’s found no shortage of buyers of 3-year-old “On The Way” for ¥20,000 and 5-year-old single cask bottlings at ¥30,000+. Will he resist the temptation to let the good times roll, or will the fundamental decency and modesty of the Japanese people (a generalization, I admit) compel him to accept the same prices that we once paid for, say, Yamazaki 12 Years Old?

    Keen to hear any and all thoughts on the above. Thanks again, though, for a really enjoyable read.

    1. Adam Wells
      Adam Wells says:

      Nineteeneightytwo

      Thanks so much for reading, and for taking the time to leave such a detailed and thought-provoking response.

      You raise an entirely fair point and, as I touched on in my piece, the basics of capitalism mean that a distillery is wholly entitled to charge whatever it wants for its whiskies. They aren’t charitable endeavours, and it’s wholly their business.

      However, my opinion (and that is all that this piece is, of course) is that a large portion of new distilleries are deliberately pricing themselves beyond the reach of the average punter; at rates which the wider market will struggle to sustain and which are guaranteed to alienate the majority of those who would be interested in more niche, unusual whiskies to begin with. To be completely honest, the response to this article has only strengthened that opinion.

      I wholly agree that we should be prepared to pay a little more to support smaller, more financially-stretched operations who are putting in hard yards to make a higher quality spirit. But I think that there is a limit. Or, at least, that a limit will eventually reveal itself. Cotswolds, for example, charge £45. That’s not chep by any means. But it’s a premium on a young spirit that is worth paying, and is generally accepted as being reasonable.

      Chichibu is a good example, and certainly a rarefied one. Whilst I would love to be able to buy Chichibu at a cheaper price, the reality is that people paid the premium for the inaugural release, realised that the whisky was exceptional beyond its years, and have continued to buy it. But I think there’s also a case for saying that the market for all things Japanese added zeroes to Chichibu’s price – a market I’ve criticised elsewhere. Not to mention Akuto-san’s exemplary and well-documented distilling credentials.

      As I say, it’s a difficult subject, and I don’t have a definite answer. But I do think that the prices asked will alienate far more than they attract, and that the sheer number of new distilleries charging ostensibly exorbitant prices will result in a great deal of whisky being left on shelves. Indeed I believe that that is already beginning to happen. I think it behoves new distilleries to remember that, whilst whisky is a business, their product is not a “necessity” and that consumers are a fickle bunch at the best of times. Whisky has been abandoned by its fanbase for far less obvious reasons in the past.

      I don’t know whether that wholly addresses your questions, but hopefully, in conjunction with the article, it at least makes a soupcon of sense!

      Thanks again

      Adam

  4. Richard says:

    Adam, I think it warrants a fuller investigation of the economics of a whisky startup to understand whether these prices are a cash grab or just a reflection of the costs of a new distillery. I have made similar observations about the US whisky startup industry and predicted they would implode before they could get volume up to a level where they could lower prices and expand their customer base. Yet all the best known ones have since been snapped up by bigger distilleries, justifying their pricing gambit. The UK distilleries have the added challenge of a cooler climate and longer maturation times, so it takes an enormous leap of faith to believe you will be one of the wave of new distilleries to survive. Picking a price point that allows you to keep going for as long as a Kilchoman, especially in the face of a huge expansion by the big distillers, is a complex equation. Personally, I wouldn’t pay these prices, but I wish the new startups well and hope they’re around long enough to get prices down to my level. The Daftmill was one of the highlights of the Whisky Show for me.

    1. Adam Wells
      Adam Wells says:

      Hi Richard

      Thanks for engaging.

      Most US startups I’ve encountered are significantly cheaper (at least in their home market) than the startups on this side of the Atlantic.

      Whilst I don’t have a breakdown of the full economic costs, I do know that when Wolfburn and Cotswolds are able to trade at under £50 a bottle (particularly given Wolfburn didn’t sell a gin in the meantime) distilleries don’t “need” to charge £100+ for not-yet-even-whisky.

      As the article has hopefully made clear, I’m firmly behind the new wave of distilleries in principle, and think they’re an excellent and boundary-pushing thing. But I struggle with their economic model, and think that they’re alienating the people most likely to support small-scale “craft” distilleries.

      And I agree that the Daftmill was excellent. Glad you enjoyed the show.

      Best

      Adam

  5. R. M. Peluso says:

    Constructive criticism is essential to advancing whisky making yet it is curiously lacking. Cut through gratuitous snarkiness to mine the method of critiquing in the worlds of cinema, music, restaurant reviewing, even my first critical domain in chocolate (at c-spot.com) and you’ll find more than the product promotions too often posing as reviews in the whisky world.

  6. JimMeyrick says:

    Great article. I broadly agree with the thrust of the article. However, in some way it is worth putting yourselves in the shoes of the whisky makers. They must look askance at the auction sites flogging early releases at an astronomical uplift to the RRP.

    This is why I wasn’t too peeved about The Lakes putting their first proper release straight to auction. If anyone should profit from ludicrous market demand then surely it is the makers themselves?

    But to be a successful long-term business they have got to find a price point for their main range that meets the market. Like the author I believe the Cotswolds’ £45 price point to be just about tolerable for what is a “craft” production (whatever that means). One hopes that many of these new distilleries find their right gear after the hype of the new has faded. If they don’t will they last at all?

    1. Adam Wells
      Adam Wells says:

      Thanks for reading Jim.

      Yes, the next few years should be rather revealing. Fingers crossed for more Cotswoldian attitudes!

      Cheers

      Adam

  7. Jon says:

    Great article, completely agree. Reminds me of Peerless Distilling here in the US. Great rye whiskey, ridiculously priced ($120 for a 2 year old rye).

    1. Adam Wells
      Adam Wells says:

      Hi Jon

      Yes, Michael Veach brought some over to share with the British Bourbon Society last year. We all thought it was pretty tasty stuff, and then he revealed the price. I remember a lot of faces fell!

      Thanks for reading

      Adam

  8. Daisy says:

    I buy what my palate enjoys, thanks to SMWS helping me, the bottles I have bought and kept have increased substantially in value, but guess what?

    I’m going to drink them and enjoy the damn whisky, isn’t that the point. Sod speculation and valuation, off with their corks for appreciation!

    I opened a bottle that sold second sale for £1000 from an initial £65, a 22 y.o. Macallan and drank the last drop. Same with 2 of the Macallan 2004/5 retro bottles in hand blown glass to copy the wonkieness of the actual bottle and drank them with friends, great memories and no regrets.

    I recently bought 2 of The Surgeons Ball from Edinburgh Whisky Co. roughly £22 a bottle, lightly peated & glorious.

    Keep searching those bargains out, there are ruthless capitalists out there so mind yer step!

    Slaintè

  9. Stefan says:

    With respect, maybe it was just my addled brain on an early Sunday morning(pre-coffee) but I almost didn’t make it through the first few paragraphs of this word salad. I would suggest toning down the literary fluff and letting the content of your piece carry the day.

    Stefan.

    1. Adam
      Adam says:

      Dear Stefan

      Whilst you’re perfectly entitled to your opinion, both the feedback and the number of views that this post has had suggest that the majority of our readers were more than happy with the ‘literary fluff’ and ‘word salad’. Indeed many of them see it as part of our USP.

      There is plenty of whisky writing available by folk who don’t seem to give a damn about the ‘writing’ part, and you’re more than welcome to vote with your feet and read that instead.

      Thank you very much for making it through this time though, and have a lovely Sunday. I hope, post-coffee, that your brain is now de-addled and operating to peak capacity.

      Best

      Adam

      1. Stefan says:

        I’ve obviously upset you Adam, apologies for that, I was aiming for constructive criticism but I seemed to have missed the mark and hit a nerve instead.

        I’ll take my dissent elsewhere and let you get back to your accolades.

        Best Regards,

        Stefan.

          1. Stefan says:

            It’s all good Adam, re-reading what I wrote it could be taken harsher than intended, the joys of the written medium.

            All the best,

            Stefan.

      1. Adam Wells
        Adam Wells says:

        Voting with our feet is definitely one option. But I guess the main thing to do is to speak up when apparently-ludicrous sums are charged, and to point out better angels such as Cotswolds/Glengyle etc.

        Thanks very much to both of you for reading and taking time to engage by the way – so glad you enjoyed it Bart

  10. RJC says:

    Great article and I love the opening quote. I do wonder if, or indeed when, the general continuing trend of overpricing all whisky will ever end. In the five years or so I’ve been a full blown whisky anorak I’d say prices have increased across the board by at least 30%. I don’t see many people’s pay packets making that leap forwards either . . .

    As someone says above, the aim of the game for me these days is seeking out quality and value for money and when I feel i can’t get that anymore, I’ll be out as they say.

    T’would be a shame, and I’d miss it no doubt, but come on . . . the reality of that quote animating is getting closer by the day

    1. Adam Wells
      Adam Wells says:

      Hi RJC

      Thanks! My father, who is that film’s biggest fan, sent me the quote a while back, and it seemed so appropriate to current times that I’ve been itching to use it.

      There are certainly worrying trends happening across the industry. And I’d say 30% is conservative in some cases! Just two years ago I was describing A’Bunadh as “my favourite whisky under £40.”

      I think that whisky lovers like you and I just have to question perceived overambition as and when it arises with regards to price. And, as you point out, stick to and highlight the whiskymakers who are still pricing things reasonably.

      Thanks again

      Adam

  11. Gavin Stuart says:

    Thanks Adam for a really fantastic piece. The ludicrous pricing of some toddler-aged whiskies and some not-even-whisky-yet whiskies is mind boggling. I would like to stand up for Spirit of Yorkshire distillery. Their ‘Maturing Malt’ spirit is good and could be potentially great in the future and hasn’t cost more than £39.95 as yet. Interested to see if that price goes up significantly when it becomes ‘whisky’ shortly.

    1. Adam Wells
      Adam Wells says:

      Hi Gavin

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

      I’d seen the prices for S.O.Y, and yes, they’re a third of what the distillery at the whisky show was charging, for stuff of the same age and (curiously) made using the same blend of casks. My only reason for not mentioning them is that their inaugural whisky has yet to be launched and priced.

      However I have two samples of S.O.Y to review on Malt, and you can be relatively sure that there will be a bit of a price comparison! And I really must get round to visiting them soon. Just a bit far from me at the moment.

      Best

      Adam

  12. RJC says:

    Hi Adam,

    You’re more than welcome it was a great read and someone has linked it to the Connosr website so it has already gained a little more awareness in the self-titled ‘Whisky fabric’ 🙂

    Yes, I took 30% increases as an absolute minimum. I honestly don’t think I’d need more fingers than I have to tick off distilleries that price fairly and competitively and where quality is clearly evident. Surely the industry can see the potentially negative longer term implications?

    I guess the Asian market is booming and the whisky interest is a reflection of higher social status and living standards out there at the moment.

    As for A’bunadh, my first and only bottle was purchased three years ago for under £40. That must be a 100% increase in three years! I mean, seriously, that is a massive ‘F’ you’ from the producers if you ask me and, I agree, this needs to be highlighted more. Of course, those that do need to don tin hats and be prepared for the ‘whining’ backlash . . .

    Best,

    Ryan

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