Expensive Whisky Stories

General chat and talk about whisky.

Does the focus on stories about very expensive Scotch hurt the image of scotch?

Yes, they should focus on quality, not cost
No, any exposure is good exposure
Neither, I've got a different view
Total votes: 14

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Expensive Whisky Stories

Postby ScotchBlog » Tue Dec 06, 2005 1:27 pm

Yesterday on The Scotch Blog, I had a story where I asked some industry insiders if they thought the rash of stories in the media which focus on the very expensive and rare bottles (Dalmore 62, Glenfiddich 1937) hurt or help the image (and bottom line) of the Scotch whisky industry.

I think you'll find the story and opinions very interesting.

But some of the contributors are very interested in what consumers think,
So I'd like to ask you all to comment on the topic.

Read the story here The Scotch Blog

And then come back here to Whisky Magazine's forums to leave your opinion. Also feel free to leave your opinion at The Scotch Blog.

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Postby corbuso » Tue Dec 06, 2005 5:13 pm

I have got another view regarding this topic and mine would be inbetween.
These crazy prices do not reflect the quality and I would rather buy 1000 bottles of Lagavulin or HP than one bottle of Glenfiddich 1937. However, people like such stories and make them aware that whisky does still exist and is considered as a wanted luxurious good.

The whisky industry does need some more press coverage, as long as the quality of the product is good.

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Postby MGillespie » Wed Dec 07, 2005 2:38 am

These stories remind me of those that turn up when people buy expensive cars or artwork at auction. It's something to fantasize about, but reality comes back pretty quickly...

It's also similar to the golf travel brochures and catalogs that arrive in my mailbox regularly...the women (young and slightly older) who allow me to live with them refer to this stuff as "golf porn" -- since I can look at it, and maybe even drool...but no way will I ever actually get any of it... ;)


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Postby Elliot » Wed Dec 07, 2005 7:42 am

I think the issue at hand is value rather than cost. If you look at marginal utility as enjoyment of a bottle of whisky, you'll notice that as the curve of cost vs. enjoyment approaches the limit of "the best bottle of whisky I've ever tasted," enjoyment increases in ever smaller measures per increase of unit of cost. For the average consumer, the point at which the curve levels out is of sufficient quality for them, but if money is no object, the best bottle of whisky available will command whatever price the consumer is willing to pay.
Regardless, I hope that whoever buys these incredibly expensive bottles is someone who appreciates the craftsmanship of the product, instead of simply being a case of conspicuous consumption (think rap music stars' affinity for cognac).

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Postby Tom » Wed Dec 07, 2005 8:52 pm

It helps putting whisky in the spotlight, yes. But it also puts it as an elite drink, suiteble only for the higher ranks of society. This is bullocks and I hate to see whisky marketed this way.

A glass of good whisky to me is one of the highs in enjoyment and it is more enjoyeble if you know, when the bottle is empty you can buy another.

Judging from another post here the more then average consumer spends between 50 and 100€ for a bottle of whisky. This comes from people that post here, meaning they most likely know their malts and still rarely exceed the 100€ limit! This is the real life, NOT the constant bragging of multiple thousands pounds for a rare bottle of whisky we can read in the papers. That is just fantasy. Nobody I know of will ever buy something like that although I dare say they love whisky more then the lunatics that do buy them.

The average Scotch consumer knows only of Glenfiddich,Glenlivet and possibly even Macallan, the rest they buy are blends. These people would be far more served if they read that there are more then 80 working distilleries from wich they can choose a malt from. Things like this would be good for the whisky industry and more importantly, good for the consumers. New distilleries are far more interesting for example then another super deluxe premium bottling none of us can ever afford.

As a last note, I find it hard to believe that producers of such bottlings actually care what we consumers think of them. This isn't marketed for us, it only provokes envy and possibly frustration amongst genuine whisky lovers. If they really want our opinions, let them send a sample so we can taste it and evaluate it. all the rest is just marketing.

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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Dec 07, 2005 10:10 pm

We've touched on this before with $5,000 bottles of Laphroaig on display at certain upscale liquor stores. I think the idea is for us to fantasize about that, and then go buy a bottle of Laphroaig 10. Diz mentioned "golf porn" on another thread--this is whisky porn, i.e. the unattainable fantasy.

I don't mind such stories and strategies, but I agree that at the least they ought to be balanced with more informed press about the good everyday stuff out there. I don't think the general public is really that interested, though, and often enough the only way to get your brand's name out in the public eye is to trumpet an extremely expensive or old (or heavily peated!) bottle.

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Postby Crispy Critter » Thu Dec 08, 2005 1:33 am

Indeed... when I hear of someone spending $thousands on a bottle, the three words that come into my head are "fool," "money," and "parted." :)

But - if you have more money than is good for you, why not occasionally splurge on something that few people will ever have?

As for me, I feel that the best quality-for-price range for Scotch is generally about $40-$80 (with some exceptions like Aberlour 10 circa $30).

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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Dec 08, 2005 2:37 am

Forgive me for repeating something I've said several times--hey, how else do you get to 2,000 posts?--but spending $5,000 on a bottle of whisky says more about what $5,000 means to you than it does about what whisky means to you.

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Postby Frodo » Sun Dec 11, 2005 1:20 pm

I can't connect with any stories about someone spending xG's on a bottle. Just doesn't get my interest.

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Postby Lawrence » Tue Dec 13, 2005 4:20 pm

But some of the contributors are very interested in what consumers think,

In this case they should focus on making sure there is enough quality product in the market place and not worry about such sillines.

I recently saw a picture of some fancy car with a body made entirly of silver, owned by a prince in the middle east. Such one off's do no harm to the car indusrty and a hugely expensive bottle of scotch does no harm to the whisky industry.

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Postby arnehd » Thu Dec 15, 2005 12:14 am

If you ask me every article on whisky is good , because people who read the articles will be made aware that it exists ! The topic might catch the readers interest . I don't know when my passion for scottish wine started (it is not that long ago ) , but hearing my father talk about a bottle he saw at an airport (was ist heathrow?) costing several thousand pounds (five or so ?) , didn't hurt at all . Not that I will be able to spend a minimal amount of the price on whisky in the future , or be willing to spend it ( so far the money for the uigeadail has been my highest bet) , but still it was interesting to hear what people are willing to spend on spirits made of distilled grain. Things like this catch your interest (at least mine) and turn you on to sources like this forum and others like maltmadness . SO in conclusion reading about high priced whisky is lots better than reading nothing about it , or else I would be fast asleep.
Good night and pleasent drams ( I know this is a rip-off from someone), arne

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Postby patrick dicaprio » Thu Dec 22, 2005 3:28 am

i am not sure how it can hurt the image of scotch, it can only help. these expensive whiskies will never be available to 99.9% of us, and certainly not to teh general public (who preusmably would be swayed by the "image"). it is no different than cigars, than luxury cars, or coins or any other expensive item.


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