Has anyone here tried it, or read/heard anyting about it? Any info would be appreciated.
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?
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 Another retailer I spoke to confirmed this pricing. It's almost as if Springbank is trying to piss off US retailers. Very strange.
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...
Very tricky (prudent? ) 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.
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
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?
"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...
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!
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.
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...
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...
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?
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.
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?
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!
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.
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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