Monday, April 25, 2016

Rumours of Whiskey Shortage

Good whiskey takes time to age. Bourbon, for example, needs at least two years of barrel time before it can be labeled “straight Bourbon.” Most of my favorite Bourbons are aged considerably longer, often closer to six or eight years.

Producers like Buffalo Trace have attempted to manage expectations bout how much Bourbon may be forthcoming in the years ahead.

And in the cool, damp environs of Scotland, whiskies take even longer to mature. There’s a reason that most premium single malts are aged 12 or 18 years before you see them—many for much longer.

In the meantime, we’re quaffing whiskey at an impressive rate. According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), both Bourbon and single-malt Scotch saw increased sales in 2015. Bourbon volume, along with Tennessee whiskey and rye, is up 5.2%, while single-malt Scotch surged 13%.

The bottom line: We’re not going to run out of whiskey. However, some limited-supply bottlings will be hard to come by while the good stuff ages quietly in warehouses. If all you drink is Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon and 50-year-old, single-malt Scotch, then by all means, panic.
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