Planning Ahead

I know that those of you who read the Spirits Journal for news rather than product information have probably been a little miffed as of late. There's so much action going on that actually has to do with what K&L pays me for, however, which has left me little time for writing. Not that I've got that much news to tell you, anyway. Do you want to hear more about price increases? Because that's all that's going on right now, but I figured we'd pretty much run that topic into the ground. All Diageo Classic Malts are taking price hikes this summer, not that it really matters. We're all competing to be the low price-leader when it comes to these whiskies, so we'll have to take the hit, not you - and certainly not Diageo.

In any case, most of the emails I've received over that past few weeks have pertained to budgeting. Namely, how does one know what to pull the trigger on when there may be something better and more exciting around the corner? I can tell you this: there are no trophy malts on the table right now. There may be something in the works, but it's not looking too promising at the moment, mainly because of the asking prices. It's going to be hard to beat the current Mortlach 22 Year when it comes to sherry-aged malt, and there's still not a whisky I've tasted this year that outshines the 1979 Glenfarclas from last year's haul. Those bottles are fairly priced for what they are. We've still got about forty bottles of Port Ellen and Glenlochy lying around, as well, and those whiskies are damn fine for those looking to splurge. Everyone who's had a taste agrees. That being said, why splurge for less exciting casks with higher price tags when we're pretty set for the moment? Value continues to be the focus.

Here's what is still coming:

- A flurry of affordable deals from the Exclusive Malts: six casks in total, all under $100.

- Another peated Benriach, another sherried Glendronach, another hogshead of Glen Garioch.

- A stunning sleeper from the Isle of Arran. The type of whisky that won't sell as a pre-order, but will go out the door fast once people taste it.

- Bladnoch. Three casks. Just got more samples in the mail, so I think this is happening. I'm keeping quiet until this is over.

- New casks from new producers. Some ancient malts from some not so familiar faces. Cheeeeeeeap.

If you're holding out for that Brora or Ardbeg super announcement, don't hold your breath. Those days are over. We were thinking about a 22 year old Ardbeg cask until we realized we'd have to retail it for $500 a bottle. Yikes.

That's the news for now. We might do a new podcast soon. Faultline Bourbon labels just went to the TTB for approval. Faultline Rum labels are being designed. New Faultline Gin Batch #3 is in development. New Lost Spirits whiskies should show up this week. There's plenty to keep you busy.

Myself, as well.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll