The Right Time
Right now, there is an insatiable thirst for liquid gold. Scotch whisky has never been in a better place and the result of such global demand has created a price explosion. 10 years ago, a 30-year-old Macallan cask would cost you around $50,000. In November 2019, A cask of the same sold for a world record-breaking $572,000!
The question of how and why are often what most people try to understand. It is well known within the industry but not much so in the public domain as to why this trend is set to continue, especially for aged statement single malts over 25 years old. A history lesson in Scotch whisky would help illustrate this better:
From the late 1970s through to mid-1980s, The entire whisky industry was on the brink of collapse. Economic depression and no real global demand for whisky had seen no fewer than 36 distilleries close operations during that period. Casks collected dust slumbering in the dark chambers of a forgotten world, all the while, maturing and ageing slowly. Through a lack of demand, It was allowed the TIME to mature. This led to the industry leaders to proclaim that the older the liquid, the better the quality and indeed, the more valuable.
Fast forward to present day and we are in the midst of experiencing something nobody anticipated. Scotch Whisky has become the asset of choice for collectors and investors alike. It has gone to continually break records year on year for prices realised at auctions.
This success has come at a consequence. The reason aged statement expressions have performed so well is down to the fact the supply is extremely finite and for the oldest statements, disappearing from the market altogether. The only reason they are available now is by luck rather than judgement. The distilleries did not lay down adequate stock with such an uncertain future for the industry in the past.
What's the one thing that can not be rushed or forced? Time. The distilleries and their parent companies have scrambled to react to the global surge in demand for ultra-premium liquid, and in doing so giving birth to Non-Aged Statement blends. This was a direct response to cater to the demand that has somewhat sacrificed the quality typically associated with a Scotch single malt. (Non- aged statements only needs to mature for a minimum of 3 years before being bottled].
So what does all this mean?
Like the Dinosaur
The distilleries have changed their approach. They are now concentrating their efforts on creating non-aged statement blends. For them, It's a far more economical solution and easier to keep up with the growing demand.
Think about it: It takes a cask 3 years to mature before being bottled in a non-aged statement, whereas it takes a minimum of 10 years usually for a good aged statement single malt to be bottled. In that time a cask can be used 3 times over for a blend and probably generate more profit for the distillery by doing so.
With all this under consideration, the likelihood is that the old aged statements breaking records today are becoming the last ones to be made available on the market. If one area is certain to continue to rise in price, it will be the oldest expressions of single malts as the world has proven it lacks the patience to wait for whisky to mature anymore.
This is specifically why Angel's share has procured and collected this calibre of whisky over the years...