Lovers of single malt Scotch whisky may notice their wallets are a little lighter the next time they reach for their favorite bottle as prices for older vintages climbs due to greater global demand.
According to a report by CNN Money, record demand for single malt Scotch whisky in the U.S. and developing countries like China is “pushing prices of older vintages through the roof, attracting savvy investors hoping to cash in and forcing distilleries to scramble to meet demand.”
Annual sales of Scotch tripled in the U.S. from 2002 to 2015 and global exports jumped 159% from 2004 to 2014, with Asia accounting for one-fifth of those exports.
“In China, everybody is talking about it,” said Stephen Notman of the Whisky Corporation, a whisky investment firm, in an interview with CNN Money. “Nobody thought in a million years that there would be a market there for 30-, 40-year-old whisky.”
The shortage problem stems from the fact that distillers of aged-labeled single malt Scotch produce a limited amount each year with no real notion of what demand will be when the whiskies reach more venerable ages. After distillery closures in the 1980s and stagnate Scotch exports up until a decade ago, the industry didn’t respond quickly enough to the current boom in demand. According to CNN Money, the shortage we are faving could last another 10 to 15 years before distilleries will have enough of the aged vintages Scotch drinkers are searching for.
Until then, Scotch drinkers will notice more bottles on the shelves without age labels as distilleries like Macallan, Highland Park, and Oban pump out the best single malt whiskies blended from multiple ages.
[H/T CNN Money]