Hoard what you can whiskey lovers, because tough times are in store for those looking for top-shelf Scotch.
According to CNN Money, an increase in taste for rare and vintage whiskey has pushed supply to a minimum and prices through the roof, and its all because of some misguided projecting many decades ago.
Back in the 1980s, whiskey was out of favor. Distillers weren’t anticipating the hooch revival of the 2000s; instead, they were closing up shop and figuring out how to pay bills. Because there wasn’t as much Scotch being produced to be aged, we’re now feeling the aftershock, with far fewer single malts hitting the market than the whiskey-loving world wants.
“The shortage of old and rare single malt…has already started, and it’s going to get worse,” said Rickesh Kishnani, who started the world’s first whiskey-investment firm.
Kishnani has since been joined by a swath of other investors keen to cash in on the rarity and increasing price of the Scotch. The Investment Grade Scotch Whisky Index, which keeps track of whiskey-auction prices, rose 14% last year, while gold on the other hand rose only 10%, according to CNN’s report.
And while production is ramping up now, the drought of celebrated vintages will last at least another ten to 15 years.
“We are currently working at full capacity — seven days a week, 24 hours a day,” said Charlie Whitfield, a brand manager for Macallan. “We just need to be patient and allow those casks to work their magic.”
By law, Scotch has to be aged at least three years, so no matter how much you produce, you still have to take your time before taking the product to consumers.
Perhaps the biggest change in the market has been a rapid increase in Scotch consumption in Asia, where imports of single-malt Scotch increased 149% between 2004 and 2014.
To meet demand, producers have been putting out whiskey that doesn’t require age labeling, trying to satiate a public that now can’t live without its Scotch. If you’ve got some old bottles laying around the house it might be best not to drink them. Who knows, they could make you rich.
[via CNN Money]