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What is the point anymore?

lincolnimp
Connoisseur Connoisseur
Posted on 09-05-2019 at 12:11 pm

Because of the massive upturn in prices and the relentless investment angle Scotch whisky now has taken, it is no surprise that fewer & fewer high end, old, rare & collectable bottles are being opened.

My question is if the likes of the best Samaroli bottles (as an example) are now mainly investment vehicles and many older bottlings will never be opened and enjoyed in a general sense, is the collecting of whisky actually academic and a bit pointless if no person is going to ever taste it?

I like to see a great collection just like anyone else but if they are never going to be opened and you as the collector love whisky then what is the point of it all apart from having some nice whisky eye candy?

Investment collections/collectors is not what I am talking about here but true whisky lovers who enjoy the product.

If you look on WB now there are thousands of bottle pages with everyone having a closed bottle and ratings have been provided but there are no tasting notes so many of these bottles will only ever have be tasted at whisky fairs and the like.

If prices keep going up then even at whisky fairs these bottles will be lost to all of us regardless of who you are and bottles will then just become ancient artefacts to gaze upon in a glass case in a darkened room somewhere.

I think it is a real shame but in part understandable but it gets back to the basic premise that in many quarters whisky is not purchased with the intention of drinking it?

I know there are loads of new bottlings out there and they will continue but is the heart of the whisky world fading by what has occurred in the last 5 years or so?

Just a question I pose, in one sense the whisky industry is thriving with all the new interest and markets but I cannot help feeling that in another sense its soul is being destroyed from within.

Is it just me being too pessimistic and possibly nostalgic even harking back to the recent past when everything whisky wise seemed so much simpler, perhaps it is?

Remember whisky when you purchase it, is to be enjoyed, or it used to be anyway.

What do you all think?

  Edited on 09-05-2019 at 12:16 pm
holborndrinker
Connoisseur Connoisseur
Posted on 09-05-2019 at 13:33 pm

I only put closed bottles in my collection - I have loads of miniatures and full bottles that I am slowly supping my way through, but don't put in my collection as it would litter it up.  I agree that whisky should be drunk, but my liver can only take so much...I tend to drink more affordable whisky simply because I'm tight.  I wouldn't get too vexed about what is happening with people investing etc - it will drive you to drink.

Nunc est bibendum - mine's a double!
karloff
Specialist Specialist
Posted on 09-05-2019 at 15:25 pm

I understand your concerns Linc because you drink at that high end of the whisky scale, dead distiller's, old whiskies, old bottlings etc. That's your world and good for you mate but its not mine and never will be unless my finances drastically change  happy 

So these high end bottlings I never give a second thought to. Even if they were at normalish prices I probably still wouldn't be able to afford them. I am stuck in the lower to middle range and that's that, I don't mind there are still some great stuff in there (the sound of mournful violins fading in).

If someone wants to look at their expensive whisky collection behind a glass cabinet than more fool them. 

I honestly believe we as a species don't have long left on this planet so you might as well drink and enjoy because there is going to be no one left to sell it too.


I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy. Tom Waits
VaryingViewpoint
Expert Senior Senior Expert
Posted on 09-05-2019 at 16:52 pm

I think it's a non issue. People were collecting whisky all the way back in the 50s & 60s. For whatever reason. People like collecting things. Period.

One life... Drink it well
lincolnimp
Connoisseur Connoisseur
Posted on 09-05-2019 at 19:55 pm

karloff wrote:

I understand your concerns Linc because you drink at that high end of the whisky scale, dead distiller's, old whiskies, old bottlings etc. That's your world and good for you mate but its not mine and never will be unless my finances drastically change  happy 

So these high end bottlings I never give a second thought to. Even if they were at normalish prices I probably still wouldn't be able to afford them. I am stuck in the lower to middle range and that's that, I don't mind there are still some great stuff in there (the sound of mournful violins fading in).

If someone wants to look at their expensive whisky collection behind a glass cabinet than more fool them. 

I honestly believe we as a species don't have long left on this planet so you might as well drink and enjoy because there is going to be no one left to sell it too.



I am  sure your finances are pretty similar to mine Karloff it is just that rather than buy full bottles now  I would rather spend £100 on a single sample if it is what I want to try and I can usually justify that by the fact that now I buy very few bottles.

I am ok to taste 3cl rather than 70cl if it suits me, I totally agree about the planet angle , it is a really good point.

I just think it is a shame that many of these old wonders will never be opened.

lincolnimp
Connoisseur Connoisseur
Posted on 09-05-2019 at 20:01 pm

VaryingViewpoint wrote:

I think it's a non issue. People were collecting whisky all the way back in the 50s & 60s. For whatever reason. People like collecting things. Period.


You could be right VVP, to many it is a non issue but to me it is a point worth making, and you are also right that people have collected whisky for a long time.

I will just raise the fact that some people collect fine and rare whisky & wine and never actually taste what they are collecting and have no concept of it either as they only drink Glenfiddich 12 or a cheap Rioja, to me that is like having a collection of Ferrari sport cars and only ever driving a Nissan Micra wink

lincolnimp
Connoisseur Connoisseur
Posted on 09-05-2019 at 20:02 pm

Duplicate, 

  Edited on 09-05-2019 at 20:04 pm
lincolnimp
Connoisseur Connoisseur
Posted on 09-05-2019 at 20:24 pm

VaryingViewpoint wrote:

I think it's a non issue. People were collecting whisky all the way back in the 50s & 60s. For whatever reason. People like collecting things. Period.


You could be right VVP, to many it is a non issue but to me it is a point worth making, and you are also right that people have collected whisky for a long time.

I will just raise the fact that some people collect fine and rare whisky & wine and never actually taste what they are collecting and have no concept of it either as they only drink Glenfiddich 12 or a cheap Rioja, to me that is like having a collection of Ferrari sport cars and only ever driving a Nissan Micra wink

VaryingViewpoint
Expert Senior Senior Expert
Posted on 09-05-2019 at 21:34 pm

lincolnimp wrote:

VaryingViewpoint wrote:

I think it's a non issue. People were collecting whisky all the way back in the 50s & 60s. For whatever reason. People like collecting things. Period.


You could be right VVP, to many it is a non issue but to me it is a point worth making, and you are also right that people have collected whisky for a long time.

I will just raise the fact that some people collect fine and rare whisky & wine and never actually taste what they are collecting and have no concept of it either as they only drink Glenfiddich 12 or a cheap Rioja, to me that is like having a collection of Ferrari sport cars and only ever driving a Nissan Micra wink

I agree with you on the analogy of "collection of Ferrari sport cars and only ever driving a Nissan Micra". For me, I would rather crash a Ferrari than never drive one. Because, it's only a fucking car!

Maybe what you're really saying is; too many people put too much stock in ownership and less in experiences. I believe that's what Kaloff was saying as well. I'm with you on that, as you only live once. And you don't know how long that is.

  Edited on 10-05-2019 at 02:11 am
One life... Drink it well
Ganga
Expert Junior Junior Expert
Posted on 10-05-2019 at 00:11 am

Is there really a point to putting everything behind a class "cage"?  The way things are going, why not just put colored water in the bottle.  No one will know because they sit there perched like taxidermy.

lincolnimp
Connoisseur Connoisseur
Posted on 10-05-2019 at 00:33 am

Ganga wrote:

Is there really a point to putting everything behind a class "cage"?  The way things are going, why not just put colored water in the bottle.  No one will know because they sit there perched like taxidermy.


Exactly, the price of some mega premium whisky is so expensive it will never be openend, it is merely a visual trinket.


Ganga
Expert Junior Junior Expert
Posted on 10-05-2019 at 08:19 am

I think the funny point is that there may be better entry whiskies than premium whiskies.  Macallan 12 (yeah US) is maybe not quite as good as the 18 but it isn't that far off.  20 years ago, that was different.

mrgood
Expert Junior Junior Expert
Posted on 10-05-2019 at 17:28 pm

VaryingViewpoint wrote:

lincolnimp wrote:

You could be right VVP, to many it is a non issue but to me it is a point worth making, and you are also right that people have collected whisky for a long time.

I will just raise the fact that some people collect fine and rare whisky & wine and never actually taste what they are collecting and have no concept of it either as they only drink Glenfiddich 12 or a cheap Rioja, to me that is like having a collection of Ferrari sport cars and only ever driving a Nissan Micra wink

I agree with you on the analogy of "collection of Ferrari sport cars and only ever driving a Nissan Micra". For me, I would rather crash a Ferrari than never drive one. Because, it's only a fucking car!

Maybe what you're really saying is; too many people put too much stock in ownership and less in experiences. I believe that's what Kaloff was saying as well. I'm with you on that, as you only live once. And you don't know how long that is.

or....  drive it and NOT crash it.  happy    A Ferrari is a perfect analogy to Lincoln's "I am ok to taste 3cl rather than 70cl if it suits me".  You don't have to BUY a whole Ferrari to get a feel for what it's like to drive one.  We once rented a Ferrari for a couple hours.  It was bloody expensive, but totally worth it, especially when we took it out on the open road and opened 'er up.  Of course, on the way back we got stuck in traffic jams, which was pure agony, but still... totally worth it.  I'll never be able to afford one of my own, but at least I got to give one a go.  

Why not do that with super-high-end whisky?   hmm, I need to learn to take my own advice.

peatbogger
Specialist Specialist
Posted on 10-05-2019 at 23:57 pm

lincolnimp wrote:

Is it just me being too pessimistic and possibly nostalgic even harking back to the recent past when everything whisky wise seemed so much simpler, perhaps it is?


What do you all think?


Not sure if it can be labeled pessimistic or nostalgic.

What it really is, is negative thinking and "just you" making up a non-existing problem for yourself.

You make it sound like your concern is on behalf of the bottles.

All the good bottles that will never be opened because they are deemed too expensive and treated as collectables.

Because if they all were to be opened and drunk tomorrow, there would be nothing more to worry about. Right?

Proven by the fact that you are not worried or saddened by the fact that there is barely a single bottle from before 1930 on the market.

If a bottle is inaccessible to you what matter is the reason? Other than you knowing it's existence.

It makes no difference if it is locked in a safe or put in a display cabinet for eternity, or if is empty. It is taken off the "consumable" market.

I agree with the Ferrari analogy; if you own a sports car, use it.

But if you can afford to collect them and have your own museum there is no one asking you why you have not driven them all to destruction.

No offence, but with your "glass half empty" approach I bet if these old and rare bottles where not priced out of reach for most of us, you would find it just as disturbing an issue that some were gurgled down like Buckfast just for the buzz.

Is it then not also an equaly large problem that when most +£10.000 bottles are opened they are consumed by people who bought it just because of it's status and have no other reference than price to judge it by, or is it OK as long as it is drunk?

With the rising trend of collecting at least some of these bottles will survive for another few years, where we possibly in time may see some of them slowly come down to affordable prices.

VaryingViewpoint
Expert Senior Senior Expert
Posted on 11-05-2019 at 00:49 am

mrgood wrote:

VaryingViewpoint wrote:

lincolnimp wrote:

You could be right VVP, to many it is a non issue but to me it is a point worth making, and you are also right that people have collected whisky for a long time.

I will just raise the fact that some people collect fine and rare whisky & wine and never actually taste what they are collecting and have no concept of it either as they only drink Glenfiddich 12 or a cheap Rioja, to me that is like having a collection of Ferrari sport cars and only ever driving a Nissan Micra wink

I agree with you on the analogy of "collection of Ferrari sport cars and only ever driving a Nissan Micra". For me, I would rather crash a Ferrari than never drive one. Because, it's only a fucking car!

Maybe what you're really saying is; too many people put too much stock in ownership and less in experiences. I believe that's what Kaloff was saying as well. I'm with you on that, as you only live once. And you don't know how long that is.

or....  drive it and NOT crash it.  happy    A Ferrari is a perfect analogy to Lincoln's "I am ok to taste 3cl rather than 70cl if it suits me".  You don't have to BUY a whole Ferrari to get a feel for what it's like to drive one.  We once rented a Ferrari for a couple hours.  It was bloody expensive, but totally worth it, especially when we took it out on the open road and opened 'er up.  Of course, on the way back we got stuck in traffic jams, which was pure agony, but still... totally worth it.  I'll never be able to afford one of my own, but at least I got to give one a go.  

Why not do that with super-high-end whisky?   hmm, I need to learn to take my own advice.

I was using a simple and short explanation on not fearing what might happen if one was to take their most prized sport cars out on the road. I'm assuming most people that collect such cars don't drive their them due to the fear of getting a rock-chip, scratch, a minor accident or heaven forbid the lose of some tread on their tires. I would not want to crash or have any damage to such a car. The point I was making is I would not let the fear of something like an accident stop me from experiencing driving such a car. The way it was meant to be driven! wink


  Edited on 11-05-2019 at 00:50 am
One life... Drink it well
mrgood
Expert Junior Junior Expert
Posted on 11-05-2019 at 00:57 am

peatbogger wrote:

With the rising trend of collecting at least some of these bottles will survive for another few years, where we possibly in time may see some of them slowly come down to affordable prices.

To add to that, I think there are a lot more people like me out there than we realize.  AKA people who started buying with the primary intention of drinking but then for one reason or another* let it get out of control and ended up with far more whisky than we could handle.  Eventually whisky in the hands of these people will be consumed or sold (when the holder loses interest, or needs the money, or dies and their beneficiaries offload the bottles for dirt cheap)

*(for me it was "wee hee heeee this is fun!!"... until I got priced out of it :-S ) 

lincolnimp
Connoisseur Connoisseur
Posted on 11-05-2019 at 01:54 am

peatbogger wrote:


No offence, but with your "glass half empty" approach I bet if these old and rare bottles where not priced out of reach for most of us, you would find it just as disturbing an issue that some were gurgled down like Buckfast just for the buzz.



No offence taken PB, I hear what you are saying with the other things but the above comment is 100% wrong where I am concerned and that was one of the points I was focussing on, I absolutely want to see those old glories drunk, and to read tasting notes on them, if they were cheaper all the better for it in my view. happy


  Edited on 11-05-2019 at 02:14 am
wataya
Expert Junior Junior Expert
Posted on 13-05-2019 at 18:36 pm

Investing in whiskey is a good thing. Collecting is a nice thing. However, drinking whisky is even better. Personally, I only buy bottles, which I also want to drink. Therefore, in my opinion, from time to time you should open a bottle, which has experienced a high increase in value. The whiskey hipe seems unrestrained. I'm amazed at how fast bottles are sold out and how fast double or triple prices are required. Self-perception and deceleration are certainly not virtues which are capitalized today. Of course, not everything was better in the past. Suppose you really get sick; do you drink the bottle or do you put the bottle in your estate? Both legitimate possibilities. I would drink the bottle happy. Collecting something without understanding makes no sense in my opinion. A waste of time. For health reasons, it is also the case that I tend to buy more whisky than I drink. So I belong to the collectors rather than to the drinkers wink. We know that the market does not self-regulate at the latest since 2008. However, the time may come when the whiskey bubble bursts; or not, because in uncertain times gold and alcohol are subject to an increase in value. Cheers.

  Edited on 13-05-2019 at 18:45 pm
mrgood
Expert Junior Junior Expert
Posted on 13-05-2019 at 23:58 pm

wataya wrote:

Suppose you really get sick; do you drink the bottle or do you put the bottle in your estate? 

Drink!! without question, drink!  If I get diagnosed with incurable cancer I'll dive into my high end stuff so hard and fast I'll die by liver failure instead.

  Edited on 14-05-2019 at 00:00 am
VaryingViewpoint
Expert Senior Senior Expert
Posted on 14-05-2019 at 16:25 pm

mrgood wrote:

wataya wrote:

Suppose you really get sick; do you drink the bottle or do you put the bottle in your estate? 

Drink!! without question, drink!  If I get diagnosed with incurable cancer I'll dive into my high end stuff so hard and fast I'll die by liver failure instead.

Couldn't agree more!

I believe a lot of prized bottles were purchased to be drank for the right moments or special occasions, are left unopened do to many factors. One being unexpected tragedies that put such expectations on hold and/or never fully realized. 

  Edited on 16-05-2019 at 00:36 am
One life... Drink it well
morgbug
Member Senior Senior Member
Posted on 15-05-2019 at 04:15 am

I don't have near the collection nor the experience or opportunity that many have on here.  I am familiar with high end collectibles from other angles and the approach is similar - to be as near a completionist as possible and feed your own ego (not said as a negative thing).  Some folks just like more stuff.  


But I do think this has substantially altered what distilleries are now doing in many, not all, instances whereby they produce collectibles rather than highly desirable (and by desirable I mean 'mmm, mmm, damn that's fine tasting whisky') whisky.  That's ok, but I think it's doing them more harm than good in the long run.  Certainly not to share holders but folks will move on from what they can no longer reasonably afford.  


My entire collection has been purchased with the intent of consuming.  I'm actually at the point where I'm close to not buying many bottles anymore and over the years I'll just consume what I have.  I calculated it out based on my consumption and when my uncles/dad largely stopped drinking and I have just about the right amount of bottles now.  Which is fun mostly because the issue doesn't much affect me at this point.  I'll keep buying but slowly and selectively.  


There's only one bottle in my collection I'd sell and I think it's rather representative of the silliness in the whisky world.  It's my closed bottle of snow phoenix.  I have two (I had four, but gave away two as gifts) one of which is open.  It's a nice whisky, worth about the $80 CAD I paid for it.  Whiskybase has it currently listed at the equivalent of $1123 CAD and it's not remotely worth that price.  Why on earth would I open it and drink it.  Sure, it's enjoyable but I can trade it for something like a Glendronach Grandeur or the like in terms of value?  Easy deal.

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