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Collectable Whisky - A Rating Scale

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Collectable Whisky - A Rating Scale

Postby Onefortheditch » Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:58 pm

Is there a rating scale for the collectability of a bottle of whisky – has it been done on the forum? In 10 years of collecting whisky I haven’t heard of one or read about one. So, in response to marketing ploys like No Age Statement, number of limited edition bottles not specified, etc, I've decided to invent my own for Scotch whisky. The scale takes into account the following 5 factors:
1) Number of bottles of whisky produced
2) Age of whisky
3) Distilled date of whisky
4) Rating of whisky
5) Rating of the distillery

I've allocated points to each factor as follows.

Number of Bottles produced
1-999 = 10 pts
1000-4999 = 8pts
5000-9999 = 6pts
10,000-20,000 = 4pts
20,000-50,000 = 2pt
Limited Number not specified anywhere = 0pts

Age of Whisky
Up to 12 =1pt
13-18 = 2pts
19-25 = 4pts
26-30 = 6pts
31-40 = 8pts
41-50 = 10pts

Distilled Date of Whisky
00s = 1pt
90s = 2pts
80s = 3pts
70s = 4pts
60s = 6pts
50s = 10pts
40s = 16pts
30s = 24pts

Rating of Whisky by a Recognised Source, e.g. the Whisky Bible or Whisky Mag
Not rated = 0pts
Poor = -2pt
OK = 0pts
Good = 2pts
Excellent = 4pts

Rating of Distillery by a combination of Recognised Sources, e.g. the Whisky Mag, the Whisky Bible, the Malt Whisky Companion (the requires a bit of research)
Top 10 = 10pts
Top 11-20 = 8pts
Top 21-30 = 6pts
Top 31-40 = 4 pts
Top 41-50 = 2pts
Out of top 50 = 0pts

You evaluate the collectability score on each factor and add them together in order to get your whisky collectability rating.

It would be good to take on the sales drivel and try to get some honesty back into the purchase of collectible whisky again. I've just written the above off the top of my head and not tested it in any way. Now I want to crowd source views, improvements, etc. Are the points I've allocated reasonable? Any thoughts other than “get a life” gratefully accepted. :thumbsup:
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Re: Collectable Whisky - A Rating Scale

Postby Onefortheditch » Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:01 am

Crowd sourcing the Whiskymag forum....what was I thinking of....?
:roll:


Anyway a couple more thoughts. The scale is aimed at buying initially from retailers, i.e. distilleries and IB shops. Obviously constantly improving auction prices is the best scale to use on the secondary market. Available at distillery only bottlings and whether the bottle is grain or malt are two other factors to consider. I’ll score a few from my collection later to show what I mean and test the theory.
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Re: Collectable Whisky - A Rating Scale

Postby Wee Robbie » Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:59 am

Interesting. I am by no means an expert or a "collector" but before I buy for my own use I usually refer to sites such as Whiskybase.com or connosr.com for reviews and ratings. These sites seem to give me a better handle on a particular dram than does the "Bible" or any other source written by one person. I do have the last bible but use it in conjunction with other sources. Tastes seem very subjective and I find that using these sites gives me a far better feel than the opinion of one person, as there are a lot of ratings on these sites with an average given. Sometimes I will disregard the highest and lowest if they appear to be too exhuberant or critical. I definately would not buy an expensive bottle based on the opinion of one reviewer. Most of your other criteria seem to make sense ie. age, distillation date, size of bottling etc. Just my 2 pennies worth.
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Re: Collectable Whisky - A Rating Scale

Postby Onefortheditch » Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:36 pm

Wee Robbie wrote:Interesting. I am by no means an expert or a "collector" but before I buy for my own use I usually refer to sites such as Whiskybase.com or connosr.com for reviews and ratings. These sites seem to give me a better handle on a particular dram than does the "Bible" or any other source written by one person. I do have the last bible but use it in conjunction with other sources. Tastes seem very subjective and I find that using these sites gives me a far better feel than the opinion of one person, as there are a lot of ratings on these sites with an average given. Sometimes I will disregard the highest and lowest if they appear to be too exhuberant or critical. I definately would not buy an expensive bottle based on the opinion of one reviewer. Most of your other criteria seem to make sense ie. age, distillation date, size of bottling etc. Just my 2 pennies worth.
Robbie


You are quite right - its better to get a number of ratings than to rely solely on Jim.
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Re: Collectable Whisky - A Rating Scale

Postby Douglas » Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:09 pm

I can't claim any great insights on collectability but I usually see enthusiasm varying depending on the bottler, with OB highest and a range of rankings for IBs.

Another thought is on the distillery rating. Rather than add points have you considered applying this as a factor? Any old PE and most limited OB Macallan seem to appeal even if it's not always prime stuff. Some otherwise great bottles from unfashionable distilleries may never grab the collectors' eye so they could score low overall.

Some sort of initial price rating might be important if the collector is looking at value growth potential and not just ownership.

Would be interesting to see your examples. As always it's probably the exceptions that will be instructive. Would anyone have predicted Loch Dhu?
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Re: Collectable Whisky - A Rating Scale

Postby Ganga » Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:27 am

Dog:

Some mishmash of thoughts.

1. I was thinking of your scale for decades. Consider you may have a 32, 39, 40. It would seem that there should be a difference between first and second and it should be greater than between second and third.
2. Along those lines, I would suggest certain vintages take a higher priority over others. 72 and 74 were particularly good for Ardbeg. Bowmore particularly bad in the 1980s.
3. Type of casks used. Sherry vs bourbon for example.
4. Presentation. Cyrstal decanter, decorative box.....
5. Maybe modify your number of bottles to include single cask bottlings.
6. Operational vs. non-operational distillery.
7. Your age listing obviously has excluded some whiskies as I know that there are several older than 50. You might just say 41 and over or go all Spinal tap and give 11 for those over 50... :smoke:
8. Plus factors. I have one suggestion at the moment here. That is, something unique about this whisky. Example is the 1946 Macallan that is peated. Oh, just thought of another....heat source: direct fire vs. heating coils. Is it coal fired?
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Re: Collectable Whisky - A Rating Scale

Postby Onefortheditch » Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:12 pm

Douglas wrote:I can't claim any great insights on collectability but I usually see enthusiasm varying depending on the bottler, with OB highest and a range of rankings for IBs.

Another thought is on the distillery rating. Rather than add points have you considered applying this as a factor? Any old PE and most limited OB Macallan seem to appeal even if it's not always prime stuff. Some otherwise great bottles from unfashionable distilleries may never grab the collectors' eye so they could score low overall.

Some sort of initial price rating might be important if the collector is looking at value growth potential and not just ownership.

Would be interesting to see your examples. As always it's probably the exceptions that will be instructive. Would anyone have predicted Loch Dhu?


I agree with the above. This is getting more involved, but worth pursuing I think.
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Re: Collectable Whisky - A Rating Scale

Postby Onefortheditch » Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:29 pm

Ganga wrote:Dog:

Some mishmash of thoughts.

1. I was thinking of your scale for decades. Consider you may have a 32, 39, 40. It would seem that there should be a difference between first and second and it should be greater than between second and third.
2. Along those lines, I would suggest certain vintages take a higher priority over others. 72 and 74 were particularly good for Ardbeg. Bowmore particularly bad in the 1980s.
3. Type of casks used. Sherry vs bourbon for example.
4. Presentation. Cyrstal decanter, decorative box.....
5. Maybe modify your number of bottles to include single cask bottlings.
6. Operational vs. non-operational distillery.
7. Your age listing obviously has excluded some whiskies as I know that there are several older than 50. You might just say 41 and over or go all Spinal tap and give 11 for those over 50... :smoke:
8. Plus factors. I have one suggestion at the moment here. That is, something unique about this whisky. Example is the 1946 Macallan that is peated. Oh, just thought of another....heat source: direct fire vs. heating coils. Is it coal fired?


I agree with much of the above, but I think rating would pick up good vintages in 2 and less than 999 was supposed to pick up single cask bottles in 5. A notable exception here is the Balvenie Single Barrel - a mass produced single cask bottling which devalues the collectability of it as a single cask bottling. For 4, the Victorian Broach on the Macallan Diamond Jubilee is certainly a plus point. For 6 you are right, but I think I will have to consider both lost and non operational.
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Re: Collectable Whisky - A Rating Scale

Postby Onefortheditch » Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:14 pm

Examples using 1st version of scale (to be refined later given comments)

1) Ardbeg Still Young. Retail £25 in Oddbins sale in December 2006. Auction price £85 in March 2013. 5 factor rating is 0+1+1+4+10 = 16pts. Percentage increase = 340%

2) Bruichladdich Blacker Still 20YO. Retail £109 in Whisky Shop in January 2007. Auction price £360 in March 2013. 5 factor rating is 8+4+3+4+8 = 27pts. Percentage increase = 330%

3) Glen Ord 25YO. Retail at distillery £100 in April 2007. Auction price about £100 in 2012. 5 factor rating is 6+4+4+0+4 = 18pts Percentage increase = 0%

4)Tomatin 1962 44YO. Retail at distillery £125 in May 2007. Auction price in £320 in September 2012. 5 factor rating 8+10+6+0++4= 28pts. Percentage increase 256%.

I'll do some more examples and refine the scale taking into account the comments later.
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Re: Collectable Whisky - A Rating Scale

Postby Onefortheditch » Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:43 pm

Ganga wrote:Dog:

Some mishmash of thoughts.

1. I was thinking of your scale for decades. Consider you may have a 32, 39, 40. It would seem that there should be a difference between first and second and it should be greater than between second and third.
2. Along those lines, I would suggest certain vintages take a higher priority over others. 72 and 74 were particularly good for Ardbeg. Bowmore particularly bad in the 1980s.
3. Type of casks used. Sherry vs bourbon for example.
4. Presentation. Cyrstal decanter, decorative box.....
5. Maybe modify your number of bottles to include single cask bottlings.
6. Operational vs. non-operational distillery.
7. Your age listing obviously has excluded some whiskies as I know that there are several older than 50. You might just say 41 and over or go all Spinal tap and give 11 for those over 50... :smoke:
8. Plus factors. I have one suggestion at the moment here. That is, something unique about this whisky. Example is the 1946 Macallan that is peated. Oh, just thought of another....heat source: direct fire vs. heating coils. Is it coal fired?


In 3 why do you think the type of cask is important? Are you thinking of an unusual cask like a peated Glenfarclas or a sherried Ardbeg as in 8?
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Re: Collectable Whisky - A Rating Scale

Postby Onefortheditch » Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:47 pm

So the factors to consider now are:

1. Number of bottles of whisky produced (including single casks)
2. Age of whisky
3. Distilled date of whisky
4. Rating of whisky (choose several sources and be aware of good vintages)
5. Rating of the distillery
6. Lost or non operating distillery
7. Presentation (e.g. high quality bottle or box)
8. Unique feature (e.g. very unusual 1946 peated macallan)
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Re: Collectable Whisky - A Rating Scale

Postby Gundog77 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:01 pm

As a novice this is very interesting reading. I do have one question however.
If a whiskey has a first batch of 1050 bottles and a second batch of 600 bottles would it a make a difference to the collectibility?
I look forward to being educated
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Re: Collectable Whisky - A Rating Scale

Postby AdamMY » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:36 am

Glad you included rating of a Distillery, though that is awfully hard to place. The real question is do the bulk of the buyers really like that distillery. While do not quite have good examples, but I wouldnt find it hard to think that some distilleries produce highly drinkable whisky that is well liked, but has very little or no real collector draw. One I am thinking about is Aberlour most people I know are incredibly fond of their whisky, but I have not heard of many people being aberlour Collector. Though maybe that is because Aberlour has not played the marketing game like *ahem* ardbeg *ahem* and do not hype up their limited release bottles ( in fact they don't really have many limited release bottles) at least not that I have seen.
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Re: Collectable Whisky - A Rating Scale

Postby Onefortheditch » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:43 pm

Gundog77 wrote:As a novice this is very interesting reading. I do have one question however.
If a whiskey has a first batch of 1050 bottles and a second batch of 600 bottles would it a make a difference to the collectibility?
I look forward to being educated


The differences in numbers are small, so numbers would have a small impact. Ratings from recognised sources, however could have a big impact.
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Re: Collectable Whisky - A Rating Scale

Postby Onefortheditch » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:17 pm

AdamMY wrote:Glad you included rating of a Distillery, though that is awfully hard to place. The real question is do the bulk of the buyers really like that distillery. While do not quite have good examples, but I wouldnt find it hard to think that some distilleries produce highly drinkable whisky that is well liked, but has very little or no real collector draw. One I am thinking about is Aberlour most people I know are incredibly fond of their whisky, but I have not heard of many people being aberlour Collector. Though maybe that is because Aberlour has not played the marketing game like *ahem* ardbeg *ahem* and do not hype up their limited release bottles ( in fact they don't really have many limited release bottles) at least not that I have seen.


A very good point about Aberlour and as well as the collectibility I will have to consider the motivations of different types of collectors I know about in this exercise. The A'bunadh batch is becoming quite collectible and the Aberlour A'bunadh 12 Year Old Silver Label (of which very few were made I understand) will do very well if it ever appears at auction. If any distillery produces a classic which is rated highly by recognised sources, there is a good chance it will do well. The problem is distilleries do not invest enough time upping their game as its easy enough to do OK on tried and tested bottlings. As a collector I want to support experimentation and as I've said before on other forums I think that, despite distilleries being over a hundred years old, the whisky journey is still really in its infancy.
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Re: Collectable Whisky - A Rating Scale

Postby Ganga » Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:45 am

Onefortheditch wrote:
Ganga wrote:Dog:

Some mishmash of thoughts.

1. I was thinking of your scale for decades. Consider you may have a 32, 39, 40. It would seem that there should be a difference between first and second and it should be greater than between second and third.
2. Along those lines, I would suggest certain vintages take a higher priority over others. 72 and 74 were particularly good for Ardbeg. Bowmore particularly bad in the 1980s.
3. Type of casks used. Sherry vs bourbon for example.
4. Presentation. Cyrstal decanter, decorative box.....
5. Maybe modify your number of bottles to include single cask bottlings.
6. Operational vs. non-operational distillery.
7. Your age listing obviously has excluded some whiskies as I know that there are several older than 50. You might just say 41 and over or go all Spinal tap and give 11 for those over 50... :smoke:
8. Plus factors. I have one suggestion at the moment here. That is, something unique about this whisky. Example is the 1946 Macallan that is peated. Oh, just thought of another....heat source: direct fire vs. heating coils. Is it coal fired?


In 3 why do you think the type of cask is important? Are you thinking of an unusual cask like a peated Glenfarclas or a sherried Ardbeg as in 8?

I was thinking in terms of the type of cask used. Sherry, port, other wine, bourbon. Example: Macallan. Do you really want non-sherry matured?
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Re: Collectable Whisky - A Rating Scale

Postby Ganga » Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:50 am

Onefortheditch wrote:
AdamMY wrote:Glad you included rating of a Distillery, though that is awfully hard to place. The real question is do the bulk of the buyers really like that distillery. While do not quite have good examples, but I wouldnt find it hard to think that some distilleries produce highly drinkable whisky that is well liked, but has very little or no real collector draw. One I am thinking about is Aberlour most people I know are incredibly fond of their whisky, but I have not heard of many people being aberlour Collector. Though maybe that is because Aberlour has not played the marketing game like *ahem* ardbeg *ahem* and do not hype up their limited release bottles ( in fact they don't really have many limited release bottles) at least not that I have seen.


A very good point about Aberlour and as well as the collectibility I will have to consider the motivations of different types of collectors I know about in this exercise. The A'bunadh batch is becoming quite collectible and the Aberlour A'bunadh 12 Year Old Silver Label (of which very few were made I understand) will do very well if it ever appears at auction. If any distillery produces a classic which is rated highly by recognised sources, there is a good chance it will do well. The problem is distilleries do not invest enough time upping their game as its easy enough to do OK on tried and tested bottlings. As a collector I want to support experimentation and as I've said before on other forums I think that, despite distilleries being over a hundred years old, the whisky journey is still really in its infancy.


Aberlour produced some vintage bottlings around 1998 to 2002. Very good and my understanding they are collectible now. Also, the old square bottles are highly sought after.

Dog, the last time I saw a silver label for sale it was going for around $220 (exchange at time was around 1.6 to 1).
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Re: Collectable Whisky - A Rating Scale

Postby Onefortheditch » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:18 pm

"Aberlour produced some vintage bottlings around 1998 to 2002. Very good and my understanding they are collectible now. Also, the old square bottles are highly sought after.

Dog, the last time I saw a silver label for sale it was going for around $220 (exchange at time was around 1.6 to 1)."

I only heard about the silver label at the distillery - I have never seen one.
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Re: Collectable Whisky - A Rating Scale

Postby Onefortheditch » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:23 pm

Ganga wrote:
Onefortheditch wrote:
Ganga wrote:Dog:

Some mishmash of thoughts.

1. I was thinking of your scale for decades. Consider you may have a 32, 39, 40. It would seem that there should be a difference between first and second and it should be greater than between second and third.
2. Along those lines, I would suggest certain vintages take a higher priority over others. 72 and 74 were particularly good for Ardbeg. Bowmore particularly bad in the 1980s.
3. Type of casks used. Sherry vs bourbon for example.
4. Presentation. Cyrstal decanter, decorative box.....
5. Maybe modify your number of bottles to include single cask bottlings.
6. Operational vs. non-operational distillery.
7. Your age listing obviously has excluded some whiskies as I know that there are several older than 50. You might just say 41 and over or go all Spinal tap and give 11 for those over 50... :smoke:
8. Plus factors. I have one suggestion at the moment here. That is, something unique about this whisky. Example is the 1946 Macallan that is peated. Oh, just thought of another....heat source: direct fire vs. heating coils. Is it coal fired?


In 3 why do you think the type of cask is important? Are you thinking of an unusual cask like a peated Glenfarclas or a sherried Ardbeg as in 8?

I was thinking in terms of the type of cask used. Sherry, port, other wine, bourbon. Example: Macallan. Do you really want non-sherry matured?


Probably not.....but then again.
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Re: Collectable Whisky - A Rating Scale

Postby Onefortheditch » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:34 pm

OK, I'm throwing this out there!!! Its based on only a combination of my knowledge and guesses. Show me I'm wrong!!

Scottish Distillery Collectability Rankings
1st
    Highland Park Distillery
    Macallan Distillery
    Ardbeg Distillery
    Rosebank Distillery
    Port Ellen Distillery
    St. Magdalene Distillery
2nd
    Benromach Distillery
    Talisker Distillery
    Glenfiddich Distillery
    Glenfarclas Distillery
    Glenlivet Distillery
    Bowmore Distillery
    Longmorn Distillery
    Dalmore Distillery
    Bruichladdich Distillery
    Brora Distillery
    Springbank Distillery
    Laphroaig Distillery
    Balvenie Distillery
    Glenmorangie Distillery
    Lagavulin Distillery
    Glen Albyn Distillery
    Millburn Distillery
    Glen Mhor Distillery
    Dallas Dhu Distillery
    Bunnahabhain Distillery
    Caol Ila Distillery
    Convalmore Distillery
    Balmenach Distillery
    Scapa Distillery

3rd
    Aberlour Distillery
    Auchentoshan Distillery
    Clynelish Distillery
    Macduff Distillery (Glen Deveron)
    Tamdhu Distillery
    Glen Grant Distillery
    Tomatin Distillery
    Benriach Distillery
    Glenturret Distillery
    Inchgower Distillery
    Glen Garioch Distillery
    Inverleven Distillery
    Glenglassaugh Distillery
    Glenkinchie Distillery
    Tullibardine Distillery
    Glenrothes Distillery
    Isle of Jura Distillery
    Edradour Distillery
    Tamnavulin Distillery
    Glen Moray Distillery
    Benrinnes Distillery
    Cragganmore Distillery
    Caperdonich Distillery
    Linkwood Distillery
    Dailuaine Distillery
    Tobermory Distillery (Ledaig)
    Craigellachie Distillery
    Glenlossie Distillery
    Bladnoch Distillery
    Old Pulteney Distillery
    Royal Brackla Distillery
    Coleburn Distillery
    Strathisla Distillery
    Teaninich Distillery
    Aberfeldy Distillery
    Glenlochy Distillery
    Glentauchers Distillery
    Mannochmore Distillery
    Imperial Distillery
    Ardmore Distillery
    Banff Distillery
    Blair Athol Distillery
    Balblair Distillery
    Glenburgie Distillery
    Miltonduff Distillery
    Aultmore Distillery
    Glenury-Royal Distillery
    Mortlach Distillery
    Glen Ord Distillery
    Ben Nevis Distillery
    Deanston Distillery
    Glencadam Distillery
    Glendullan Distillery
    Glen Elgin Distillery
    Glenesk Distillery (Hillside)
    Speyburn Distillery
    Tomintoul Distillery
    Lochside Distillery
    Glen Scotia Distillery
    Old Fettercairn Distillery
    Auchroisk (Singleton) Distillery
    Glendronach Distillery
    Glenugie Distillery
    Strathmill Distillery
    Knockando Distillery
    Dalwhinnie Distillery
    Royal Lochnagar Distillery
    Glenburgie Distillery (Glencraig)
    Tormore Distillery
    Cardhu Distillery
    Glenallachie Distillery
    Oban Distillery
    Braeval Distillery (Braes of Glenlivet)
    Knockdhu Distillery (An Cnoc)
    Isle of Arran Distillery
    Glengoyne Distillery

4th
    North Port Distillery (Brechin)
    Loch Lomond Distillery
    Inverleven Distillery (Lomond)
    Dufftown Distillery
    Pittyvaich Distillery
    Littlemill Distillery
    Miltonduff (Mosstowie)
    Glen Spey Distillery
    Glen Keith Distillery
    Allt-a-Bhainne Distillery
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Re: Collectable Whisky - A Rating Scale

Postby Alex S » Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:45 am

I use a similar scale. In addition to whats already mentioned, price and bottling strength are additinal factors in my system.

Score Assumptions 1 2 3 4 5
Price $400+ $300+ $200+ $100+ $0-99
Age 0-11 12-18 19-25 26-30 31-
Rarity Mass Production Core line limited run Special Edition Scilent Distillery Demolished Distillery
Production Run Unlimited <10,000 bottles <3,000 bottles <2,000 bottles single cask
Average Ratings 75+ 80+ 85+ 90+ 95+
Strength n/a 40 43 46+ Cask
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