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AA Midleton


Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard has unveiled Midleton Dair Ghaelach, its first ever Irish whiskey to be finished in virgin Irish Oak Hogsheads. This uniquely Irish expression is the latest addition to the Midleton Single Pot Still family of whiskeys, satisfying the growing appetite among whisk(e)y lovers for discovering new and innovative styles of Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey.

Midleton Dair Ghaelach, meaning ‘Irish oak’, is the result of a six-year exploration by the Midleton Masters into using native oak to mature Irish whiskey. Led by Master Blender, Billy Leighton, and Kevin O’Gorman, Master of Maturation, the project had two prerequisites. The first was to ensure that all Irish oak was sourced exclusively from sustainable Irish Oak forests that could guarantee both a long-term supply and the re-generation of native wood, while the second was to explore what new taste profiles could be created from Irish oak maturation to craft a new and outstanding Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey.

In collaboration with professional Irish forestry consultants, O’Gorman and Leighton selected Grinsell’s Wood within the Ballaghtobin Estate, Co. Kilkenny, to provide the oak for the first in a series of virgin oak releases in the coming years. Each bottle can be traced back to one of ten 130-year-old Irish oak trees in Grinsell’s Wood, which were felled in April 2012.

To craft the oak into casks, fellow artisans at the Maderbar sawmills in Baralla, north-west Spain, used the quarter-sawing process to cut the trees into staves under the watchful eye of the Midleton Masters. The staves were then transferred to the Antonio Páez Lobato cooperage in Jerez, where after drying for fifteen month the staves were worked into 48 Irish Oak Hogshead casks and given a medium toast.

At Midleton, a selection of traditional Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey distillates, matured for between 15 and 22 years in ex-Bourbon casks, were married together before being filled into the Irish oak Hogsheads. Leighton and O’Gorman nosed and tasted the whiskey each month and after almost one year, judged it to be beautifully balanced with just the perfect contribution of Irish oak.

Analysis shows that the Irish oak contains higher levels of some lignin derivative compounds, such as vanillin and vanillic acid, and furfural, in comparison to American and Spanish oak. These compounds further enhance the whiskey with vanilla, caramel and chocolate flavours, which are detectable on the nose of Midleton Dair Ghaelach and perfectly balance the classically rich, spicy Single Pot Still taste profile.

Kevin O’Gorman, Master of Maturation at the Midleton Distillery, comments: “With the recent resurgence in plantation, only now has it been viable for us to consider Irish Oak in the maturation of our whiskeys while ensuring that the oak reserves can be enjoyed by generations to come. After six years in the making, Midleton Dair Ghaelach has been a journey of exploration into the craft of Irish whiskey maturation and we are equally delighted with and excited by the newest member of our Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey family.”

Billy Leighton, Master Blender at the Midleton Distillery, further comments: “The process of maturing in native oak has enabled us to showcase our Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey style in a new and innovative way; the casks impart much more generous toasted wood, vanilla and caramel flavours than what we expect from American bourbon and Spanish oak, which we hope whiskey lovers will appreciate and enjoy.”

Brendan Buckley, Global Innovation and Prestige Whiskeys Director at Irish Distillers, added: “For more than 30 years, Midleton Irish Whiskey has been admired for its distillers’ dedication to excellence in Irish craftsmanship and the release of Midleton Dair Ghaelach continues this rich tradition. By working closely with our partnership estates such as Ballaghtobin, we are able to trace each bottle back to an individual tree. This provides a unique whiskey experience that we find very exciting and hope other whiskey aficionados will too, as we see no reason why Irish oak cannot play a significant role in the maturation of our Irish Whiskey in the medium- to long-term.”

Bottled at cask strength between 58.1 and 58.5% ABV without the use of chill filtration, Midleton Dair Ghaelach is available from April 2015 in five markets, including Ireland, France and South Africa, at the recommended selling price of $250 per 70cl.



Midleton Dair Ghaelach tasting notes by Midleton Master Blender, Billy Leighton:

Nose: The crisp pot still spices are seamlessly enriched by the woodland fragrance of the Irish oak. Sweet vanilla notes are given depth by some chocolate honeycomb and coffee beans. Whilst the balancing rich fruit aromas of red berries, pineapple and ripe banana compliment the subtle aromatic oils.

Taste: The typical pot still spices are fortified by the Irish oak character. Robust yet mellow, clove and cinnamon give way to dairy fudge and milk chocolate sweetness combining with a touch of stewed apple.

Finish: An exceptionally long finish, with some sweet spices slowly fading, leaving the final bow to the Irish oak.

Hogshead – A traditional type of cask holding approx. 250 litres.


Pernod Ricard is the world’s co-leader in wines and spirits with consolidated sales of €7,945 million in 2013/14. Created in 1975 by the merger of Ricard and Pernod, the Group has undergone sustained development, based on both organic growth and acquisitions: Seagram (2001), Allied Domecq (2005) and Vin & Spirit (2008). Pernod Ricard holds one of the most prestigious brand portfolios in the sector and employs a workforce of approximately 18,000 people, operating through a decentralized organization with 6 ‘Brand Companies’ and 80 ‘Market Companies’ established in each key market. Pernod Ricard is strongly committed to a sustainable development policy and encourages responsible consumption. Pernod Ricard’s strategy and ambition are based on 3 key values that guide its expansion: entrepreneurial spirit, mutual trust and a strong sense of ethics. Pernod Ricard is listed on the NYSE Euronext exchange (Ticker: RI; ISIN code: FR0000120693) and is a member of the CAC 40 index.



Irish Distillers was formed in 1966, when a merger took place between Irish whiskey distillers, John Power & Son, John Jameson & Son and the Cork Distillery Company. In an attempt to reverse the decline in Irish whiskey sales, the company decided to consolidate production at a new purpose-built facility alongside the existing distillery in Midleton, Co. Cork. Irish Distillers was bought by Pernod Ricard in June 1988 and today, Jameson is the No.1 Irish whiskey in the world, selling over 4 million 9L cases worldwide and contributing more than any other Irish whiskey brand to the phenomenal global growth of the category. Irish Distillers is committed to driving continued, sustainable growth of the Irish whiskey category. Irish Distillers’ portfolio of whiskeys is comprised of Jameson, the world’s no.1 Irish whiskey; Irish favourite Paddy; Powers, the robust super premium whiskey for discerning drinkers; and the much-acclaimed brands that comprise the Irish Distillers’ Prestige Collection – the Single Pot Still Whiskeys of Midleton which includes the Spot range (Green Spot, Yellow Spot) and Redbreast, Ireland’s most awarded single pot still whiskey brand – and the pinnacle of the Prestige Collection, Midleton Very Rare.


Campbeltown Malts Festival Tastings & Masterclasses – Scotch Whisky News

Springbank Society

I’m excited to enclose details of the confirmed tastings and masterclasses which will take place during the Campbeltown Malts Festival, running from Wednesday 20th – Friday 22nd May 2015.

As always, the Springbank Open Day will take place on the Thursday (21st) and we will offer a range of masterclasses and warehouse tastings on the day. In addition to the Thursday tastings, we will be running a Society Tasting on the Wednesday (20th) and a couple of Cadenhead Warehouse Tastings on the Friday (22nd) – more details of all these are listed further down this email.

Glen Scotia will be holding their Open Day on the Wednesday meaning all events on that day (other than the Society Tasting and dinner in the evening) will be taking place over at Glen Scotia. They are currently undergoing some major renovations at the distillery and are also installing a shop and tasting area which is looking great (I’ve peeked in the window on my way past!!) All the work will be finished before the festival so it will be great opportunity for them to show off their new look. They will hold tours and masterclasses throughout the day and are just in the final stages of confirming their events so as soon as I have this information then I will forward it onto you.

Friday will be a more relaxed day with a couple of Cadenhead Warehouse Tastings and a few other events which will be announced in the coming weeks.

The break down of our confirmed tastings and masterclasses are listed below:

Wednesday 20th May 2015 

At 1pm on the Wednesday, we will be holding an exclusive tasting for Society Members to attend for free. This will take place at 1pm in the Malt Barns at Springbank Distillery and once again, members will be given the power to chose which whisky we will bottle for the Autumn Society bottling this year. The tasting will be limited to a maximum of 60 people and I imagine spaces will fill up very quickly so please let me know asap if you would like to attend.

Thursday 21st May 2015 

12pm:   Kilkerran Masterclass with Jenny Karlsson

12.30pm:   The Distillery Manager’s Springbank Warehouse Tasting with Gavin McLachlan

1.30pm:   Springbank Masterclass with Ranald and guests

2.30pm:   The Distillery Manager’s Springbank Warehouse Tasting with Gavin McLachlan

3pm:  Cadenhead Masterclass with Mark Watt and Martin Mccallum

4.30pm:   The Distillery Manager’s Springbank Warehouse Tasting with Gavin McLachlan

Each masterclass costs £25.00 per person which includes a Glencairn glass and each is limited to 60 people.

Each Springbank Warehouse Tasting costs £20.00 per person (4 drams) and each is limited to 25 people.

Friday 22nd May 2015 

12pm:   Cadenhead Warehouse Tasting with Mark Watt

3pm:   Cadenhead Warehouse Tasting with Mark Watt

Each Cadenhead Warehouse Tasting costs £25.00 per person (6 drams) and is limited to 25 people.

If you would like to book onto any of the tastings listed above then please let me know as soon as possible. It would be best to email my other email address (mairi@springbankwhisky.com) so that I can keep all festival emails together. I expect quite a high volume of emails to come in over the weekend which may take a few days to get through so thank you in advance for your patience and I will get back to you as soon as I can!

Have a great weekend!

Best regards,


Mairi Paterson
For the Springbank Society

To join the Springbank Society please contact them at




2015 Arrivals at Miner’s Delight Inn – Scotch Whisky News

MDI Cover pic

2015 arrivals at Miner’s Delight Inn

Atlantic City, Wyo.  The snow’s still flying, the temperatures are still below zero (F), and the whisky’s still flowing. Here’s a recap of the year’s newly arrived single malts from Scotland.

AA new arrivals II

Arran 12 year old Cask Strength Batch 4. 15,000 bottles at 53.2%. $65

Arran Machrie Moor Fifth Edition. The distillery’s lightly peated malt. 12,000 bottles. 46%. $70

Benromach Hermitage. A nine year old whisky: more than six years in bourbon barrels and then transferred to casks from the Hermitage Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée, in the Rhone region of northern France for 27 months. 4,200 bottles (420 for the USA) at 45%. (Our first whisky picked as a result of tasting it at the Victoria Whisky Festival in January.) $90

Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach. A limited edition, ten year old, made with peated barley. 46.3%. $85

Blair Athol 18 year old from Editions Spirits. A single sherry cask produced 563 bottles at 54.7%. $150

Hazelburn Rundlets & Kilderkins from Springbank Distillery. The small casks (rundlets & kilderkins) held 18 Imperial gallons (68 liters), according to the label. 12,000 bottles at 50.1%. $120

Kilchoman Original Cask Strength. 35 bourbon barrels netted 9,200 bottles at 59.2%. $105

Springbank 17 year old from a single Fresh Sherry Cask. 252 bottles at 51.4%. $175

Tomatin Dualchas. (This used to be Legacy in the USA). 43%. $30

To see our selection of 86 single malts from Scotland visit us at http://www.minersdelightinn.com/



AA new arrivals I

Ralfy Publishes Whisky Review #525 – Whisky News


www.ralfy.com gives an obscure blended scotch a chance with Whisky Review 525 – Usquaebach Reserve and Time

NZ Whisky Collection Highest Score in Coveted Whisky Bible – New Zealand Whisky News

AA NZ photo

NZ Whisky Collection highest score in coveted London’s Whisky Bible

“One of the most poignant and enjoyable whiskies of the year”

Oamaru, New Zealand– Feb 23, 2015 – The New Zealand Whisky Collection’s 1988 has trumped a world-class field, with no southern hemisphere whisky ever scoring higher than the 96.5 points awarded in London’s revered Whisky Bible for 2015. “Superstar whiskies that give us all a reason to live,” is Jim Murray’s summation of this crafted Otago nectar.

“We salute the distillers who have maintained or even furthered the finest traditions of whisky making and taken their craft to the very highest levels… these whiskies are in my view the elite: the finest you can currently find on the whisky shelves of the world. Rare and precious, they are liquid gold,” Murray adds.

Its famed author, Jim Murray, visited Dunedin over two decades ago. “When I first encountered this whisky it would have been a six-year-old and the Dunedin distillery had a very uncertain future,” says Murray. “Question marks hung over the quality of the stock, so they were a bit surprised when I assured them that the vast majority of what they were making was of very decent to high standard. Who then would have thought that some two decades on I would be tasting this as one of the most delicate and sophisticated and complex 25-year-olds imaginable?”

Considered the world’s leading whisky guide featuring 4,500 world-leading whiskies, the 2015 edition is being hailed the ‘most comprehensive whisky guide ever written’ with 1000 new whiskies included.

Murray adds, “One of the most poignant and enjoyable whiskies of the year. And memories of the only distillery I ever visited and then took a five minute drive to watch penguins surface from the sea.”

Not only does Murray have fond memories of Otago, but speaks highly of the 1988 after awarding it a score of 96.5; “deft peat forms the most delicate shell imaginable over no less fragile citrus. Soft salt, still a little grist after all these years, background vanilla: almost something akin to a moist lemon drizzle cupcake.”

This award winning 1988 vintage, forms the basis of the New Zealand Whisky Collection’s 25-year-old, which was launched to much acclaim last year. New Zealand is only the third nation outside Britain to release a whisky of this maturation length. It joined a successful stable of single malt whiskies including Cyril Yate’s SingleWood and the Dunedin DoubleWood.

“We have the benefit of a fantastic legacy and history but owe thanks to those masterful distillers that produced this fine whisky. Without that we would not be in the position we are today. We have a very dedicated team and the future is very bright for NZ whisky,” says Grant Finn, Operations Manager.

The New Zealand Whisky Company is a success story that signals a revival of the whisky industry in New Zealand. The whisky was once distilled by Seagram’s in Dunedin before the distillery was sold to Fosters in 1997 as part of a global rationalisation. Fosters mothballed the distillery and inexplicably closed it.

Fortunately, more than 400 barrels of this whisky remained, and were bought by Greg Ramsay and a team of investors, known as the New Zealand Whisky Company. Set aside to mature and sweeten, since then, the company has worked hard to revive the century-old industry and the whisky has been met with wide acclaim. As well as regaining the foothold once held across New Zealand by Wilsons, the whisky is now exported from Oamaru and available across Canada, the UK, Australia and Europe.

Cadenhead’s “Distillery Profile Glen Grant & Coming Soon” – Scotch Whisky News

AA Cadenheads



This iconic distillery was established in 1840 by James & John Grant who where manages of a distillery called Dandelaith, It did not take long for Glen Grant to become a favourite of whisky drinkers and blenders alike due to it’s rich smooth malt.

Around 1861 electricity was installed at the distillery making it the first to adopt this new technology, the Grant brothers innovated whisky production pushing towards its well deserved reputation at a fast pace.

Another distillery was built across the road from the original in 1897 only to close in 1902, this was common practice when a distillery demand outstripped supply only to settle back as more distilleries opened across the Speyside region and Scotland in general.

The capacity of this distillery runs around 6.000.000 litres with over half that amount going into blending because it’s such a great malt to give a fantastic middle palate to any blend.

It’s no surprise to customers who visit the shop that I champion this great dram given I can’t think of one vintage I don’t like!

If you enjoy visiting distilleries then this has to be one of the first on a list of Speysiders to enjoy a look around.


Now for the big news of the coming season.

March – April is going to be a busy time with the whisky pixies in Campbeltown as they start the Spring bottling run. We have over 20 new products this season from the Cadenhead’s Authentic and Small Batch ranges including…

  • CREATIONS BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY 23Y/O 54.3% This is one for lovers of Islay
  • MILTONDUFF-GLENLIVET DISTILLERY 1994 20Y/O 51.5% This is going to go down well in London for all those who loved the 2014 20 Y/O and the small batch 19 Y/O 46%Vol
  • ARRAN DISTILLERY 1996 18Y/O 50.9%

With the older malts stocks are very limited so only 1 bottle limits might apply to allow as many as possible a chance to get a chance.Oh by the way we have some peaty beasts for you also including the London Exclusive in May and a rather enjoyable Islay, Irish & Campbeltown in March

Until then have a great time and above all else keep laughing even through this dreadful time leading to the election! Can we really take much more of that?

For the 1000’s who still have tasting room tickets don’t forget from May we go permanently to 2 nights a week for the Trip Night tasting events, We will also be hosting a number of special tasting events as soon as we can allocate a day or two we will let you know via the newsletters and our web site.

We will give you more detail as soon as the tastings and out turn’s are confirmed in a few weeks and by then the rest of the range to come.

Stephen – Cadenhead’s London

Cadenhead’s Whisky Shop & Tasting Room
26 Chiltern Street

Tel: 020 7935 6999

Maltstock News March 2015 – Whisky News



Are you planning to go to the Spirit Of Amsterdam festival 07 March 2015? Buy your tickets with a relaxed Maltstock discount!

Discount price: 29,50
A very relaxed 10,- discount!

Buy your relaxed tickets here: TICKETSHOP


Tickets are going fast! We already have sold more than one third of all available tickets.

The cabins were a great success last year! This year, we sold them out within weeks.

Buy your ticket at our ticketshop
Be sure you buy your tickets soon, so you can look forward to going to Maltstock in a very relaxed way..


ps. about food: the pizza’s were an enormous success last year. They will be back this year. Cowabungaaaaa!!!


Of course you can find us at a wide range of Whisky Festivals again. Come and have a dram with us at our stand or when we are present without a stand, say “hi”. We always love to talk to fellow Maltstockers! Would you like to have your own Maltstock Wanted poster? Come and visit us at one of the locations below and take a selfie with our wanted cut-out boards.

07-03-2015, Amsterdam www.spiritofamsterdam
14\15-03-2015, Gent http://www.http://whiskyfestival.be/
27\29-03-2015, Groningen http://www.wfnn.nl/
11-04-2015, Leiden http://www.whiskyinleiden.nl/
25\26-04-2015, Limburg http://www.festival.whiskyfair.de/
27-04-2015, Glasgow
28-04-2015, Fiddlers in Drumnadrochit
29-04-2015, Dornoch Castle, Dornoch
30\04-05-2015, Speyside http://www.spiritofspeyside.com/
25\27-09-2015, Nijmegen http://www.maltstock.com

Fets Whisky Kitchen Vancouver, BC “Whiskey Dinner Tuesday, March 10th” – Irish Whiskey News

AA Fets

This has got to be the best winter weather we’ve ever had, unless of course you like to ski or are involved in the local ski industry. Our local mountains always look so nice covered in snow. On the flip side, can you believe this weather? Have you any friends or family out east? If so I hope you’re sending them lots of pictures, not to gloat, just to let them know we care and the daffodils are in bloom.

St. Patrick’s Day is almost here and have we got an Irish surprise for you, see below. We will also be showcasing our Irish Whiskies throughout the month of March so be sure to drop in for an Irish dram to celebrate all things Irish. As a reminder; we’ve got no snakes here either.

On Tuesday, March 10th we will be hosting our first Irish Whiskey dinner here at the Whisky Kitchen, or in honour of St. Patrick’s Day, should I say “Whiskey” Kitchen.

Simone Kelly, Irish Distillers Brand Ambassador, will be hosting our St. Paddy’s Day launch with a wonderful line-up of Irish Whiskies from their Distillery in Middleton, Ireland. Once again we will be treated to some great whiskies, including a couple rare and hard to find Irish treasures.

Join us as Simone takes us back to the Emerald Isle with the fascinating story of Irish Whiskey, it’s history and production. Boasting an elegant personality and distilled 3 times in Copper Pot Stills using malted and un-malted barley, Irish whiskey is quite different from it’s counterparts across the Irish Sea. Irish Whiskey once held global dominance over Scotch Whisky both in England and the Americas. At one point there were 93 distilleries operating in Ireland, but the industry was all but wiped out through Irish temperance, famine, separation and of course prohibition in the U.S., with 3 of the remaining 4 distilleries joining together as Irish distillers in 1966.

Recent years have seen an Irish Whiskey resurgence and is currently the fastest growing spirit in the world. Current growth in the U.S is up 500%, with the number of distilleries increasing from 10 to more than 15 in the next couple of years.

Spend an evening with us at the Kitchen sampling these Irish Gems as our talented kitchen team pairs 5 stunning Irish inspired dishes with 5 great whiskies.

We will also be launching our new partnership with Granville Island Brewing, featuring the latest draught from their Small Batch Beer Program; all mashed, brewed and casked on Granville Island, The Shamrocker Potato Stout.

Please join us on Tuesday, March 10th at 6:30 for our St. Patrick’s Day Whiskey Pairing dinner!

As always these dinners sell out very quickly.

Please make arrangements for a safe ride home!

The cost for this event is only $84 including gst and gratuity and is open to only 25 people! click here to register

AA Fets Irish



The Best Whisky and Bourbon Documentaries – by Maria Ramos – Whisky News

AA Great Scotch Whisky documentary

The Best Whisky and Bourbon Documentaries

Bourbon enthusiasts rejoice! Whisky and bourbon has made a comeback recently in full force. From whisky themed bars and restaurants to underground speakeasies to references in pop culture, the effects are everywhere. With its rich history and significant taste, it’s no wonder this alcohol has come into the spotlight.

In the the past few years, a number of interesting documentaries have been released that stand out as high quality stories of the liquid that is, as the Irish say, “Uisge Beatha” or the Water of Life. For those interested in not only consuming whisky, but also its historical and cultural significance across time and location, these are the best whisky and bourbon documentaries out there.

Great Scotch Whisky (2006)

This documentary takes the viewer on a tour of Scotland to appreciate the legends of whisky in the place that invented it. The fantastic cinematography allows you to travel through the famously beautiful and lush Scottish countryside while learning about the subtle tastes and variances that go into the legendary Scottish whiskies like Glenfiddich, Bowmore, Lagavulin and more. For those who want to uncover the complexity of Scottish whiskies, celebrate their own Scottish heritage, or just want to get taken away to the romantic British Isles, this documentary can make an expert out of a novice.

Addicted to Pleasure: Whisky (2012)

In this one-hour episode of the BBC’s Addicted to Pleasure series, Brian Cox explores not only the way that scotch whisky gave Scotland pride and cultural identity, but also caused great struggles with alcoholism and abuse during the rapid urbanization following the industrial revolution. For those interested in human history and sociological-type topics, this documentary explores the making of a national identity through industry, joy, and pain.

Bourbontucky (2015)

One of the newest additions to the story of alcohol across the world comes in a documentary about Kentucky Bourbon and the people who make it. Bourbontucky made its debut on Direct TV’s Audience Channel in late January in 2015, after an exclusive premiere event at a secret Los Angeles Speakeasy. The documentary centers on the culture and craft of Kentucky Bourbon and the distillers and historians who take pride in their work. It has become more than just a job to them, however – it’s now a way of life.

Whisky: The Islay Edition (2010)

This 2010 hour-long documentary is for those who are especially interested in the process of making whisky itself, and takes the viewer to the world-famous distilleries on Islay Island in Scotland. Called the “Capital of Whisky”, Islay Island is home to eight distilleries that produce some of the highest quality whiskies in the world. This film details the unique processes in each distillery and also introduces viewers to the little known island.

Made and Bottled in Kentucky (2003)

Kentucky bourbon has a rich history beginning in the 18th century when immigrants to the United States began distilling. This film explores the history and process of making Kentucky Bourbon what it is, from the ruins of destroyed distilleries to the functioning distilleries of today. Originally filmed to celebrate Kentucky’s Bi-Centennial, it was released on DVD nationally in 2003.

Rumrunners, Moonshiners and Bootleggers (2002)

This History Channel documentary explores the Prohibition era with a special focus on oral history. Individuals once participating in rum-running and crackdowns on illegal production of alcohol provide personal accounts of one of the most tumultuous times in American history. For the crime history enthusiast and prohibition-era buffs, this documentary offers a peek into the history of alcohol like no other.

It’s a great time to be a whisky drinker, and all this informative entertainment is a great sign that we’ll continue to see interest in this spirit soar in the near future. Much like interest in craft beer has spread to TV shows and other media, increasing public interest and thus the proliferation of more and more breweries in the US, it seems craft bourbon and whisky makers could also soon benefit from this groundswell of attention. Cheers!

Is the World Really Running Out of Bourbon-Whiskey? By Mai Bantog – American Whiskey News

AA Bourbon

Is the World Really Running Out of Bourbon-Whiskey?

By Mai Bantog

With the news of an impending bourbon and whiskey shortage to happen in the next few years, it has been reported that bourbon enthusiasts have resorted to hoarding large stockpiles of their favorite drink inside their basements in order to protect themselves from the expected dearth.

They might have good reason to do so, of course, as domestic sales of bourbon from Kentucky alone, home to 95 percent of the world’s bourbon production, have increased by 36 percent in the last five years. The US Distilled Spirits Council also noted a rise in exports by 56 percent from 2010. Though bourbon suppliers have so far been able to keep up with demand, fears of scarcity continue to persist because of bourbon’s required years of aging—at least four years for regular bourbons, longer for premium ones.

The demand from the international market is also driving the prices up for this whiskey variant that was once dubbed as a ‘Southern gentleman’s drink.’ According to The Guardian, Maker’s Mark has considered watering down its bourbon in 2013 to meet rising demand, though the management eventually changed their minds. Even industry experts from Tennessee remarked that bourbon sales were outpacing production by two to one. Based on these facts alone, the feared bourbon shortage seems, from the outside, to be imminent and inevitable.

Bourbon producers have a reason for monitoring production closely. In the 1970s, the industry ramped up production, only to have demand suddenly drop and leave unsellable bottles of bourbon in their warehouses. It took decades for them to recover, so that when sales started to pick up at the turn of the millennium, bourbon and whiskey makers have learned their lessons.

In spite of the caution bourbon makers are exercising, many craft distilleries are entering the market to sell artisanal liquors, helping curb demand in the spirits industry. A prime example is Portland-based Eastside Distilling, Inc. (OTCQB: ESDI), which recently went public and produces two award-winning bourbons called Burnside Bourbon and Burnside Oregon Oaked Bourbon. Eastside’s 96-proof Burnside Bourbon won a gold medal in the MicroLiquor Spirit Awards. The company takes their award-winning Burnside Bourbon and continues the aging process for another 60 days in a brand new 59-gallon heavy-charred Oregon oak barrel, adding new and subtle flavors to an already great-tasting bourbon.

Both large and small distilleries are also investing in various measures to expand production and meet growing bourbon and whiskey demands. In August 2014, spirit giant Diageo increased its stake in the bourbon sector by making its Bulleit bourbon and rye whiskeys at a new Kentucky distillery slated to start production in late 2016. Expansions have also occurred at Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, Evan Williams, Maker’s Mark Woodford Reserve, and Buffalo Trace.

Eastside Distilling is also planning to expand its operations, moving to a new 41,000-square foot state-of-the-art facility in the Distillery Row area of Portland, Oregon. The modernized location is planned to have 27,000 square feet of operating space to meet growing demand. “This new distillery and tasting room will reflect our passion for creating premium, master crafted spirits,” stated Steven Earles, CEO of Eastside Distilling. “It will provide the additional capacity needed for continued growth, as well as deliver favorable economies of scale as we expand.”

While whiskeys that take more than 20 years to age, like Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year Old, might disappear from the market at what might be expected to be exorbitant prices, this shortage may be speculative and will likely not affect the mid-range bourbon suppliers, as they ramp up production and invent new ways to improve the flavor profiles of younger bourbon.


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