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
, if not,
please do as I suggested and enjoy