Back To Barter

I want to posit something for debate.  More than that though, I am looking for some insight to help me properly formulate my own views on a subject that gains more traction around here day by day: the issue of valuing bottles that are being bandied about in trade (or…<shudder>…resale).  A lot of subjectivity follows that may be stated rather factually.  I am relying on years of empirical ‘research’ when I speak out here.  Bear with me.  Feel free to contest.

I used to live by a hard and fast ‘the value of the bottle stops with what I paid’.  I swapped bottles at face value.  I gave bottles to friends (sealed and open).  I rarely resold, but if I did it was at cost (or less) and most often with the original receipt tucked inside the tube or box.  Part of this was simply tied to the ethos that it’s simply a drink and not the commodity that others would have us believe.  But a large part of it was a rejection of the system that leads to bottle flippers.  Those folks that buy up limited releases by the case lot and immediately fling bottles at the secondary market with an eye to making fast cash.  This infuriated me (and still does).  You know as well as I do that it serves to take good whisky away from the punters and put it firmly in the hands of collectors.  These malts rarely get opened, and if they do, they have to be bought at a premium.  The folks that would arguably derive the most enjoyment often end up being cut out of the loop.  Frustrating, to say the least.

But times change.  Even if my views are less inclined to do so.

The reality is that there are less and less great whiskies being released.  No, this is not a cynical statement meant to evoke the ‘decline’ arguments we engage in here so frequently.  It’s simply a statement that whiskies from a decade ago were arguably of a consistently higher quality.  No finger pointing.  Just an acknowledgment that before demand took off through the stratosphere there was a lot more mature whisky on the market.  Notice we leave price out of this part of the discussion.  At this point it is irrelevant.  Case in point…old Springbank 21 versus newer versions.  Night and day.  Same with the 18s.  Same with Highland Park.  Etc etc.

Ok…here’s where things get tough.  I have a decent little stash of malts.  So do many others I know.  We’re not opposed to trading and rehoming bottles from time to time.  I am a firm believer that a whisky belongs with the person who will most enjoy it.  So…we make trades.  But how do we do that with others who maybe don’t have access to malts excepting those that have been a part of the new school production?  We all come into the game at different times.  I know loads of folks who have insane collections, purchased at a  time when our malt bucks went sooooo much further.  I think we all envy the previous generations to a degree.  I know it’s not just me who feels this way, but it has become increasingly difficult to turn over whiskies in trade when I don’t feel I can get something comparable in return.  I am speaking mostly to inherent quality of the product itself here, not value.  As in…I want something in return that tastes as good or better.  A trade has to be equitable, right?  Otherwise the concept of trade breaks down.

But let’s even take the value side of things for a moment.  A lot of limited releases from brands like Ardbeg, Bowmore, Bruichladdich and Springbank have hit exorbitant sums on sites such as The Whisky Exchange or various online auctions.  How then do we justify swapping these away, knowing that contemporary expressions are usually larger batches and much less singular than those of the past?  And far less likely to achieve the same value, having been bought at the height of the bubble.

A lot of rhetoric, I know.  But a daily struggle ’round here as we try to help our mates build their collections in a fair manner.  I love helping out my buddies, but I don’t like doing it at a deficit in nearly all transactions.

The simplest answer is, of course, to open them and share them.  I do a lot of that.  Arguably more than three quarters of any bottle I open gets poured for others.  But…that doesn’t help them to put the bottles they covet on their own shelves.

So, friends…how do you value your own bottles?


– C

49 thoughts on “Back To Barter

  1. Nate

    I think if you’re pouring out 75%+ of any bottle you open for mates then that’s amply generous. I usually estimate my percentage at 67% of any really special bottle I open but truth is I’ve no idea. And how could that ever not be generous enough? I’ve been drinking and buying bottles of malt for 9 years now and while I certainly feel as though I got into it as the golden age was ending, in all of these nine years I’ve never actually had a hard time finding something delicious to spend my malt bucks on. It may take time and you’re right they don’t go nearly as far, but it’s not as though even today there aren’t whiskies ranging in price from Springbank 10 Y.O. (92 points from whiskyfun!) to these modern legends, the undisclosed Speysiders from ’73 and ’75 coming from the smaller indies these days (92 points from whiskyfun!) with plenty in between. Moreover I think we’re finally seeing an increase in quality at the low end of the age spectrum as stocks have been rebuilt following an industry ill-prepared for the marked increase in demand, and I think we’re just on the leading edge of seeing a real renaissance of standard OBs that don’t suck. And hopefully after that the limited-edition OBs will start not sucking too!

    I’ll keep sharing, and I’ll keep buying, but I won’t feel sorry for anyone for whom I’ve just poured Port Ellen just because I don’t feel like trading them my other bottle bottle for their 16YO Laphroaig, even if we did each pay the same amount.

  2. David

    I’ve received a few special bottles as gifts. It’s what started my journey many years ago.

    When I got seriously into Scotch, I was a bit over-exuberant and bought faster than I could drink. I still do, but now I do so more intelligently and carefully.

    For instance, I got one of each of the Aberlour range and 2 of the 18 after tasting the A’Bunadh.

    Then I got a better handle on what I liked. Mostly cask strength or high proof, well-made whiskies. I ended up with at least a dozen bottles that have since increased in value but that I would never really get through a whole bottle of. Like a 1 L Caol Ila 12. When I have a number of CI CS bottles?

    So I have done 3 things. I donated a few bottles to a charity raffle, and received a tax receipt for what it would have cost me to REPLACE them at today’s prices.

    I have “returned” bottles to the LCBO and traded them in for something I wanted. 2 notable examples – When I bought a Caol Ila IB from Nova Scotia and my “mule” picked up the “wrong bottle”, a Glenmorangie Signet worth 3 times as much. Adding $40 at the LCBO I came away with 2 OB Caol Ila 17 YO CS (and I eventually got the bottle I wanted from Halifax). In another coup, I was gifted a Glenfiddich 18 that I was NEVER going to drink (not a fan of the Fiddich) that was purchased by an In-law in Calgary for 2./3 what it costs in Ontario. I begged another brother in law to keep it but he insisted I bring it back. SO I added $3.50 and traded it for a Lagavulin 12 (2015) which is fabulous.

    I also have a friend or two who appreciate some of the bottles I’m no longer interested in. These have gone or will go as gifts or trades. And as far as that goes, it pays to be fair.

    My first trade included samples and minis but centred around a Forty Creek special release for a Macallan CS (which I received). He thought it was fair but I thought it wasn’t so I threw in an Amrut mini. Later I found more CS Macallans at $73 a bottle in Calgary and with my brother in law’s help I snagged 8 (6 for my new friend). At the time they were going for 125 GBP on the Whisky Exchange. He paid me $73 a bottle, not a penny more.

    This transaction cemented a level of trust that has turned into a good friendship. We now look out for each other. He’s found me Laphroaig 10 CS and I’ve gotten him bourbons he’d otherwise miss out on, and it goes on. He’s taken some unwanted bottles off my hands for cash (what I paid), in trades, or as gifts.

    I know one can make a few bucks on the secondary market. If I had won the option of buying a pappy 23 at the LCBO for $400 I’d have let a friend sell it for $2000, but if he wanted to drink it he’s get it at cost.

    I won’t profit off my friends. And since my intention has generally been to eventually open the bottles I buy, I’ve never bought to invest and make a profit off strangers.

    Just one Point of View.

  3. kallaskander

    Hi there,

    if you owned her…. what would you barter the Mona Lisa for? A Monet or a van Gogh?


    1. skeptic

      I’d donate her to a museum.

      Besides, it’s a very small painting and not nearly as impressive in person.

      1. kallaskander

        Hi there,

        that’s an idea… donate to a museum.

        In earnest… I try to avoid that topic. I do not sell and I do not barter.

        Whisky is made for drinking at least it used to be. If all whisky were drunk within two years of its bottling all problems with hoarding secondary market and whatever you can think of would not arise.
        Prices would be down where they belong and flippers were extinct.
        Sounds like a good world to me.


          1. David

            No, it would exist, if it were reproduced. And we wouldn’t waste all our money on storing all this whisky for decades before drinking. We’d buy as required.

            And in a communist world there would be enough good whisky for everyone…. oops…wrong thread…

          2. MadSingleMalt

            David, now you’re presupposing a bigger—and much better, and unlikely—idea: that bottles would never go off the market.

            If that were true, then yes, we’d have no reason to hoard, flip, sell, and trade to begin with.

            *Cue John Lennon*

  4. MadSingleMalt

    We rightfully disdain flippers who try to screw everyday drinkers by hoovering up hot releases and immediately reselling them for inflated auction prices. But that disdain has wrongfully besmirched the more innocent act of person-to-person sales & trades at current market prices.

    If you discover that your dead great-great-uncle left a cabinet full of unopened Rosebanks, why not sell them? If you stocked up on Port Ellens way back when and now you don’t like peaters anymore, why not sell them? If you find out that your Loch Dhu collecting dust in the back of your cabinet is worth money as a collectible, why not sell it?

    > In all those scenarios, feel free to swap “sell” with “trade at current market prices.” It comes to the same thing.

    Whenever someone raises a question along those lines—”I inherited something called ‘Brora’ from Grandpa and I don’t know what to do with it”—you can rely on the “Whisky Is For Drinking” Brigade to swoop in and tell them how naughty they are for considering any option besides guzzling it down. (Let’s ignore for a moment the virtue in turning away the veiled sales pitches.) Never mind that Grandpa would probably prefer Junior fund his college education over drinking a dusty bottle of whisky.

    And what of everyone who’s ever bought an old bottle at auction? Don’t they owe some gratitude to the people who—by whatever motivation—chose to STORE rather than DRINK that bottle in the first place? I think these buyers ARE thankful to whoever chose not to drink that old Lagavulin White Horse or whatever, even if they don’t say so.

    OK. So if we’re feeling OK about SELLING at current market prices, the OK-ness of BARTERING at current market prices should be given too.

    For me in the USA, the option to sell on the secondary market doesn’t really exist—at least not for anything short of extraordinary. So the whole thing is rather academic. Yet, I can still assign a personal value to anything in my stash. And if I were to trade, I would expect to receive something of equal or greater personal value.

    For example, until recently I had a PC7 in my stash. I paid $100 for it a few years ago, and I think its market value is probably significantly higher than that now. Even though I couldn’t easily sell mine on the open market, I know that it’s worth—PERSONALLY to me—around $150. If someone offered me cash, I’d want $150. If someone offered me a trade, I’d want something that I PERSONALLY value at $150+. And I wouldn’t feel icky about it.

    You’re a friend and you want a taste? Sure! Pop it open and pour a glass. But you want to own it instead of me? Now we’re talking brass tacks. I certainly never felt icky about hard-nosed baseball card trading when we were kids, and I’d feel the same today with bottles.

    All that said, I’m really hoping to see comments here from people who DO think sales & trading at market prices is icky. What’s your thought process if someone wants that bottle of Black Bowmore you’ve been saving? Do you really not want more for it today than you would have ten years ago? How do you figure out what a fair trade would be?

    1. Dave

      Would it be in poor taste to offer up Ballentines 17yo and an older bottling of Johnny walker green 15yo for trades? Am I missing the point on this post?

  5. Jeff

    In my experience, sample trades/bottle swaps are usually just rough justice at best. I once got rid of something like 10 part/remnant bottles for $100 (which I concluded was well below their real market value all told) on the basis of they were opened, I was tired of them, and I liked the guy I was selling to – he was just getting into whisky, and I don’t know if my gesture helped or hurt the greater cause but it was a very good sampler pack for the money. I once traded 3 50mls of good stuff I had for two 50mls of other things I hadn’t tried, plus a 50ml of Laphroaig 30 (still a memorable sample). I’ve traded bottle for bottle a couple of times with my buddy the Scotch Guru – the waterlines and prices were roughly comparable and we both simply liked the bottle we got far better than the bottle we traded away, but we drink each other’s stuff all the time, so it was no big deal either way.

    Price doesn’t always enter into it, but I understand the point made in the keynote address.A big factor for me is whether the whisky will be appreciated for what it is, as opposed to just another type of alcohol, no more, no less; some stuff is just wasted on some people – and some very expensive stuff would doubtless be wasted on me as well. My reaction would just be “HOW much!?!”, just as some some people would have the same reaction on what I spend on what I drink. If it is about money, current market value is fair, but I’ve never found it out of place to be on the friendly side of it either. If it’s about “I spent this much when I bought it”, then evening up on that basis isn’t bad either; it’s not about anybody trying to make a buck, it’s just about not taking a bath. If it’s about trading for a sample of an opened Black Bowmore, the guy looking for the sample SHOULD know they need to offer a sweet and honourable trade or they’re creating an uncomfortable situation all ’round.; if it’s about buying a sealed bottle, they need to have their chequebook handy.

    I don’t think getting out of bottles that you don’t want, for cash or product, is wrong – but that is, of course, a very different thing than flipping bottles that you both angled for and never intended to drink in the first place. Bottle flippers are no more whisky enthusiasts than scalpers are music lovers. I wouldn’t buy to flip and I wouldn’t pay the premium that flippers want.

    Anyway, really interesting topic.


    1. MadSingleMalt

      Jeff sez: “If it is about money, current market value is fair, but I’ve never found it out of place to be on the friendly side of it either.”

      I like this take on things.

      As many of us are alluding to, there’s a huge difference between working something out with a buddy, and selling on Ebay or whatever. If my buddy Vinnie wanted something out of my stash, I’d just open it and share, or put the bottle in his hands under generous terms. But if UltimateMacallanFanboy666 is bidding on my auction item, you can be sure he’ll be paying top dollar.

      (And I still don’t feel icky.)

      1. David

        “As many of us are alluding to, there’s a huge difference between working something out with a buddy, and selling on Ebay or whatever”.

        I think that’s well put.

      2. Chris 1

        I agree with both you and Jeff. It does kinda depend on who the recipient or buyer is. If it’s a good friend and fellow malthead then, yeah, it’s a different situation than selling to a collector you don’t know from Adam or sticking on ebay for the highest bid.

        Incidentally, MSM, I am under no illusion, and I don’t think Skeptic is either, that you are in any way in the same league, or a reincarnation of our old friend Rigmorundum. You are in a completely different part of the country for one thing and your postings are always relevant, interesting and on topic. Although early on, in both his incarnations, he was a very good and interesting contributor over on connosr, Rigmorundum strayed way too far off the topic of whisky and started to hijack the conversations with paranoic conspiracy rantings. When the whole thing deteriorated to ideological arguments and name-calling it was time for him to go. Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen here.

        1. MadSingleMalt

          Thanks, Chris 1.

          Outside of that Rigmorundic explanation, though, I can see no reason those guys are always posting weird & antagonistic things to me over there. Paddockjudge, especially, always peppers his insults with allusions to me being a teacher or having an alter ego or whatever other codswollop I’ve forgotten about. Then Nozinan & Skeptic give him the thumbs up. I just don’t get it.

          I challenge it, and I get crickets.

          You have any idea what that’s all about?

          1. David

            Are you sure they are antagonizing or just challenging you? I don’t see all those comments as homogeneous

          2. Chris 1

            No idea, I must have missed that exchange. I don’t think there is any intent to antagonize or insult you by the guys you mention. I have been having enjoyable discussions with all of them for several years.

            I think sometimes the written word doesn’t adequately convey intent and something said with a smile or tongue in cheek can come across as flippant or even insulting. This is a virtual table we are all sitting around. If we were sitting around the real thing we would get to know and understand each other in an entirely different way.

          3. Jeff

            “If we were sitting around the real thing we would get to know and understand each other in an entirely different way.”

            That’s probably very true; I probably wouldn’t dislike Nick Morgan as much in person as I do in the abstract – whether anyone would say the same of me is very debatable.

            Yet, within whisky (and probably other places), it’s also a double-edged sword; I think a lot of nonsense in whisky gained currency based upon who said it and who wouldn’t bring themselves to disagree with it based upon who said it and their personal relationship(s) – and that continues today.

            Even so, if we understood each other perfectly – even if we disagree – it would be a better world, within whisky and beyond it.


          4. Chris 1

            “…if we understood each other perfectly–even if we disagree–it would be a better world, within whisky and beyond it”

            Well said.

            I’d be happy to sit around a table anytime with you and any of the other participants here, Jeff. I think it would make for some lively discussion.

          5. David

            Chris 1,

            I assume you mean in the presence of high quality, cask strength, natural colour, unchilfiltered, age-stated malt…

          6. Jeff

            A CS roundtable? That would be something. I’d pay to see that, and I’d nominate Laphroaig 10, but I’d have to chip in for it rather than bring it because there’s currently nothing like that in my neck of the woods.

            I’ve got a sample swap pending for some incoming Royal Salute 21 (duty free). I thought about some CC 20 (which is a VERY nice whisky for the price) or some G&M HP CS but, as he hasn’t tried it, the gentleman said he wouldn’t mind some Glenfarclas 105.


          7. MadSingleMalt

            Hey Chris 1,
            I could probably dig up the exchanges I had in mind when I posted the above comments about the Connosr stuff, but I think instead I’ll just write it off as internet nonsense (perhaps exacerbated by the facelessness of it all, as you and Jeff allude to) unless it happens again. Cheers.

        2. skeptic

          I hope you mean the older, 10 YO 105.

          I’m sure David would be happy to bring his Laphroaig 10 CS to the table, and knowing him, probably wouldn’t charge you a thing…

          1. Jeff

            Oh yeah, it’s got the 10 on the back. Whether that makes it older is, of course the question, but age statements don’t disappear (or reappear) at random.

            I don’t doubt that David would be that generous – and sláinte to him – but I wouldn’t want to see anybody stuck supplying the kind of summit I had in mind.


          2. David

            Are you kidding? I have some high proof high flavour bottles with numbers on them that I’d be happy to contribute to a summit!

            And I do believe the 10 YO 105 is in fact older than the NAS 105 – both in that it is bottled prior to the current batch, and also because from what I’ve heard the more recent NAS has 8 and 9 YO juice in it.

  6. Blair Conrad

    I love this line and I feel the same:

    “But times change.  Even if my views are less inclined to do so.”

  7. Mike

    A lot of great points and I agree with all the reasons based on the context of each scenario; meticulously thought out. Ultimately, I’ve gained more from sharing with others even though I’ve been late to the game. Recently I had the pleasure of trying a 30 Year Glen Ord, 32 Year Laphroaig, Dalmore Constellation, Port Ellen 9th official release, Whisky Agency Speyside 41 year old, Amrut Spectrum, Lagavulin 30 (Amazing!!!). I don’t have much to offer compared to some people who have been around for a long time. But, it’s relative.

    Recently I traded Laddie 22, Laddie 16, BenRiach 21 Year Authenticus and Kilchoman 100% Islay Inaugural Release. I also sold a couple Bowmore Tempest 1 for $100 to someone I’ve met a couple times. Not crazy fancy malts compared to what I’ve received from our malt-mentors, but it’s the best I have to offer for the time being. Some of these malts have a significance to them in the sense that I worked up in the oil sands for several years on a 14/7 schedule. I was away from my family on average 2/3rds of a year, which was my choice and I’m not trying to come off as hard done by.

    But, those are years I was away from my family and the malts I purchased symbolize something more than just currency or monetary value. So, when it comes time to share a bottle, I’m sharing that time spent trying to earn the maximum earning potential an electrician could be afforded. So, when I do decide to open an exceptional bottle, I’ll be opening it with people I know will genuinely enjoy the malt and genuinely enjoy my company.

    One last thing, I can’t thank our generous selfless malt-mentors enough for sharing their knowledge and their exclusive malts. I wouldn’t have gained a greater perspective about whisky and the relationships you build on without these gents. Thanks guys.


    I’m optimistic that will change with time and patience.

  8. Brent

    Interesting topic. I’ve been through the same topic previously in another of my habits, something that’s a bit odd for this site but with vintage Star Wars toy collecting. Talk about your cutthroat markets, whoo doggies.

    In perspective you have to get fair value for yourself. If that value includes karma, so be it. If it includes money, so be it there as well. If it includes getting something you value equally in return, whatever that currency may be so be that as well.

    I’ve sold/traded vintage Star Wars toys in various ways. I’ve sold to friends and what are ultimately bargain prices because I was a bit ahead of that game. I’ve also sold on eBay when it has been warranted. I have a beautiful vintage vinyl cape Jawa that I paid $150 US for. It now sells for $1000+ and if I had someone offer me $150 because they “knew” me and I should be a “friend” I’d walk away. Now if it was someone I was actually friends with I’d give them a deal, but cost? Nope, sorry, that’s not realistic. Using that example maybe a middle ground price in the $400-600 range. I’m still doing very well and they’re getting a very good deal.

    Ultimately you do have to protect yourself, your interests and your value invested. I’d really love if someone would part with a Macallan 10 CS but it’s extraordinarily unlikely to happen since I know no one that has it. Given someone might have it but doesn’t know me from TinkerBell then I’d hardly expect then to hand me a bargain. I’d be mightily thrilled but have zero expectation and if someone does have expectations for getting magic beans given to them, well, be wary.

    My only relevant Scotch example is Snow Phoenix. I bought six, I have one open and one closed. I gave two away as birthday gifts and sold two for the $80 I paid for it. Everyone that has one tried it at my house with my open bottle. My advise to all of them is to sell the damnable thing. It’s a good and tasty whisky at $80 and I would buy again (well, if it had an age statement I would) and drink again. But WhiskyBase is showing it currently at 480.50 Euro. That’s ridiculous and it’s worth nothing like that if you’re drinking it. I won’t part with my closed bottle as a gift though or even sell it at cost, I feel I’ve done my due diligence with the charitable side. I would trade it for something I value equally, otherwise I’ll sell it for a ridiculous, market based price, should the opportunity arise. Does this make me bad? Perhaps but it is where I’ll go with the last of six bottles I bought. At the end of the day you have to live with your decisions and ultimately not let yourself be treated like the welcome mat. Find your zone and live there.

    1. David

      I understand your point of view but I think there’s a difference between collectible action figures and drinkable whisky.

      In my family we opened our star wars figures from the 1970s. My kids have played with original R2D2 in the last year or so.

      So maybe it’s better to say there’s a difference between collecting to drink and collecting to invest. Part of it is a mindset.

      Look at Canadian whisky. It’s not known to appreciate in value much but I know a guy who offered a Mac CS (after they stopped making them) to me for an anaemic Forty Creek product because it had value to him as a drinkable whisky. Now he also gave me a sample of said anaemic whisky so I wouldn’t have to open my last bottle of it, and it’s ok, but I much prefer the Mac CS. Incidentally, that last bottle of the FC will be opened with him, traded to him for an at cost-relative product, or given as a gift.

      When I found those Mac CSs in Calgary and they were selling for double in UK, I could have asked for more. Instead I asked for cost. What I got in return turned into a strong friendship that (while most get togethers are somewhat focused on spirits) goes beyond whisky.

      Call me a sucker if you want. But I guess if you don’t have the investment mindset it’s easier to treat the stuff as what it is, a liquid with mind altering properties that happens to often have some interesting and compelling flavours, and that seems to taste better when shared with friends.

      1. Chris 1

        Making a friend is worth more than making money. I don’t believe anyone would think that makes you a sucker, David.

  9. portwood

    The only time anyone gives up anything for free is the day they are put in a box!

    giving a buddy a dram from your prized bottle of _______
    trading bottles with a buddy based on price paid either for cash or barter
    giving a bottle as a gift
    selling a 23yr pappy for 10x what you paid

    Regardless how you give up that bottle of whisky, both sides receive value – whether tangible or intangible. Friendships have value – that’s why friends trade stuff with each-other at what others would consider below market…
    … but you probably wouldn’t sell your house to your best friend at a discount 😉

  10. Robert

    I’ve still got a Booker’s 25th Anniversary unopened bottle in box from early 2014. Just checked and it is now listed at $775-$999 at some ritzy NY and CA stores. I paid $65-70ish for it. What the hell do I do with it? I guess I might be able to trade it for 10 bottles of regular Booker’s!?!? Don’t tell me to just drink it. I felt weird enough drinking up my Ardbog several months ago, and it wasn’t priced anywhere near this high. Anyway, the next one I’ll open is my last bottle of Compass Box 10th Anniv. Peat Monster, a special favorite of mine that I bought 4 bottles of when it came out.

    1. Jeff

      Questions on monetary value are interesting in general, but I guess it boils down to what you think it’s worth and why. If you think that it’s now worth $775-$999 because that’s the current market price, then you could sell it and get the extra value that it “owes” you over original purchase price. If you think that it’s just a $65-$70 bottle, then it’s still drinkable whisky. I might split the difference, drink it, and consider it one of relatively few “expensive” whiskies I’ve consumed; it certainly gives insight into whether paying market prices gives you better quality.

      Years ago, I told a friend about the Glenlivet Nadurra Triumph (1991-2010/48%) and he bought a bottle. He’s still got it because he can’t bring himself to drink it, now that he knows that the 19 y.o. Triumph version isn’t in production anymore. Maybe some people look at it in terms of replacement cost, but I sometimes find that a little weird given that, in some cases, they’re concerned about the price of replacing a whisky that they’ve never tried/opened in the first place, so they don’t even know if it’s something that they’d want to replace. To a great degree, once a whisky becomes an asset, it stops being whisky.


    2. David

      Robert and Jeff, both very interesting and thought provoking comments.

      Robert, specifically regarding the Booker’s, I had the opportunity to try it. Compared to a good batch of Booker’s it’s not really much better. If I had a bottle of it I would be tempted to “cash it in”, unless I knew there was someone who valued its flavour specially, in which case I would consider opening with him or her or gifting or something like that.

      Jeff, I have a few bottles that have increased in value because of scarcity, and some will just be scarce in 20 years without increasing in monetary value.

      My hope is to open those with friends who will appreciate them when there’s nowhere else they can taste them.

      1. Robert

        To both Jeff and David: I’d really be happy to trade it for several other bottles, as I also don’t think a slight improvement in quality is worth a huge price increase. I recently bought a bottle of Evan Williams BIB for $12, and it is quite decent both neat and on the rocks. Perfect poolside bourbon. I like to drink good value whiskies, so I’d rather sell or trade this one.

        I also have a Glenlivet Triumph, but that one I’ll open about the time I open my last bottle of Nadurra 16 and compare the two. Just opened my last Cairdeas 2015 (yum!) and plan to open my peat Monster 10th Anniversary and 2005 Laphroaig CS, but not till the temperature drops some. In this heat I’m sticking with bourbon and Glenmorangie 10.

    1. kallaskander

      Hi there,

      true but I think there are reasons.

      If it can comfort you at other places the same picture in general.
      Forumswise not much traffic and blogwise less and less frequent new features.
      For me a sign that the whisky boom will or already is repalced by boredom with the subject.

      Some other signs if you have not already seen them yourself

      All the same source but interesting anyway.


    2. ATW Post author

      Was away for a couple weeks. And then dealing with a few things. Back in town now.

      Next up…notes on a couple malts from the Number 1 Vaults at Bowmore, Ardbeg An Oa, the infamous Loch Dhu, a head-to-head of Ardbeg Dark Cove general release vs Committee release and more. Stay tuned, friends.


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