Prices and availability

Good whisky needs to mature for a long time. And demand is high, which is why there are sometimes problems with supplies. This has a corresponding effect on prices.

Whisky prices and age

Will Whisky become more expensive?

This interesting question can be answered with a definite 'yes'!

The standard bottlings from Scottish malt whisky distilleries have remained very stable in price over the decades. If you look at inflation, the price has even fallen. However, independent bottlings and rare bottles from distilleries are increasing in price.

So you have to look at the individual bottle to be able to make a statement on this. The question is also: does whisky have to become more expensive? After all, individual factors in whisky production have changed, from grain to storage. The grain yield is more constant. More alcohol can be extracted from the starting product. The production process has evolved from a lot of manual labour to fully mechanised processes in some cases. Energy costs are undoubtedly rising! On the other hand, barrel management has become more reliable. There are no nasty surprises at the end of years of storage. Larger quantities are transported to the end consumer, so we all benefit from the economies of scale.

So all in all: hardly any price increase - at least for standard bottlings!

However, consumer expectations have risen and with them the demand for higher quality whiskies! And since demand determines the price, rare whiskies and bottles from independent bottlers are definitely becoming more expensive.

The best Whisky?

We are regularly asked about the best whisky available.

What is the answer to this question? Macallan 25 year old or Johnnie Walker Blue Label? Why not Chivas Royal Salute 21 year old or Bowmore 30 year old? Is it better to recommend older or more expensive?

The answer to the question of the best whisky depends on so many factors that it is impossible to find a sensible solution without asking the customer several times. The quality, reputation of the distillery and age of a single malt whisky are the most important factors influencing the price of a whisky. The occasion and the budget play a central role in the purchase decision. Are you buying for a connoisseur, a collector or a novice?

In two charts, in which bottles with age specifications and bottles from certain vintages are set in relation to the price, we try to give you a picture of 'the best' whisky.

Whiskies with age indication

Let's take a look at the chart: The red dots represent the 60 best-selling single malt whisky bottles containing 0.7 litres and 40 to 46% alcohol (as of 2021). The yellow line connects the cheapest bottles of an age category; the blue line the maximum prices. Surprisingly, there is no extreme (disproportionate) increase with increasing age, as is usually the case with luxury goods. In the age range from 12 to 22 years (yellow line), the price increases by around EUR 6.12 per year of ageing. This also applies to the most expensive representatives of the respective age group (blue line). Only in the age range from 10 to 12 years is there a horizontal trend. It makes no sense to buy a younger malt whisky with the feeling that you could save money. The basic cost of a bottle of single malt is constant, regardless of whether it is 10 or 12 years old.

If you look at the grey average curve, you will notice that the average 12-year-old malts sold are cheaper than the 10-year-olds. This has to do with special bottles such as the Ardbeg TEN and Edradour 10, which sell very well. But it is also due to the greater supply of 12-year-old malts, which leads to increased price competition at this age and puts pressure on the prices of 12-year-olds.

One subtlety can still be seen in the grey average curve. While customers are still reluctant to buy 15-year-old bottles, they are quite prepared to dig deeper into their pockets for 18-year-old bottles. However, this trend is reversed for 21-year-old malts. Here, customers are once again more price-conscious before deciding to spend significantly more on 24-year-old bottles.

Whiskies without age indication - Vintage

Malt whiskies are often bottled by vintage, just like wine. These 'vintage whiskies' are also known as 'vintage whiskies'. The label therefore does not state the age, but the vintage. This can be clearly seen in the bottlings from the Highland distillery Balblair. For a long time, it only had vintage bottlings without age statements in its repertoire, but in 2019 it switched its core range to age statements.

When evaluating a whisky, let go of age as the sole factor!

With old whiskies, as with all rare luxury goods, the disproportionate price increase with older vintages is clearly recognisable. The jump around 1960 is interesting: while there are still a few thousand bottles of these vintages worldwide, older vintages have become really rare. There is nothing left at all from the Second World War period.

There is no definitive answer to the question of the best whisky. However, the two diagrams will help you to judge whether a whisky belongs to the expensive or inexpensive group of Scottish malts. High prices do not always mean better quality, so place your favourite whiskies in the chart. You will be surprised how scattered they are.

Whisky replenishment

Especially during times when demand is very high, such as before Christmas, our stocks have large gaps and we have to wait for replenishment. Accordingly, the bottle is labelled in our shop system with 'uncertain replenishment', 'no replenishment' or 'back soon'. We try to make the information as precise as possible.

In this video from 2013, Horst Lüning explains why whisky replenishment is not so easy to communicate!

Why is it that we cannot deliver a bottle?

Typically, wholesalers try to determine the German market for the coming year. However, wholesalers' calculations often don't work out and they receive less stock than calculated. In some other countries, whisky is less in demand and the sales market is therefore smaller. The wholesalers in these countries then realise that they have calculated too generously and want to sell some of their stock again. The bottles are therefore redirected and end up on the German market after all.

The wholesalers in the whisky countries draw up their contracts with the respective buyer countries a year in advance. So you can imagine that the calculation is not easy. The German wholesalers certainly do their best to supply all their customers - as well as Whisky.de - well, but sometimes supply and demand do not match. We can then suddenly no longer supply an item! On the other hand, there are also quantities left in stores that can then be redistributed. We have goods back in stock that seemed to be sold out!

Special bottles

Things get more complicated with special bottles or very limited bottlings, with the German market receiving just 100 bottles of some special bottles! One example is bottles from the Port Ellen distillery, which was closed in 1983 and released a few bottles over the years.

We sell special bottles in different ways:

  • First come, first served
  • Regular customers are favoured
  • Club customers only
  • Only one bottle per customer
  • Auction

If possible, we will provide a note in the item description. However, our experience shows that it is difficult to please everyone.

In this video from 2013, Horst Lüning explains what the special bottles on the whisky market are all about! Who gets a special bottle at Whisky.de?

Conclusion:

Replenishment is sometimes difficult to calculate, especially with exquisite bottles. And fair distribution to our customers is a challenge every time. All that remains to be said is that we are working on solutions and continuing to develop!

Our whisky range

1770 Glasgow Oloroso Cask - Peated 6Y-2018/2024
1770 Glasgow Oloroso Cask - Peated 6Y-2018/2024
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
Aberlour bottling from 2017 18 Years
Aberlour bottling from 2017 18 Years
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
Aberlour Small Batch 15 Years
Aberlour Small Batch 15 Years
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
An Iconic Speyside Speyside Single Malt 12Y-2011/2024
An Iconic Speyside Speyside Single Malt 12Y-2011/2024
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
Annandale Man O' Swords - Bourbon Cask 2018/2023
Annandale Man O' Swords - Bourbon Cask 2018/2023
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
Annandale Man O' Swords Founders Selection - Sherry Cask 2017/2023
Annandale Man O' Swords Founders Selection - Sherry Cask 2017/2023
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
Annandale Man O' Words Founders Selection - Sherry Cask 2017/2023
Annandale Man O' Words Founders Selection - Sherry Cask 2017/2023
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
Antiquary 15 Years
Antiquary 15 Years
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
Ardbeg Spectacular
Ardbeg Spectacular
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
Ardbeg Vintage_Y2K 23 Years
Ardbeg Vintage_Y2K 23 Years
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
Ardbeg Wee Beastie - The Ultimate - Warehouse Edition 5 Years
Ardbeg Wee Beastie - The Ultimate - Warehouse Edition 5 Years
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
Ardlair Refill Oloroso Sherry Butt Cask Strength Collection 12Y-2011/2023
Ardlair Refill Oloroso Sherry Butt Cask Strength Collection 12Y-2011/2023
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT