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Springbank 21

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Springbank 21

Postby posterboy » Mon May 23, 2005 6:57 pm

Earlier this year, Springbank released about 2400 bottles of their 21 year. I am a huge fan of prior 21 year bottlings by them, but have not heard much about this latest bottling.

Has anyone here tried it, or read/heard anyting about it? Any info would be appreciated.

Thanks.
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Postby Admiral » Tue May 24, 2005 4:06 am

Now that's interesting.....

The story that went around about 18 months ago was that Springbank had exhausted supplies of their 21yo casks, and it was going to be quite a few years until some of their teenage casks matured to 21 years before we would see another release.

I can't say I recall any fanfare or announcements that a 21yo was going to be released at the start of this year. Perhaps it is a special release purely for the US market?

Cheers,
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Postby robs42 » Tue May 24, 2005 9:42 am

Haven't tasted it, but its out here in the UK as well. Although I would shell out a bit more and buy their 32 year old.

Robby
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and the price is not bad!

Postby corbuso » Tue May 24, 2005 12:19 pm

At £130 the bottle. the new 21YO is getting very expensive..
Better to buy to some old 21 on e-bay or on another website!
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Postby posterboy » Tue May 24, 2005 3:01 pm

I already have the 32 :)

Bottles on eBay have been going for about 130GBP lately, so that's not much of an issue. Oddly, that is the price at which Springbank will sell direct to consumers, however the wholesale price in the US may be even higher -- I asked a discount retailer in the US about pricing, and he said it would be at $450 a bottle :shock: Another retailer I spoke to confirmed this pricing. It's almost as if Springbank is trying to piss off US retailers. Very strange.
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Postby richard » Tue May 24, 2005 5:40 pm

hi posterboy did you ever think the retailer might be hiking up the price and not springbank
when springbank sold the millenium set some shops in the uk varied in price by as much as 40% nothing to do with springbank so dont allways assume its the distiller

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Postby posterboy » Tue May 24, 2005 6:11 pm

I certainly considered that, but the pricing seemed too similar. I contacted 2 retailers: One that has a huge selection and sells at full retail, and one that has a limited selection and discounts, but will order in items for me at the discounted price. Both quoted prices thate were fairly similar and way, way higher than the price to buy direct from Springbank.
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Postby Tom » Tue May 24, 2005 6:53 pm

They probably bought back some casks from independent bottlers.
It is a phenomenom that seems to happen regularly lately.
i know for a fact about 2 other distillerys that have done this and it would explain the sudden availebility of the 21Y.
Wether this is a good or a bad thing remains to be seen.
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Postby richard » Tue May 24, 2005 9:19 pm

thanks posterboy it depends on who they buy from it might not be direct from springbank it may come from a retailer and he adds his mark on like gordon and mcphail and it all adds up somebody mentioned the 32 year old springbank the last lot of stock they were using thirty year old whiskies to keep up wiyh demand that is why it is was so good


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Springbank 21 comments

Postby S_tan_De_mon » Tue May 24, 2005 11:37 pm

Hello all... Just a couple comments/observations concerning the recent release of the Springbank 21 yr OB. Speaking with the retailer with whom I do the bulk of my domestic (U.S.) business, I found his comments about the high price point very revealing. It appears that the U.S. suggested selling price is not based upon common sense business mark-up practice but, rather, what seems to be the going prices for rare Springbanks on eBay and Kruger's Auctions. He stated that this is what Springbank told him, but I know his reference to "Springbank" was really Preiss Imports, the importer. He is very "tight" with Preiss so I'm sure that his statement is accurate.And, yes, the dealer costs were raised accordingly. That's why the domestic price range is focused around $450-500. Set pricing based upon auction prices...amazing.

Another conjecture on the source of this bottling run. I tend to believe that the source of the casks may have been Springbank itself, not any private casks. IMO, Springbank may have "sandbagged" a bit in that this bottling run may have actualy been the remaining part of of their last bottling run of a few years back. Knowing that this was the last 21 yr until around 2010, management may well have calculated that if they held some back they could make more profit on the 2400 bottle run at this time, rather than releasing it all previously. Reasons for my suspicions of this being a possible scenario: 1. These 21 yr old bottles are the older style "tall", rather than the current "squat", which is the style of all other releases/bottling runs from around 2000 onward; 2. I compared the "new" 21 yr old to the previous "latest", "last" 21 yr bottling. Both tall bottles, both identical color (whisky, labels, and boxes). 3. The labels are identical except for the "1 of 2400 bottles" added to the new release, which could well have been added on to the original label (much easier to stamp it vertically on the bottle rather than horizontally). Now, I guess the only thing to do is pony up the big bucks to "field-test" my theory. Hmmm...

Slainte!

S'tan
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Postby Lawrence » Wed May 25, 2005 1:33 am

S'tan, that's an interesting answer.

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Postby Admiral » Wed May 25, 2005 4:09 am

Stan's response is certainly in line with my understanding of the situation. I recall the whisky world being quite distraught when Springbank announced that stocks of 21yo would not become available again for quite some time.

Very tricky (prudent? :wink: ) of them to put some aside for a later release. Several of the Australian wine labels also do this as a delayed release or "back issue", with obvious financial incentive.

Cheers,
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Postby ronnie » Wed May 25, 2005 7:55 am

Systembolaget (state owned monopoly) in Sweden also got a small amount of the new Springbank 21, sell-start 9th May 2005. Sometimes in April the importing firm told me that Sweden will get 30 bottles of which some will go to Systembolaget and some to some selected restaurants.

At this moment Systembolaget seem to have 7 bottles in stock and they are priced at 2395 SEK which would translate to something about 256 euros.

http://www.systembolaget.se/SokDrycker/ ... Y%3aAlla+l%u00e4nder%3aAlla+storlekar%3a%3a%3a%3a%3a%3a

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Postby posterboy » Wed May 25, 2005 3:38 pm

Stan:

Thanks very much for the information. That explains a great deal, and I agree that setting the retail price based on the auction price seems like the tail wagging the dog (especially because most bottles of Springbank 21 on eBay have been going for $225-$250 lately).

That said....I come back to my original question: Has anyone heard/read anything about the new bottling tastes? :P
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu May 26, 2005 6:37 am

If I understood you correctly, S_tan, it is Preiss who are initiating the huge markup and setting the suggested retail price.

Preiss gouging?
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Postby andrewfenton » Thu May 26, 2005 12:52 pm

Cheapest I've seen them at is £129 at LFW - other places have them up to £160.

Springbank 21 may be legendary, but I'm buggered if I'm going to pay that much.
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Postby posterboy » Thu May 26, 2005 2:54 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:
Preiss gouging?




Booooo! :P
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu May 26, 2005 4:44 pm

Thenk yew.
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"Preiss Gouging"

Postby S_tan_De_mon » Fri May 27, 2005 12:14 am

Fellow Maltsters:

"Preiss Gouging" is also a PLOWED Society generated descriptor used for several years. [Sounds like Mr. Tattie has PLOWED potential :-) ] The term came about as a result of one A. Dinsdale's efforts, with PLOWED support, to expose the obscene price mark-ups via his "non-official" Springbank web-site (which was an extremely good one, BTW). He confronted Henry Preiss concerning UK pricing of Springbanks and Longrows WRT other similarly priced distillery bottlings vs. Springbank/Longrow and the same distillery bottlings in the U.S. and exposed the far larger proportionate price increases on the Springer/Longrow compared with the other distillery offerings. Of course he (Mr. Preiss) mumbled out some feeble excuses. Nonetheless, Springbank/Longrow pricing did decrease significantly, around 20%, on OB bottlings after this fracas. With the shortage and popularity of older OB Springers along with the high prices on eBay and whiskyauction.com, Preiss appears to have acquired a case of amnesia and saw a chance to make a quick killing and priced the bottles accordingly. Thus, they appear to be trying to milk the cash cow on this one. I guess we'll have to let the market place sort this one out.
On the other hand, lower profile products such as Inchmurrin, Connemara, and other non-Mitchell whiskies Preiss brings in have always been more closely in line with UK pricing.

FWIW, you may want to check http://www.smwhisky.com. It's a sight connected with the PLOWED Society; it's webmaster is the group scribe. In the section "single malt issues, concepts, myths, and lies", "Preiss Gouging" is defined, along with many other descriptions and definitions that you might find interesting or even humorous. There are lots of photos of the PLOWED group's annual Ardbeggeddon debauchery, er, event in other sections of the page. The bottle count at these events can be a real eye-opener... :-)

Admiral: Craig D from OZ, who I see you have met, attended the first Ardbeggeddon and is looking forward to a return engagement. He is a friend, most highly respected noser & taster, and a PLOWEDster, too!

My apologies if I have over-typed my welcome...

Slainte!

S'tan

P.S. About a dozen PLOWEDsters are attending Feis Ile this coming week; it'll probably be pretty hard to not notice them. They'll most likely be joining up with Gordon of Spirit of Islay, too... so beware if you are attending! :-)
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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri May 27, 2005 1:20 am

Thanks for the info, S'tan--I'm not surprised that I'm not the first to use that term. Indeed, the pun only occurred to me in mid-post, and my intent was to clarify whether it was indeed the importer, Preiss, who were instigating this huge markup. In their defense, I will say that if bottles are fetching high prices on ebay--essentially the black market--then they are well within their rights to set their price in accordance with market conditions. This is no different from tickets to concerts and sporting events being scalped or hawked by brokers--if people are willing to pay high prices for such tickets, why shouldn't the actual producers profit, rather than brokers?--except that, in this case, it is a middleman, Preiss, who is profiting, rather than the producer. Those who are outraged by, say, the price of Red Sox tickets usually ignore fundamental laws of supply and demand when making their arguments--the lower prices they demand would only mean even tighter availability, and worse, much of the profit would shift from the people who produce the product to parasites.

I'm not saying that all this justifies Preiss's markup policies. We can all agree that it's a shame if inflated prices prevent someone who loves Springbank (or the Red Sox or the Rolling Stones) from getting it. But ultimately problems like this are fueled by high demand and the willingness of many consumers to pay high prices. I don't in fact have a specific point to make regarding Preiss's policies, except that any discussion of it must be informed by the immutable laws of supply and demand. --Unless, of course, you want the State to set all prices and issue rationing coupons. I don't think you do.
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Preiss and supply & demand

Postby S_tan_De_mon » Fri May 27, 2005 3:20 am

Mr T: I'm in full agreement with you on the nature of supply & demand. Being a capitalist myself, I accept the mechanics of pricing structures even though I may occasionally find them repugnant and dripping with greed. Dedicated, industrious people will invariably find alternate means to acquire their desired product(s). To wit: Many SMS enthusiasts in the U.S.seem to own a lot of 70 cl Springbank, Longrow, and Cadenhead bottlings of late... :-)

The "Price Gouging" effort was initiated by a Brit Springbank enthusiast working and living in the U.S.; he was stunned at the price structure of Springbank and Longrow domestically. Personally, I did not participate in this endeavor but I did watch intently from the "sidelines". Ultimately, there were positive results for the U.S. consumer who wasn't able to travel overseas or who didn't have other "connections", with the approx. 20% price reductions (on the 10 yr, 12 yr Wood Expressions, 15 yr and 10 yr old Longrows). The controversy finally reached back to Springbank itself and, according to my sources, Springbank "insisted" that Preiss restructure their pricing so as to reflect the above discounts. True or not, the prices were indeed reduced.

As far as for 25yr and older Springers, even the independent bottlers retail price points are hitting the $400 & up price point domestically. It'll probably continue to get worse until supply and demand equilibrium is reached...Thus, Preiss Price Points do not seem that far out of line, relatively speaking, considering the 21 yr is an OB. A little different viewpoint on the situation...

Slainte!

S'tan
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon May 30, 2005 6:16 am

S'tan, your description of Springbank's pressuring Preiss to lower the price structure are pretty much exactly how I would have expected the market to adjust. I almost launched into a bit starting "Ideally, what will happen is..." but wanted to keep my thoughts more generalized. Anyway, market forces can be very clumsy and inefficient, and are complicated by human greed, stubbornness, and incompetence, so there is never any guarantee that the "ideal" result will ever occur.
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Postby Frodo » Mon May 30, 2005 6:09 pm

Just a peep from someone who doesn't have the money to buy $400/bottles of whisky...

It doesn't bug me that someone charges $400+ for a bottle of hooch if that's what they can get for it. Thankfully I have a choice at the LCBO to get 21yr Springbank for - I forget how much, but it's an obsene price - or $128 for a 21yr Glenfarclas. If the larger price is worth it to someone, go for it. As long as I can get something good for about C$65, then I'm happy.

Now if All hooch-makers raised their prices to astronomical levels, I'd be singing a different tune...

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SPRINGBANK 21YR (1of2400)

Postby sean60660 » Thu Jun 02, 2005 1:32 pm

Sam's in Chicago has it.
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Re: SPRINGBANK 21YR (1of2400)

Postby posterboy » Thu Jun 02, 2005 3:43 pm

sean60660 wrote:Sam's in Chicago has it.


Several US retailers have it (or can get it) for $450-$500/bottle. What is odd is that you can buy it direct from Springbank via their website for about $235, plus shipping.

Have you tried the new 21?
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SPRINGBANK 21

Postby sean60660 » Thu Jun 02, 2005 3:50 pm

I did. Last night. A customer at Sam's bought a few bottles and was pouring from one bottle to anyone who wanted some.
Very rich and mature as expected. Peaches and touch of nectar with chocoalte, raisins and honey. Finish coated the palate for over a minute. I think I can still taste it. To rich for me monetarily but was a treat to have tried it.
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Thu Jun 02, 2005 6:17 pm

Springbank 21yo isn't available in Norway anymore, you can still pick up the 30 yo though - at around the same price as the 21 you mention in this thread.

I think it's too expensive though!

Skål!
Christian
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SPRINGBANK 21

Postby sean60660 » Thu Jun 02, 2005 6:25 pm

It sure is pricy but not for the customers whom buy this level of scotch. Its a drop in the bucket
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Re: SPRINGBANK 21

Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Jun 02, 2005 6:34 pm

sean60660 wrote:I did. Last night. A customer at Sam's bought a few bottles and was pouring from one bottle to anyone who wanted some.
Very rich and mature as expected.


The whisky or the customer?
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Thu Jun 02, 2005 6:36 pm

I don't nessecarily agree as you would find lots of enthusiasts out there willing to pay the required amount of money to lay their hands on a gem. Before the Premier Cru Classe wines of Bourdaux went totally obscene I used to buy rather expensive wines myself.
I'm not ruling out the possibility of buying a costly whisky - say over GBP 200,- but I wouldn't do so for a Springbank - but an Ardbeg yes! You don't have to be extremely well off to buy such a whisky!

Skål!
Christian
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Jun 02, 2005 6:41 pm

Part of the joy and mystery of all this, Christian, is that in five years' time, you may find yourself perfectly willing to spring for a pricey 'Bank, and be bored with Ardbeg. Well, probably not that...but it's funny how one seems to be ready for different things at different times. It's a journey, not a place.
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Thu Jun 02, 2005 6:49 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:Part of the joy and mystery of all this, Christian, is that in five years' time, you may find yourself perfectly willing to spring for a pricey 'Bank, and be bored with Ardbeg. Well, probably not that...but it's funny how one seems to be ready for different things at different times. It's a journey, not a place.

Something tells me you are right Mr Tattieheid.......
I actually didn't believe I'd care for anything else than highly peated whiskies - untill I got a shock after trying the Balvenie 15 - which after a day or two turned out to be simply fantastic. So, you are probably right about the future willingness to cough up the nessecary cash - but I don't believe in buying the top of the line of all items in the false belief that they are all objectively "better" . I'm more sympathetic towards recognizing quality and difference in the variety out there. Besides, it seems this forum has establised the fact that older isn't nessecarily better anyway. There are lots of older expensive whiskies I can think of that would have a hard time against the Ardbeg Ten.
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Postby Tom » Thu Jun 02, 2005 7:06 pm

Thats a good point Christian.
Everything you said can be applied to the Springbank 21 actually.
Unless this new bottling is all of a sudden much better then the previous, the quality doesnt add up to the price. Although nobody will deny that it is quality and a good dram, the pricetagg is obscene. But this particular bottle is very popular with collectors so go figure why the price is so high.
As a side note, out of any range i tryed the most expencive one (that i tryed) of the range has never been the best. so you are probably right.
Then again, i did not taste all the most expencive ones of any range. But everybody knows that once you cross a certain age, whisky is not priced to its actual quality.
Its a good thing too that you discovered Balvenie it seems. The whisky world is so much bigger then Islay alone.
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