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What do you consider a "Limited Edition" Bottling?

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What do you consider a "Limited Edition" Bottling?

Single Cask-Less than 700 Bottles
8
42%
1200-1500 Bottles
5
26%
5000 bottles
4
21%
10,000 Bottles
2
11%
 
Total votes : 19

What do you consider a "Limited Edition" Bottling?

Postby Lawrence » Sun Mar 05, 2006 6:58 pm

What do you consider to be a suitable number of bottles to make up a Limited Edition? I have read about buyers scorn at 'limited' bottlings that run to 20,000 bottles.

I recently purchased a Cragganmore Cask Strength that is bottle 5571 of 15,000 however to be fair they do say 'special bottling' and not limitied edition however it started me thinking.

The Port Ellen OB Annual releases are limited editions and some of those have run to 12,000 bottles, 9,000 and the latest I believe was 5,000.

Thoughts?
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Sun Mar 05, 2006 8:08 pm

Great thread. Maybe it can serve to get rid of the confusion!
I voted "1200-1500 Bottles" simply because it implies more bottles than "Single Cask" (although that means very limited) . I feel that the term "limited" is a little exploited when applied to as many as several thousands of bottles - despite these series are not belonging to an official standard line so to speak. I don't consider a "one-off" consisting of as many as 5000-9000 bottles to be very limited. I might be wrong though as a party of 5000 bottles spread around the worlds sales outlets very soon can get scarce in supply.

Christian
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Postby WestVanDave » Sun Mar 05, 2006 8:17 pm

I don't know if this response qualifies as much as "thoughts" ... I'd put it more in the "idle ramblings" category - but FWIW:

I would suppose anything done in "limited" or finite numbers by defintion is "limited"... and then I would think that single cask bottlings would qualify on my list as being unique enough to get excited about...

That being said - those Port Ellen's, for example, were limited enough - and seemed to be priced accordingly - especially on the 4th Release in Ontario where they want a full $119 more than the BC Liquor Stores ($429.95 vs. $310.95)... go figure. I think they were just getting greedy after the cult-like hoarding of the 3rd Release... along with the "more limited" production quantity of "only" 5,000.

The word "special" subjectively implies a quality level... so I would have more qualms with a bottle marked "special" that didn't live up to expectations than one that was "limited"... but then that's just getting fussy. :roll:
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Postby Mr Ellen » Sun Mar 05, 2006 8:53 pm

WestVanDave wrote:That being said - those Port Ellen's, for example, were limited enough - and seemed to be priced accordingly - especially on the 4th Release in Ontario where they want a full $119 more than the BC Liquor Stores ($429.95 vs. $310.95)... go figure. I think they were just getting greedy after the cult-like hoarding of the 3rd Release... along with the "more limited" production quantity of "only" 5,000.



Regarding the Port Ellen OB Annual Releases there has only been a marginal rise in prise. As the 1st OB was released the UK retail price was £100.00 and today 5 years later the price for the 5th release is £115.00. I don't know what has happened on the way to US or Canada.

I personally think that the phrase "Limited Edition" has lost it's value. It seems everything today is being released as "Limited" just to make us customers run to the stores and make sure we get a hold of that rare bottle...just to find out it's still available at the same price several years later.
And I don't consider a release of 12.000 bottles at a pricetag of £115.00 to be limited. After all, the average whisky drinker don't spend over £100.00 on a bottle to drink during the weekend so it will still be videly available for the connoisseurs a long time after the release.
I consider a Limited Edition to be anywhere between 80-100 bottles up to let's say 4-500 bottles. By those numbers, if you get hold of a bottle, you can say that you have something that not everyone can access. (if that's the purpose :? )

I think it's better to use the term "Special Release" for larger runs of bottles.
Anyway, I guess we all think consider different quantities on what's a Limited Edition, it's an interesting thread and it will be nice to hear what you others think.

Regards...
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Mar 05, 2006 9:26 pm

I guess that, at least to an extent, it depends on the distillery's popularity and the expression involved.

For example, there were 5,100 bottles of "First Release Hazelburn" and they flew off the shelves. Pretty 'limited' availability now.
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Postby Frodo » Mon Mar 06, 2006 3:24 am

I had the good fortune to try a 1991 Glenfiddich (11yr old) to commemorate Don Ramsey's 30 yrs at Glenfiddich distillery. There was quite alot of it going around, yet it seemed to have dried up around here quite fast. I think it was the equivilant of a production run. I consider this a limited release.

The Bruichladdich 1st 2nd, & 3rd editions I don't consider limited releases - not that anyone has called them that!
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Mar 06, 2006 2:39 pm

eelbrook wrote:I guess that, at least to an extent, it depends on the distillery's popularity and the expression involved.


I think eelbrook has got it right. The purpose of a "limited edition" is surely to inspire a "get it while you can" attitude people buy it for speculation or for later consumption. A limited edition Laphroaig OB could be very large indeed and still create this effect, because they do it so seldom. A limited edition Ben Nevis could be very small indeed and still not generate the effect because there is little or no interest in collecting their [rather fine] whiskies. Other bottlers put out so many limited editions (e.g. Douglas Laing single casks; Arran; Bruichladdich) that they are not all likely to fire the imagination - people may look for the most special limited editions.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:44 pm

A single vatting, regardless of size.
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Postby Admiral » Mon Mar 06, 2006 10:09 pm

I recall Jerry Seinfeld made a similar cynical comment about the Ford LTD.

LTD was supposed to mean "Limited". And yet the cars were everywhere. It seems they (Ford) were only limited to the number they could sell.

Dave's point about Port Ellen is true.....any Port Ellen bottling will be "limited".

Cheers,
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Postby Iain » Mon Mar 06, 2006 10:23 pm

"A single vatting, regardless of size."

I think Mr T has hit the nail on the head.
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Postby Wendy » Tue Mar 07, 2006 4:58 pm

Hello,

Would the new release of the single malt from Sweden, Mackmyra at 4000 bottles, be considered a Limited Edition or production run? As an inaugural bottling, I would think it would carry the "Limited Edition" status or is "Special Edition" a more accurate description? I am curious about your thoughts.

Cheers,
Wendy
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Tue Mar 07, 2006 5:28 pm

Any thing that will not be available after the batch run is gone would have to be considered limited whether 100 or 100,000 bottles. However I would agree that the quality of the product has to be top notch if a 'really' limited, say cask, release can justify a premium price. As seen from some ib's you can have very limited releases for good money but using the 'Limited' word on the bottle to make a killing sickens me.
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Tue Mar 07, 2006 5:33 pm

Wendy wrote:Hello,

Would the new release of the single malt from Sweden, Mackmyra at 4000 bottles, be considered a Limited Edition or production run? As an inaugural bottling, I would think it would carry the "Limited Edition" status or is "Special Edition" a more accurate description? I am curious about your thoughts.

Cheers,
Wendy



This is deffo a good case for 'Limited/special' edition status. I would imagine that eventhough they are plentiful to start off with they will become collectors items in 3-5 years time. They may even just have a different lable than what will become the regular release but still will become a collectors bottle. May not be sound special but to a collector it does not really matter what's in the bottle. :roll: At the end of the day 4000 bottles is not alot really.
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Postby kallaskander » Tue Mar 07, 2006 5:50 pm

Hi there,

the "limited edition" usage is a bit overstrained, certainly. On the other hand, or in this case on the other side of the world, what do we do if some edition really is limited? Connoisseurs all over the world want the named Port Ellen bottlings. What would Australia do if it were less, much less than 12.000 bottles? Would that bottling ever reach down under or even across the Atlantic? I have read comments here on the availability of certain whiskies in the US or Canada which let me think that in Germany we are rather close to the source of the good stuff and in a way privileged. At my whisky retailer´s there are bottlings in the shelves that were for Japan exclusively and the "Bowmore 16 years cs, ncf from Bourbon casks, exclusively bottled for Germany" has found favour with some of us who were definitely not in Germany when they bought it.
Whisky has a boom time at the moment so a limited edition is a double edged sword in times of a globalised economy and theoretically world wide demand for all the bottlings there are.
I will cry wolf when single cask bottlings will start to yield more than 1.000 bottles.

Greetings
kallaskander

PS I´d vote 1000-5000.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Mar 07, 2006 10:01 pm

I can't see getting all hung up on the language here. "Limited Edition" only means a one-time only release. Here it is; when it's gone, it's gone. There are plenty of single barrel releases around, and we understand that such will produce only a certain number of bottles. "Limited Edition" is obviously going to be on another scale altogether. If you must, take it as a bit of labeling hyperbole, like "finest rarest oldest whisky".
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Postby Mr Ellen » Tue Mar 07, 2006 10:54 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote: Here it is; when it's gone, it's gone.


I don't really agree here. A "Limited Edition" will never be gone. Of course, it will be gone from the retailers shelves, but as long as we have collectors there will always be profiteers who want to make money even from the "Most Strictly Super Limited Editions" on the market.
And as long as there's a demand for that "Limited Edition", the bottle will be available. And today, with global auctions on the internet, eBay and live auctions worldwide everyone, everywhere will be able to obtain that precious little bottle.
It's a pity really that whisky has become more a collectors market and less for people to enjoy drinking. And as the prices for that "Extremely Limited Edition" rises it is more likely that it will never even be tasted. It will most likely be an object on the investors market.
As for the Mackmyra First Release, I am quite sure that it will surface on eBay within days.

kallaskander wrote:
"Connoisseurs all over the world want the named Port Ellen bottlings. What would Australia do if it were less, much less than 12.000 bottles? Would that bottling ever reach down under or even across the Atlantic?"

In the case of Port Ellen (who everone is screaming about today), it is still available in most shops as we speak although it's latest release, the 5th, was released in a "Limited Release" of "only" 5280 bottles. I don't think anyone needs to worry about getting a bottle...even if they live in Australia. :)

Now, I am going to finish that glass of precious Port Ellen Annual 2nd Release. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Cheers
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Postby Scotchio » Wed Mar 08, 2006 10:08 am

With regard to Port Ellen and Brora annual releases it seems cunningly cynical of Diagio to end the Rare Malts and replace them with these editions. Essentially they have created an illusion of scarcity and reaped a fine financial harvest.
The combined 1978 annual releases amounts to about 24000 bottles ie equivalent to Ardbeg 77 and greater than some RM runs. By splitting it annually rather than producing an RM 78 25yr old they have added £40 per bottle to their profits. In the case of Brora make that about £100 per bottle.
It's worked so well that they are now doing it with all their silent stocks.
The knock on effect is the opportunity provided to profiteering collectors. I have fallen into collecting myself to some degree but I have always bought with the intension of drinking. The problem is when a £40 bottle becomes saleable for £150 I find it difficult to open and naturally I am tempted to sell. Inevitably and tragically once sold at this price it seems possible that the bottle may never be drunk but will become an expensive trinket passed at a profit from hand to hand until it evaporates. Madness!£10 a shot is too rich for my blood and £150 will buy me a lot of good whisky. No matter how good the whisky, that £10 a time price would spoil the pleasure for me although I'm sure there are some people whose pleasure is enhanced by the idea of a luxurious treat.Is the drink really objectively that much better than something costing £2 a shot?
It's a shame whisky drinkers appear to have deep enough pockets to sponsor the conglomerates.In an ideal world we should have stuck 2 fingers up at diagio and refused to buy until they reset their pricing.
Then we could have stocked up sat on our bottles and cashed in magnificently in 10 yrs time.
Just kidding! :lol:
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Postby Paul A Jellis » Thu Mar 09, 2006 11:27 pm

I would say under 1,000 bottles, anything more than that is not really limited at all.

Cheers

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Postby Lawrence » Fri Mar 10, 2006 2:50 am

Mr. Ellen, when I started the thread/poll I was referring to the number of bottles produced to make up a limited edition and in no way was referring to the number of bottles that would pop up on ebay or other such collector markets.

Scothio I always understood that the rare malts were in fact, rare. Repositioning the product doesn't appear to me to be profiteering but time will tell. I'm quite happy that Diageo is releasing these whiskies, I was never thrilled with the quality of the RM in any case and the current crop are much better, IMHO.

It seems 'limited edition' means different things to different people, Aberlour a'bunadh is a limited edtion, 80 to 100 casks, you can work out how many bottles come from a run if they are using 500 litre sherry butts.

Obviously 'limited edition' means something completely different to Gordon & Macphail.

In any case I'm rambling, good comments though from everybody.
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Postby Mr Ellen » Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:33 am

Lawrence wrote:Mr. Ellen, when I started the thread/poll I was referring to the number of bottles produced to make up a limited edition and in no way was referring to the number of bottles that would pop up on ebay or other such collector markets.


I understand that and if you've read all the replies you could view my thoughts on "Limited Edition" in an earlier post. This was just a reply to a post by Mr. T.

Besides, what (in your opinion) were wrong with the Rare Malts Releases, it strucks me as you found them pretty poor comparing to the new Diageo releases. Were there any special ones you found to be of insufficient quality?
Just curious to know... :wink:

Cheers...
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Postby Lawrence » Fri Mar 10, 2006 5:43 pm

It's a good question but I found the line up to be some what one dimensional, they all seemed to follow a theme, it could just be me but there was never a sherry monster in the whole lot, was there?
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Mar 12, 2006 11:30 pm

I haven't had a lot of Rare Malts, but the ones I've had were all excellent. I'm really sorry they've discontinued the label, just for esthetic reasons. In fact, seeing a few of those on the shelf at pubs here and there was one minor factor in piquing my interest in malts in the first place. There was something mysterious and attractive about those bottles to me, as plain and unfrilly as the label is.

Mr E, I disagree that you disagree with me ( :shock: )--of course bottles float around in the collectors' market seemingly forever, or turn up on dusty shelves here and there. I meant simply that there would be no more available for distribution...unless, of course, they get a whole bunch back from Italy...well, there are always strange happenstances. But I was referring to the producer's basic attitude about it, not to the actual availability of specific bottles.

Again, since there is no SWA regulation about language like "Limited Edition" or "Special Edition", I would place no more importance on it than I would on the description of J&B as "Rare". In fact, since we all know of truly limited runs like single cask bottlings and initial runs of Mackmyra (Wendy!) that don't carry any such designation, I would actually expect a bottling carrying such a phrase to run much higher. 5,000, 9,000, 24,000, who cares. All they are saying (or should be) is that it's a one-off. Truly small bottling runs don't need any such designation; they are easily recognizable as very limited. The phrase is much more likely to be used when there is a danger that the bottling might be mistaken for a standard production run. Regard it as a bit of hyperbole, if you must, but I just can't see taking offense because a "Limited Edition" has too many bottles. Anyone who is fooled by a "Hot-Off-The-Shelf Edition", "Bragging-Rights Edition", or "Rip-Me-Off-And-*!#@-Me-Over Edition" is simply naive.

:wink:
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Postby Wendy » Mon Mar 13, 2006 12:36 am

Hi Mr. TH:
You always have the uncanny ability to summarize a topic so succintly. Your last sentence spoke volumes to me!! I don't think I could have said it better. :)

Cheers,
Wendy
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Mar 13, 2006 1:34 am

I don't know where that came from...it doesn't really sound like me, does it?
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Mon Mar 13, 2006 4:16 pm

I concur Mr TH. At the end of the day it is just a way of saying that this bottle is better than your bog standard bottle and nearly 100% of the time it is. These lables are just emphasising a traith of higher quality.

If one new nothing about Whisky why would one be buying Limited editions ??? And if one did know a bit about whisky then they should be able to make an educated assumption at what they were getting.

If this was not the case the distilleries would soon get a bad rep and fairly quickly at that.

There is too much choice out there for distilleries to make the mistake of taking the consumer for a ride. If people get bitten once or twice from the same trick it would soon become apparent and that would send out alarm bells about certian distilleries.
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Postby rifkin » Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:34 pm

The term "limited edition" is a bit overused, just like "hi-fi".
A 500 USD stereo is being markeded as "hi-fi" at the local Wal-Mart-ish store, it's just stupid.

9000 Port Ellens are "limited editions", but 9000 Laphroaig 10's aren't "limited editions". In that perspect, botts from a closed distillery will easylier become limited, the same goes for older botts.

The way I see it, "limited edition" is a dynamic term which can vary definitionwise from one distillery to another.
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