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Where's your passion vs. where you invest?

Do you have a 50 year old vintage waiting to be discovered by a worthy collector? Post your details here and find out!
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Where's your passion vs. where you invest?

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jul 26, 2006 12:19 pm

Hello,

I admit to being somewhat curious as to this question - do you, fellow whisky enthusiasts, feel your whisky passions go hand-in-hand with the whiskies you perhaps purchase as valuable investments (if indeed you do invest in whisky), so does your passion and investments match?

Personally I must state yes and no. I have been extremely enthusiastic about Rosebank for example long before even the idea of seeing whisky as potential investment rose to my mind. I simply adored the flavour of most fo the Rosebank whiskies I ever managed to try - first of them being a Cadenhead's cask strength version well back in 1997.

Apart from Rosebank, I have developed affections for some exceptional drams that I've had the pleasure of meeting - most notably versions of Ardbeg, the older market version of Springbank (the 12yo and 21yo that ceased to be available sometime in 2001-2002), Imperial, Bladnoch, Highland Park's more aged versions (I am not a great fan of the 12-year old version), Bowmore, Caol Ila, and occacional drams such as the Ben Nevis 26yo, and one Cadenhead's bottling of 21yo Tomatin from 2001 which, regrettably, I never managed to get a hold of (pure nectar, that one!!).

Having done some research on whisky auctions, it would seem that I should have investments into Macallan for example. Unfortunately, I am no great fan of Macallan, and unwisely perhaps have a certain moral reservations with purchasing whiskies purely for investment reasons.

How about you?
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Postby SpiritofShetland » Wed Jul 26, 2006 12:36 pm

My answere is quite easy to give.

I don't invest - I buy purely to drink.
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Postby les taylor » Wed Jul 26, 2006 1:26 pm

I agree with S O S once a bottle joins your collection there is an emotional attatchment that you would not want to sell.
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Postby Aidan » Wed Jul 26, 2006 1:40 pm

With respect, I don't think anyone should have an emotional attachment with a bottle of whisky. That's just not right.
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Wed Jul 26, 2006 2:12 pm

I tell me missus, family & friends that they are investments, I tell myself they are for drinking but my precious little children plead 'please don't sell us... please don't drink us'

What can I do ??????


Come here my little children gather around me and let me adore you all :lol:
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jul 26, 2006 2:12 pm

There are lots of folks in the world who collect and invest in something because they are passionate about it. There are plenty of others who choose investment options entirely dispassionately. I would imagine that the latter have an advantage as collectors--their choices are not colored by emotion. Do they have less fun? Perhaps not--their passion is investing.

It's not something I would worry about, as long as you understand your own feelings about it and keep a level head. "Should" you invest in Macallans? Not if you don't want to. There is plenty of choice out there for your investment money, and if you become the foremost collector of Rosebanks, that's cool. The only trouble is, if you really love the stuff, you may have trouble parting with it. It might be smarter to invest in things you actually don't like!

Just musing. You didn't ask for psychoanalysis--you asked how other collectors felt. And I'm not one of them, so I hope you'll forgive me throwing in my two cents' worth. I'm hoping it will be four cents' worth within the year.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jul 26, 2006 2:14 pm

irishwhiskeychaser wrote:I tell me missus, family & friends that they are investments, I tell myself they are for drinking but my precious little children plead 'please don't sell us... please don't drink us'

What can I do ??????


Come here my little children gather around me and let me adore you all :lol:


How about the missus? Sell, or drink?
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Postby Aidan » Wed Jul 26, 2006 2:55 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:It's not something I would worry about, as long as you understand your own feelings about it and keep a level head.


Yes, absolutely. Once you buy it, it's yours. You should do with it whatever gives you the most pleasure, as long as it's legal.
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Wed Jul 26, 2006 3:02 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:
How about the missus? Sell, or drink?



I think if I tried either it would be a clatter about the ear :lol:
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Postby Dubois » Wed Jul 26, 2006 4:20 pm

For me whisky is "pure" enjoyment .
If I want to invest,believe me, I know better investments than that... :wink:
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Business or Pleasure

Postby dram_time » Wed Jul 26, 2006 7:01 pm

M.R.J. ,

I buy to drink, and i buy to invest. I am how ever under no false illusion that i am going to make much money, ever !!!. I have a plan for my malts, which grow in numbers weekly, and with any luck it will bring me a little money in 20 years or so, if not i will sell the malts that have risen in price, and drink my self stupid with whats left !!!!

But First and formost, whisky is for drinking and enjoying, bottom line.

Dt
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Postby jimidrammer » Wed Jul 26, 2006 9:42 pm

...throwing in my two cents' worth. I'm hoping it will be four cents' worth within the year.


BWAHAHAHAHA!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Jul 27, 2006 7:55 am

Thanks to all who have participated to this discussion! Well, most of us seem to still prefer whisky to drink over cold financial investments. This, despite of the fact that undoubtedly there are real profits to be made with some whisky investments, albeit not in the same amount as with some wines for example (not to mention more profitable investments - Dubois, you ought to give us sometimes a lesson in this field!! :wink: ).

Personally I do think it is a lovely thought that some of my whiskies, if they survive the next 5 - 15 years, may be worth a pretty penny instead of just collecting dust and rising in price the same rate as the inflation goes up. Still, it is also comforting to know that there are real gems int here when it comes to the sheer quality of the whisky.

I would speculate that for at least some of us, whisky is a passion, or at least can be classified as a hobby of a sort. And as such the purchasing of these liquid gems goes a bit beyond just trying to get a fab dram for the weekend to enjoy with mates. At the rate I have been buying whisky, there's no way I could drink it (even with my mates) without causing some damage to my liver! So it does tend to pile up and survive, rather than being consumed at a steady rate. Is this wise or not, well - I think the real question is, is it intended to be wise? No. It's a hobby, perhaps a silly one, but one nonetheless that I divulge in on occasion.

As a downside, I have tied some of my financial gains to a liquid substance, storing of which takes space at home. As an upside I have exceptional whiskies which on occasion some will get enjoyed, while others may or may not increase in value.

So, what have we learned from whisky collecting? - Absolutely nothing at all. :D
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Postby scoobypl » Mon Jul 31, 2006 1:35 pm

My opinion: to all those who (and I hope that is the majority on this forum) like to drink a good dram...and who buy whisky to drink it...

I believe we should all invest in a gun, and start shooting people who don't care what is IN the bottle and only care about what it is worth moneywise, in the foot ...because they shoot US in the foot, making exeptional whisky undrinkable, because it is or becomes waaaaaaay to expensive!! :wink:

They provocked things like that Macallan Debacle with their fake vintages a couple of years ago.... people who know that what they sell is going to be tasted will think twice about selling a fake! :roll: 8)

Investing in whisky? that's like buying a picasso, and putting it in a safe instead of on the wall! :? :twisted:
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Jul 31, 2006 3:05 pm

What a good idea scoobypl. Sensible, well argued, fair and proportionate. I'm sure it would bring those rare whiskies within your grasp in the blink of an eye.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Jul 31, 2006 3:14 pm

scoobypl:

So you think that collectors are responsible for the very high prices of rare whiskies? Worth a thought. However, it would appear to me that most commodities that are rare (global releases of 300 or so are clearly geared to be such) or become rare (after say their manufacturing process ends) do also increase in price as time passes. This takes place with most all things that have any quality to speak of: Cars, books, glassware, furnitures..

A good dram is a good dram, no doubt. And I would speculate that 99.8% of us do appreciate that, and would not purchase knowingly whiskies that are inferior merely for the sake of their collectability.

Having said that, it does not mean that I would feel in any way obliged to immediately consume all my whiskies - some I may buy to keep, if for just the sake of being able to produce a fantastic novelty to the celebrating crowd one day when I will be 50 years old: 'Behold, a whisky that was made when I was a mere lad!! And I've kept it closed all these years!!' Oohh! Aahh! The greedy crowd mutters, as they prepare to sip and sample a product of the yester-years, to sample the taste of a bygone era that once was...

Some of the bottles I may choose to sell along the way. This may be due to an unexpected life situation (could be translated to a dire need of funds), sudden lack of interest to whisky, or indeed a rising desire to purchase something EVEN MORE spectacular (and not being able to finance this whim otherwise). Should I decide to do this, may the good Lady Fortuna look favourably upon me, and allow the prices of such goods to be high at that moment!

Perhaps systematic collecting does showcase a potential of selling super-priced special releases to the manufacturers of such things. Then again, perhaps we would not get such rarities AT ALL, if there were no collectors and people willing to pay dearly for them! After all, why make special releases if nobody simply gives a toss about them? Was this not a part reason why such curiosities as single malt whiskies were once not released much, since whisky was considered a mere consumable and the object was to attain just enough quality to make the dram drinkable?

Investing in Whisky? Perhaps it is like buying a Picasso painting, keeping it safe for years, come thunder, rain or snow, and then - bringing it out again for the world to see one fine morning after the dark clouds have disappeared, and the sun once again shines.
:wink:
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Postby bamber » Mon Jul 31, 2006 3:34 pm

I don't collect, but I certainly buy whiskies to drink later. If the price went up considerably then I would probably sell to get something I really fancied.

For example, had I bought a couple of Ooglings, I would have sold them both and used the money to buy other whisky - they're going for more than HP 25yo. Guess which I'd rather drink a full bottle of ?
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Postby scoobypl » Mon Jul 31, 2006 3:56 pm

What I said was "tongue in cheek"...off course it's not only the investors fault... I would even say that they just jump on the occasion, because they notice that some things become rare...not at the time of "publication" but years later...
I, for instance, bought a First Edition Black Bowmore at the going rate in 1994...a mere 100£!!!...and opened it that same evening. I started buying older Bowmores after I found out how good it was...not as an investement, but as "daily dram"...Luckily, I still have some of that old gold left...never had I thought that it would become so valuable! (because, frankly, it's not worth that much money! I would pay 500£ gladly, but not 1500£!) So, I've some very valuable stuff in my closet now, and I am planning on drinking it some day! No hair on my head would contemplate on selling that to someone who will put it away, just to make money out of it! (Unless poverty would strike....)
Some whisky's, worth a lot of money, became that expensive, just because people who drank it, would like to refill their cabinett. It was very good to start with, and became rarer and rarer as people drank it...hence the hike in price.
Now however, Like the Ardbeg 1965, some whiskies will never become a collector's item, because they will most likely be bought by rich nitwits as an investment, and almost nobody will drink them! (Mind you, rich Nitwits who drink the stuff, are still nitwits, but they luckily enjoyed the bleeding thing!) :wink:
So, I have nothing against people who collect whisky for what is in the bottle...and then end up with a valuable bottle and sell it, most of the time in order to enjoy multiple other good things, but I do have something against rich nitwits who buy whisky without any burden of knowledge about what is in the botlle, just because it's good investment, and in the process robbing me -a reasonable poor middle class nitwit 8) :wink: - of the chance of trying it for the merit of what is in the bottle!
Maybe the Picasso comparison is not that good... Maybe it's more like a starving pigmee in New Guinea, finding a jelly Donut, and looking longingly at it each day, but not eating it, because he's afraid he will be hungry again in the morning... doesn't make any sense! 8) :wink:

Paul
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Postby scoobypl » Mon Jul 31, 2006 4:42 pm

mistake...oops
Last edited by scoobypl on Mon Jul 31, 2006 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby scoobypl » Mon Jul 31, 2006 4:44 pm

M.R.J. wrote:scoobypl:

Then again, perhaps we would not get such rarities AT ALL, if there were no collectors and people willing to pay dearly for them! After all, why make special releases if nobody simply gives a toss about them? Was this not a part reason why such curiosities as single malt whiskies were once not released much, since whisky was considered a mere consumable and the object was to attain just enough quality to make the dram drinkable?


Now this is spoken like somebody who has not enjoyed the old days! The 60-ties, 70-ties and 80-ties were littered with very high quality stuff, even more than today...they just were not that expensive!
Examples: Black Bowmore (1964) Bowmore 30yo anniversary 1963, Springbank Local Barley, Macallan 1946, a whole lotta stuff sold by Guys such as Guiseppe Begnoni, Samaroli, aso...

How you -with all do respect- can even contemplate putting down an argument like:
since whisky was considered a mere consumable and the object was to attain just enough quality to make the dram drinkable

Please realise that all the highly valuable stuff of today, is all stuff made in the days they made whisky, as you say: "just to make it drinkable"... Ardbeg 1965... Dalmore 62... Springbank 50yo, aso...
I fear that today -contrary to what you say- whisky is regarded as a "consumable"...with all the adjectives you give it...(maybe not by the distillery workers, but by the big conglomerates such as Diageo, who want to make a profit!) How else can be explained that gems such as Port Ellen, Brora, perished? (Like Ardbeg almost did) Please realise that nearly all 'Marketing' is romanticized and infused with how it was in the old days, when whisky was still the artizan product and attractive, in stead of the -most of the times- industrial product of today. Yes there was bad whisky around, probably worse than the worst of today, but most of it was high quality, and the best of old is probably a lot better than the best of today!

I started drinking and collecting whisky in the mid-eighties, I was able to buy things that were bottled in the early seventies and eighties...and believe you me, i long for those days to come back again!!! And that is not nostalgia speaking, or a memory clouded by Alzheimer... I still have a number of things lying around to prove it!!!
If you do not believe me, or if you would like to verify what I said for yourself: try to visit whiskyfest Limburg, or visit the Lindores whiskyfest in Oostende (Belgium) (see: http://www.lindores.be/events.html )

I sincerly hope you meant that comment ironically, if yes, apologies for the maybe a bit harsh words :wink: , if not,
please do as I suggested and enjoy :wink: ,

Paul
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Jul 31, 2006 4:52 pm

Oh dear. It sounds like a collector who has found the market too pricey to add to his collection.

For what it is worth, even Jim Murray didn't give the Ardbeg 1965 as high a mark as he gave to other (more affordable) bottlings. The Springabnk 50yo was supposed to be pretty poor. On the other hand, plenty of the stuff that Jim Murray gave good marks to was very affordable. The Bottlers' Teaninich springs to mind. 96 points for £70.

Perhaps if you concentrated on affordable bottles that tasted stellar rather than looking enviously at the nice packaging on the latest high-end collectables you'd have more fun.
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Postby scoobypl » Mon Jul 31, 2006 5:20 pm

If that last remark was aimed at me, Nick, you couldn't be farther of the mark!! I've done what you suggest since more than 20 years now, and have felt very well with it, thank you... One of the biggest thrills is to have tasted a whisky, at a reasonable price, and know WHY it became a collectible! You can't achieve that if you've not done just what you suggest! Although I don't pay to much attention to JM, but try to find the stellar tasting things for myself! (pleasure of the hunt, you know)
I've never payed more than 200£ for a whisky yet, and yet I have Black Bowmore, Macallan 46, Glenfarclas 53 aso in my closet... opened!
I just think that it's a sin that good whisky is collecting dust in some closet instead of being drunk...just because of price!
Price should be driven by merit, and not by marketing hype!
So yes, I do regret the market becoming too pricey... but that does not keep me from adding to and enjoying my whiskies at reasonable prices!
I can recommend a G&M reserve Dailuaine 1975-2006, 31yo, fresh sherry, cask strength, for 60£....thanks for the Teaninich Tip!

P.!!!
PS I don't care about points... so don't ask me...if it's good, it'll show!
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Jul 31, 2006 5:30 pm

My point, scoobypl, is that you claim to hate collectors to the point of violence because they are destroying your fun. You claim it is a sin for whisky to sit in the closet gathering dust.

But then you describe yourself as a collector and say that you have unopened specimens that you have had for over 20 years - some of which were bottled a good decade before you bought them. You hanker after the good old days when collectible whisky did not cost as much.

I'm afraid this is a case of do as I say, not do as I do. Other members of these forums have strongly held views against collectors. I disagree with them, but I respect their right to be wrong. :wink: However, I find your own position impossible to respect.
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Postby Aidan » Mon Jul 31, 2006 5:42 pm

Scoobypl, so if someone offered you £1 million for one of your rare whiskies, what would you say?
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Postby scoobypl » Mon Jul 31, 2006 6:41 pm

:oops: Ouch, Nick, I am afraid you misunderstood me completely! :wink: Maybe because English is not my native Tongue, I did not bring across what I meant.
My first "violent" comment, was meant completely 'tongue in cheek'... as I hoped would be clear in my follow up post... I am not a violent person (being a GP who's life is devoted to try to help sick people may put that into perspective) and I don't hold a grudge as such, against collectors at all! They just seek out the opportunity, and I can't even blame them for that! (as should become clear in my answer to Aidan, below) I have, however, refused a couple of offers for my Black Bowmore first edition, that would have offered me money to buy a number of other things...However, I'm going to enjoy that one with friends! To further elaborate on how I feel on the subject: Last Thursday I gave -for free- away my last 100ml of a cask strenght Talisker 1955, to a guy who liked it so much but could not afford to buy a whole bottle of it.... In other words: whisky has a value to me, but it is not as valuable as friendship and friends.
What I am regretting in the whole money-circus, is that money seems to get in the way of friendship... and whisky is friendship to me!

However, that does not mean that I do not regret that so many good whisky's become unaccesible for a lot of good people, whisky-afficionados who would greatly appreciate the whisky for what it is: a damn good drink! as opposed to a damn good investement! ... and that is a sin, but one that is not worth getting upset about, because, as you so rightly say: If you care to look around, there is a lot of splendid stuff around at very reasonable prices! :wink:
And one more thing... maybe a visit to an opthamologist is in order: Most of those collectables are open as I said in my first answer to you... :wink:
I've never payed more than 200£ for a whisky yet, and yet I have Black Bowmore, Macallan 46, Glenfarclas 53 aso in my closet... opened!

And you are more than welcome to come and have a dram of those, and to enjoy a completely non-violent discussion about all things whisky!

Aidan: Now that is an offer I can't refuse! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby Aidan » Mon Jul 31, 2006 6:53 pm

That's what I mean. I am not lucky enough to be able to afford any whiskey I like, so I occasionally sell a whisky to buy another. If I can buy a whisk(e)y that I can sell for a price that I don't think it's worth, then I can use the money to buy whiskey that I do think is worth the money that I otherwise couldn't afford...

I've also heard people berate anyone selling an Oogling, but when one was for sale for £180 on eBay, they said they'd certainly sell for that. That puts a price on their principles.

Anyway, I admire you for your opinion. I wish I could afford to open any whiskey I buy.
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Postby scoobypl » Mon Jul 31, 2006 8:21 pm

Aidan wrote: I wish I could afford to open any whiskey I buy.


My opinion: I honestly buy all my whisky with the intent of drinking it one day... and as a couple of friends can testify, I've never sold a whisky (yet :wink: but then again, I never had a million bucks offer :wink:) to a friend, with one penny of profit! So, if you buy a whisky with the intent of opening it one day, why would you wish you could afford to open it?? If you could afford it when you bought it, you can afford to open it to.

Another example of what I value: I consider Jim McEwan (the one from Bowmore and Bruichladdich) a friend, and when I asked him to come and conduct a tasting for our club, he gladly accepted. Now, I knew Jim was looking for a Bottle of the 1963, 30 year old 'Bowmore Anniversary', which goes for about 1000£ on auctions nowadays... I have that bottle in my collection...(Open, Nick :wink: )... and I had a sealed sample of 300ml set aside for future enjoyment. In my mind I had formed the idea of thanking Jim for his effords with that sample and the original bottle...
When the time came, he was very thrilled to taste that particular whisky, because it was distilled in the year he started working at Bowmore. Furthermore, It was from the last run of the Old Bowmore equipment (doubled Lyne-arm and Coal-fired stills)... and he was very amazed when I offered him the last of the bottle. He accepted, uneasy about what he should do... Finally he took the bottle and the sample, and said: I'm accepting this, only to be able to give you this back as thanks for a wonderfull evening...and he gave me back the sample.... and I was lost for words!!! :D
Now those moments are the exclamation points in a collection, and why I started with whisky in the first place.

If it's just about the money, those things get ruined!

P.!!!
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Jul 31, 2006 9:55 pm

Oh dear, I count at leats three responses to my post..Mine was also made somewhat with tongue-in-cheek, just discussing the issue from a rather different perspective, that is.

scoobypl wrote:Now this is spoken like somebody who has not enjoyed the old days! The 60-ties, 70-ties and 80-ties were littered with very high quality stuff, even more than today...they just were not that expensive!
Examples: Black Bowmore (1964) Bowmore 30yo anniversary 1963, Springbank Local Barley, Macallan 1946, a whole lotta stuff sold by Guys such as Guiseppe Begnoni, Samaroli, aso...


Ahh, yes - what I meant was that the BOTTLINGS of the yester-years of 60's, 70's and to some degree the 80's were not so numerous in super-premium whiskies (pardon the use of a rum-term there). I am under the impression that bottlings were usually blended whiskies, and not all that spectacular. Certainly lovely whiskies were distilled, and put to cask to rest - thank God. We're enjoying these lovelies today!

scoobypl wrote:Please realise that all the highly valuable stuff of today, is all stuff made in the days they made whisky, as you say: "just to make it drinkable"... Ardbeg 1965... Dalmore 62... Springbank 50yo, aso...


Indeed - but such bottlings were not released, certainly not as frequestly (if at all) as today. The bottlings you mention are far more recent. So to clarify again - excellent whisky was being distilled, and put to cask - but rarity and premium bottlings were rare. After all, the first single malt came to existence only in 1963, and much water has flown in Thames between those days and our current situation where we are spoiled for choice between a vast selection of single cask, cask strength, small batch vintage single malts.

scoobypl wrote:Please realise that nearly all 'Marketing' is romanticized and infused with how it was in the old days, when whisky was still the artizan product and attractive, in stead of the -most of the times- industrial product of today.


Of course marketing romanticizes things about the 'good old days' - I thought I did not.

scoobypl wrote:I sincerly hope you meant that comment ironically, if yes, apologies for the maybe a bit harsh words :wink: , if not,
please do as I suggested and enjoy :wink: ,


I certainly made my comments not to be taken too seriously! If anything, this discussion goes to prove that whisky does spark passions!!! :twisted:
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Not for money - but for whisky!

Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Jul 31, 2006 10:14 pm

An amazing amount of discussion!!

If someone only has financial interests in whisky, they are not then in my opinion whisky-hobbyists, collectors or whisky afficionados - they are investors.

If someone collects whisky because they like it, and want to perhaps preserve some older or special whiskies for future occasions or in fact generations, they are in my books whisky-hobbyists - regardless if they occasionally sell some bottles for financial gains, or participate to price speculations.

I drink fine whiskies, enjoy them immensely - but I do reserve the right to choose when I have my dram, be it now or 40 years from now (should I live that long!). Similarly I reserve the right to spare spectacular whiskies from thirsty mouths and put them in storage for unlimited time.

Selling a whisky for profit is not a sin in my books, just as selling other collectibles is not either. I might do this one day myself. I hope the buyer will either enjoy it, or keep it another 10 - 30 years in order to pass it to some other person to enjoy - as a piece of history from a time long gone.
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Postby scoobypl » Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:45 am

M.R.J. wrote: 1) Ahh, yes - what I meant was that the BOTTLINGS of the yester-years of 60's, 70's and to some degree the 80's were not so numerous in super-premium whiskies (pardon the use of a rum-term there). I am under the impression that bottlings were usually blended whiskies, and not all that spectacular. Certainly lovely whiskies were distilled, and put to cask to rest - thank God. We're enjoying these lovelies today!

2) I certainly made my comments not to be taken too seriously! If anything, this discussion goes to prove that whisky does spark passions!!! :twisted:


1) I think you can safely say that you are right on one hand, and very wrong on the other... :wink: Yes, Malt was sold on a much lesser scale as today, and yes, Blends were the main source of income in those days (as they are today) and Yes, distillerys did not bottle so many super-premium whiskies...nevertheless, a lot of (even more than today) exeptionally good whisky's came on the market in those days, but -as you rightly say- not those very, very, very old specials they bring out today...however, that does not mean that the Single Malt whisky was of lesser quality... We did a tasting with the new 12 and 25 yo Lagavulins...and compaired them to the standard 12yo bottled in 73 and in 87...both the oldies won hands down... (look at http://www.whiskyparadise.com/looking_c ... ria=Whisky and you'll see that it was not just blends in those days...) but ultimately you are right...the 30+yo wave is a thing of the last 10-15 years...

2) Good thing, Mine are not to be taken to seriously either! :wink: Isn't passion a good thing? Sometimes, however, it tends to blurr things a bit an creates wrong impressions... as it did here!

P.!!!
scoobypl
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Aug 01, 2006 10:42 am

Passion is indeed a good thing, and certainly can spark up a conversation! At the end of the day I for one am glad that there are other people so interested in whisky that I can have a good conversation about the topic with them!

I have on occasion had the priviledge of tasting some older bottlings, as well as whisky distilled in the "old day" (1960's and early 70's). I have to say, my personal opinion is that the general belief that whisky made in the old days was somehow much superior to that which is / was made in latter years does not necessarily hold much water, and might also be considered an insult to the whisky makers, the people working at distilleries today.

The distilleries & people working in them are doing what they have been doing for a long time, with traditional methods, traditional equipment, and skills passed from generation to generation. Very little has changed. Ok, very few distilleries still use 100% their own floor maltings for example, but thats about it.

Indeed, such statements seem to me often inspired by romanticism and nostalgia, and a belief that somehow magically whisky was made in many ways so different in the past. Talk to distillery workers. They will tell you not much has changed.

In my experience, flavours of whisky vary through ages some. Some due to desired changes (like in the case of Edradour for example), some due to perceived (or imagined) changes in consumers' tastes' - like when decision-makers thought at one point that people desire less smoky whiskies, and they decided to drop levels of peating of the malt for many whiskies.

There was no magic in making whisky in the past that would make whisky made in the past superior throughout brands and distilleries. If anything, quality varied a lot more due to less strict approach to quality standards.

I do agree that many gems of distilleries were closed without much consideration (or so it would seem) in the past. As for any other commercial product, such decisions were dictated by market forces, which, are notoriously one-sided and often wrong in many sense. On the positive side, today whisky holds a far, far better position commercially on the spirits-market than in the 60's, 70's or 80's. Whisky has taken market share from Cognac and other spirits (although rum is now a rising force in the market I believe).
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Postby scoobypl » Tue Aug 01, 2006 1:09 pm

M.R.J. wrote:1) Passion is indeed a good thing, and certainly can spark up a conversation! At the end of the day I for one am glad that there are other people so interested in whisky that I can have a good conversation about the topic with them!

2) I have on occasion had the priviledge of tasting some older bottlings, as well as whisky distilled in the "old day" (1960's and early 70's). I have to say, my personal opinion is that the general belief that whisky made in the old days was somehow much superior to that which is / was made in latter years does not necessarily hold much water, and might also be considered an insult to the whisky makers, the people working at distilleries today.

3) The distilleries & people working in them are doing what they have been doing for a long time, with traditional methods, traditional equipment, and skills passed from generation to generation. Very little has changed. Ok, very few distilleries still use 100% their own floor maltings for example, but thats about it.

4)There was no magic in making whisky in the past that would make whisky made in the past superior throughout brands and distilleries. If anything, quality varied a lot more due to less strict approach to quality standards.

5) I do agree that many gems of distilleries were closed without much consideration (or so it would seem) in the past. As for any other commercial product, such decisions were dictated by market forces, which, are notoriously one-sided and often wrong in many sense. On the positive side, today whisky holds a far, far better position commercially on the spirits-market than in the 60's, 70's or 80's. Whisky has taken market share from Cognac and other spirits (although rum is now a rising force in the market I believe).


1) Pretty much hits the nail on the head! :wink:

2) I agree more or less, As I said in another thread, I believe that the quality of the New Make actually became better because of automisation...but that does not necessarily mean the end product is more exiting. Striving for constant quality and less variation may lead to a "poorer" taste because there is less variation to play with! Yes there was probably much more bad whisky around in those days, but I believe that was counteracted by the fact that sales were a lot lower... so they were able to bottle the better casks...

3) Now here I do not agree at all... Loss of own (floor) Maltings, change to indirect fired stills, change in condensation methods, change in used materials for mashtuns and washbacks, use of uniform yeasts, convertion from "dunnage" to "racked" warehouses... all those things had a big impact I believe!!! George Grant told me a story about the "experiment" they did at Glenfarclas. They changed a couple of stills from direct, to indirect heating, and had the resulting spirit checked with gas-chromatografy... normally it seems, Glenfarclas Newmake is readily identifiable like that, but the newmake from the experiment could not be identified as Glenfarclas Newmake, and therefore the distillery stuck to it's former heatsource... Now, I don't know how much truth there was in that (although I trust George), and I cannot tell how much of that experiment is applicable to other distilleries, but I do believe there have been significant changes....causing some noticable differences...but I leave it in the middle if they were for better or for worse... :wink:

4) I think again, you are hitting the nail on the head. However, as I said before, I don't know if that made things that much worse for the consumer. On the other hand, I also believe that a number of changes that have happened in distilleries, probably were inevitable, and I am absolutely sure that the people working in the distilleries are doing the best they can to provide us with the best product they can possibly make.

5) True again, and Rum taking a bigger slice is a good thing! There a a number of outstanding Rums...so they deserve some recognition.

P.!!!
scoobypl
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Postby Aidan » Tue Aug 01, 2006 1:35 pm

By the way scoobypl, we better not use paypal for this £1 million transaction, their cut woud make it not worthwhile.
Aidan
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Postby scoobypl » Tue Aug 01, 2006 3:37 pm

Let's knock them out by making it a 0.000.000.000.000 £ transaction!!
You know what, if you ever need to be in Belgium for some infathomable / incomprehensible reason...let me know, and let's have a dram! :wink:

Scooby!!
(and that is a serious offer!)
scoobypl
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Postby Aidan » Tue Aug 01, 2006 4:23 pm

Careful Skoobypl, Ryanair have flights to Belgium for €1... And as you're a doctor, I might ask for a free diagnosis!

Thanks for the offer. The same applies to you if you're ever in Ireland.
Aidan
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