Can someone explain to me why the price of 10+ year old Kentucky Whisky has
gone ballistic in the last year? I'm seeing multiple makes that have gone
from a stable $70 to $90/bottle a year ago now selling for $400+.
Did some key distillery in Kentucky go out of business or stop producing a
particular type of whisky?
I'm also interested in getting a handle on the market price and supply
dynamics for whisky/scotch/bourbon. I'm trying to understand what is the
estimated market supply for these products and the estimated demand for the
next 10 years.
It's all about demand. I would refer you to Charles Cowdery's article "Peda
l to the Metal" in the Fall 2014 issue of Whisky Advicate magazine, which s
ays in part:
"Today, bourbon and rye are in short supply. Many popular brands are experi
encing 'rolling blackouts.' Producers are unable to fill distributor orders
, distributors have nothing to sell retailers, and consumers find empty she
lves all over town. Distillers, many of whom have increased their productio
n capacity in the last five or six years, are making as much as they can as
fast as they can. Independent Stave can't deliver enough barrels. Vendome
has a one-year backlog on new stills and other equipment. New aging warehou
ses are filling up as fast as Buzick can build them. Visitor facilities are
overwhelmed. Label age statements are dropping like flies.
"The whiskey in short supply now was put away under a very different set of
assumptions. American whiskey was growing again after decades of stagnatio
n. Producers were increasing supply, but slowly, gradually, carefully. Ever
yone loves a growing business, but no one wants to overproduce. Overproduct
ion ins the profit killer. Shortages are bad, but surpluses are worse. As d
ear as bourbon and rye are right now, especially for non-distiller producer
s (NDPs) who want to join the party, too much supply will trigger a price w
ar. Right now, producers can get just about any price they ask. They don't
want to go back to the days when they had to take whatever they could get."