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New Limited Edition Releases

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New Limited Edition Releases

Postby Steve » Wed Mar 27, 2002 11:19 pm

It strikes me that there must be a number of distilleries around who are selling small quantities of limited edition releases. I would imagine (although you might be able to tell me otherwise) that such releases will be the collectors items of tomorrow, more so than the independent bottlers.

I'd like to know:
1. Who does this and how do you get to hear about them.
2. Are these limited releases good in terms of quality (ie if I want to drink, not collect the stuff) and as an investment.
3. Is a distillery bottling more often than not better than an independent bottling (I would imagine so as the casks will definitely have been stored at the distillery itself and so will be more in character)
4. Could this be a good way to build a collection ie buying from source rather than, say, at auction.

Any thoughts on the above would be appreciated.
Steve
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Postby Ileach » Thu Mar 28, 2002 12:52 pm

A good thing is to become a "friend" of a certain malt (eg. Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Classic Malts).

If you are a member of such a circle (free), you will receive invitations to purchase special limited editions.

Ardbeg, for instance, offered two bottlings exclusively available to the members of their "committee". The bottles cost £108 each (2000) - expensive, I know. But they are now worth over £300.

Ardbeg's sister company Glenmorangie does "special offers" on a regular basis, too. These bottlings however, for instance the long sold out "Côte de Nuits", are still available at or only a little bit above the original price.

So, there is no guarantee that these bottlings will indeed fare well on the collectors' market.

Many companies are now doing "distillery bottlings". They have discovered that it is an easy way to make a lot of money - alcohol tax on a 70cl, £15-bottle is the same as on a £125-bottle, so is the cost for bottling and labelling. Only VAT is higher. In other words: the distilleries earn a fortune with these bottlings.

The downside is that the more "exclusive" bottlings there are, the less exclusive they are.

As far as quality is concerned, these bottlings are indeed very special, at least the ones I have tried (Glenmorangie, Glen Moray). But whether they're really worth the money is up to you.

If you're really after rare bottlings, it is a good thing to go to the distilleries and ask whether there are any bottlings made for the employees not generally available to the public. Sometimes, employees are willing to sell you a bottle of their collection.

These bottlings tend to fetch quite high prices at auction.
Ileach
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Postby Steve » Mon Apr 01, 2002 9:12 am

So is there a definitive list of those distilleries who do this?

BTW, I imagine the increase in price of Ardbeg above that of, say, Glenmorangie may in part be due to the fact that it closed down in the early 80s. I would guess that there are only so many "exclusive" bottlings left to come from that distillery that were distilled pre-closure. I believe the production has changed in some way (maltings now done off site?) which may produce a different taste?
Steve
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Postby hpulley » Mon Apr 01, 2002 12:51 pm

Yes, if you check Ardbeg's website, you'll see that malting is now done by Port Ellen, "...but still made to Ardbeg's exact requirements". New TEN is non-chill filtered and non-coloured too, as are some of the other bottlings, which also makes a difference. Oh well, own maltings or not I love Ardbeg TEN so I guess I shouldn't have a floor malting prejudice!
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Postby Ileach » Mon Apr 01, 2002 1:49 pm

To come back to Glenmorangie:

Their 1974 "Original" (limited edition, 2000 50cl replica bottles) is a 24-year old with malt from the long since gone distillery maltings.

Originally sold for as much as £170, it is now on the market for as little as £75 - this is a great opportunity to buy a great whisky with potential.
Ileach
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Postby Steve » Mon Apr 01, 2002 9:41 pm

I guess the above Glenmorangie release shows that collecting can be quite risky.

The one good thing of course is that if your bottle depreciates in value, at least you can just drink it......
Steve
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Postby Ileach » Tue Apr 02, 2002 8:47 am

I've just seen that the Old Pulteney (http://www.oldpulteney.com) has now got a "club" you can join.
No exclusive bottlings yet, though.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Apr 02, 2002 2:43 pm

Steve,

You can also join www.macallan.com, and they too sell exclusive limited editions..
Or go to www.highlandpark.com they also sell some nice limited editions.

Slainte,

Erik
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Apr 02, 2002 2:45 pm

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