Whisky Boom in Far East good for Islay Distilleries

While in other parts of the world whisky consumption and sales were slightly lower due to the credit crunch, this doesn't seem to apply to the new whisky markets in the far east such as China and India where whisky sales are booming. Whenever demand is high supplies have to be increased but ten years ago nobody could foresee the present increase in demand for 12yr old, and even older whiskies. Therefore whisky stocks are running low, prices are going up and it will take another ten years or so to have enough matured whisky to meet the new demand, providing it still exists by then. To meet future demand the whisky distilleries are cranking up their production and some of them invest heavily and/or operate on a 24hr 7days a week schedule, which is good news for the Islay Distilleries and employment on the island. In the meanwhile more and more whiskies are sold that haven't reached the usual 10, 12 or 15 yr age. A good example is Ardbeg, who sell still young and almost there, and Bruichladdich who sell a lot of 5 or 6yr old whiskies. It's not that young whiskies aren't any good, in fact they can taste just as good, or sometimes better as their older brothers, they are just a bit different, and younger. The Press and Journal published an article about the whisky boom in which they interviewed John Campbell from Laphroaig and others of the Scottish whisky industry, a quote: Continue reading.....

Whisky bosses claim that supplies of malts aged more than 12 years are running low because of a huge surge in exports to countries such as China and India over the past year – forcing distilleries to resort to marketing six-year-old malts to plug the gaps. Despite other sectors being hit by the global financial crisis, distilleries are being forced to splash out millions to expand their production capacity to keep up with demand. Sales of Scotch in China are said to have risen by around 75% over the past two years, while sales in India have leapt by 36%. Nick Morgan, global malts director for Diageo, which produces Oban and Cardhu, said: 'Everyone has supply issues, especially for whisky aged more than 12 years.' John Campbell, distillery manager at Laphroaig on Islay, said: 'It is a problem we have had even before the boom in the Far East. We already ran low on stocks of 10-year-old, because we didn’t forecast the growth.' Ian MacMillan, general manager of distilleries and master blender with Burns Stewart Distilleries, which owns Tobermory Distillery on Mull and Bunnahabhain on Islay, said: 'There are notable shortages of anything up to about eight years old.'

What this means for you and me is obvious, prices of our favorite dram will most likely rise and I already noticed an increase in prices for 12 and 16yr old whiskies. As long as the petrol prices are going down in the same pace the whisky is going up I am not too bothered though, this doesn't mean I'm consuming as much as my car! :-)

Tag: whisky distilleries laphroaig

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