Booming Scottish Whisky Business

Last week I wrote about the whisky boom in the far east and today the times online has a lengthy story as well about the whisky boom. They even go as far as to say that the Chinese are drinking the Scotch whisky stocks dry. This will be good news for some and bad news for others. It's obvious that low stocks will raise prices, there's no question about that. It will also be interesting to find out if the Chinese have a preference for a particular Scottish Whisky Region like Highlands or Islay. In the mentioned article you can find a few paragraphs about Islay's Kilchoman Distillery. Here is a quote from the article:

The unthinkable has happened. So much whisky is being exported that warehouses are being emptied and distilling companies are having to ration supplies. The shortage affects only the industry's most expensive brands - 12-year-old and older malts - sales of which are booming, especially in the world's fastest-growing economy, China. Production in the 1990s, when they were first distilled, hit a low. Hence the shortage and a £500million boom in building new distilleries and expanding old ones. The promise of this liquid gold has led to a rush of investment. The Scotch Whisky Association, a trade promotion body, believes that about £500million is being spent on expanding distilling this year and in the previous two years. Six new distilleries are being built, three old ones are being revived, and three well-established names are expanding.

The smallest new distillery is Kilchoman on Islay, an island which already has plenty of whisky makers. Set up by two local entrepreneurs, it aims to take distilling back to its origins by using barley grown on the farm where the stills are sited and malting the grain on the premises. Kilchoman is one of a few distilleries planning to break the self-imposed rule that malt whiskies must be at least 10 years old. It plans to sell its first whisky - a three-year old malt - later this year.

Tag: whisky distilleries kilchoman

Comments are closed

Anonymous

Saturday, 17 January 2009
And they still need to fix their spelling at the Times (Kilcho_m_an, not Kilcho_n_an) ;-) Not sure about the "one of a few distilleries planning to break the self-imposed rule that malt whiskies must be at least 10 years old" either. I don't really follow what's going on with the mainland distilleries, but I can immediately think of 2 Islay distilleries who have done the same: Ardbeg had the whole journey with the "Very Young", "Almost There" etc after the reopening and Bruichladdich so far the PC5, PC6 and PC7 series, not to mention a lot of other younger whiskies (e.g. both Octomores).

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Gruss,
Armin
www.islayblog.com
www.armin-grewe.com/islay/

ron

Saturday, 17 January 2009

I already made a remark about their spelling... :-)

You are right about Ardbeg and Bruichladdich, I wrote that too in the previous post. Not strange when you consider these distilleries were closed at the time when the, now 12 to 15 yr old whiskies, were distilled.

For Kilchoman it will probably be a matter of cash-flow. In the time that they started distilling the fuel prices almost doubled, they had to pay for the upkeep of the distillery and invested (heavily?) in the distillery and the very nice visitor centre. I don't think it's easy to keep al this operational without a steady source of income through whisky sales. And when whisky is booming one is probably easier tempted to sell younger whiskies. Perhaps "Still very Young" would be a good name for the 3yr old Kilchoman?

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I'd rather be on Islay :-)

Anonymous

Saturday, 17 January 2009
Am I blind or why can't I find your remark? Or do they need to approve comments?

Agree it's to a large extent a cash flow issue in particular for Kilchoman who don't have "old" stock. I think to an extent it's also a way to remain in the news, certainly works for Bruichladdich and Ardbeg. Risky if people don't like the young whisky, successful if they do and it makes them curious about the final stage.

Must admit I'm slightly disappointed with Kilchoman as I was under the impression the 5 yo futures would be the first to be released when I bought them. Which they obviously won't be now.

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Gruss,
Armin
www.islayblog.com
www.armin-grewe.com/islay/

ron

Saturday, 17 January 2009
You are not blind Armin, the comments are moderated and probably not even looked at! I can understand your dissapointment but can understand Kilchoman as well.... Someone has to pay the bills over there :-)

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I'd rather be on Islay :-)