This is my take on the three “new” distilleries being built and why it doesn’t matter.
I have a sad announcement for anyone excited about the rebuilding of three of the most famous whisky distilleries in the world, they are these distilleries in name and name alone and the product will never match what people perceive the old whiskies to be.
I say perceive because I wonder how many have actually consumed that much of these iconic brands? I was recently talking to someone who collects Brora and Port Ellen and has done for over a decade and has tried neither, ever, that’s his prerogative but I’m guessing it’s true of many whisky investors who have no real interest in the product in the bottle only what that product is worth.
I own one bottle of Port Ellen, I paid a few hundred pounds for it on a whim, and pissed, and put it away for a special occasion once I had sobered up and then as the prices went mental I realised I could never open it, it’s not worth what it’s worth so I’ll sell it one day and buy a handful of great whiskies I can really get into. I have tasted Brora on a couple of occasions and I have had a couple of bottles of Rosebank and loved every single drop of them, fantastic whisky.
But why are these whiskies so sought after? Well closed distilleries always are and there is cult following around the first two mentioned meaning the remaining stock can be drip fed to collectors at a premium price keeping everyone who’s involved happy, so that’s nice.
The new distilleries though will not be the same, I am frankly baffled why people are so excited about all this, these are just three more distilleries being opened who will be able to live off their name without having to produce any real quality because folk will line up for miles to buy the hype.
Won’t be the same stills, won’t be the same attention to detail, won’t be the same staff and won’t be the same barrels used when whisky wasn’t all that popular (maybe they will use some old knackered casks, doesn’t matter as they’ll all sell out).
I wasn’t even going to bother writing this up as it just adds to all this bullshit but I’m killing time and it beats cleaning the oven or packing for my holiday.
Sorry, but I just don’t get it, I imagine all these new whiskies, because that’s what they are, will be ludicrously priced with bottles starting beyond what 99% of whisky buyers are prepared to pay, obviously I’m only surmising but if I’m wrong we can all come back and have a laugh at me when Port Ellen are knocking out sensibly priced single malt, but don’t hold your breath.
There are people out there pouring their heart and soul into new whisky, I’m not overly convinced we need dozens of new whiskies, and putting their homes on the line to make their dreams come true, Diageo throw their old pounds they keep in those old giant bottles of Bell’s (since they need used up by tomorrow) at re opening distilleries they closed in the first place (because it would have cost a few million to bring them into the 21st century and the old stock was worth a fortune if they shut them down) and everyone wets themselves.
This will be the only time I mention these new distilleries and I won’t be getting into arguments with people as it just spreads more hype.