This may sound like the musings of a miser, but…
Rumours persist that this enormous round thing that has been scaring the hell out of us all (a Death Star?) – and by that I mean this whisky bubble – is heading inevitably towards the big explosion.
Distilleries in Scotland are producing at an unprecedented clip. Casks are being rolled into warehouses with the uniformity of stormtroopers. In some cases, barrels are being filled at higher abv than what has become the standard 63.5% casking strength simply to accommodate more alcohol in the warehouses. And behind it all, more warehouses are being constructed to house the vastness of production. That doesn’t even touch the new distilleries in varying stages of planning, permitting and construction that are set to perpetuate the flood.
And that is just Scotland.
Ireland, Canada and the US are teeming with both micro and macro-scale projects. Bourbon and rye are on the rise, so logically production increases follow. Taiwan’s Kavalan is doubling from 4.5 mlpa to 9 mlpa (million liters per annum). Japan is producing at a sprint to try to close the mature stock gaps they’re facing. And ‘world whiskies’ (oh, how I hate that term) are on the rise in ways we’ve never seen.
Not to mention…every time I attend a fest or chat with my whisky geek mates someone inevitably mentions the dream of starting up a distillery.
I hate to see anyone fail, especially at something that involves a lot of passion, time and money, but I can’t help but think we’re heading straight for the next whisky loch. Remember what happened in the eighties? I hate to say it, but that is exactly what is needed to fix the state of whisky pricing and bullish marketing standards.
The rebels have fought hard, but now it’s time for someone to blow the reactor.