If You Love Scotch, You Had Better Start Stocking Up

Let’s try to remain calm, everyone.


It’s enough to put Ron Burgundy into a glass case of emotion: Whiskey lovers are callously drinking up the world’s supply of old single-malt scotch. 

At least, that’s according to a widely-publicized report in CNN Money, which says the single-malt shortage could affect us for the next 10 to 15 years, inflating prices and spurring distillers to ramp up production.

The culprit is the continued runaway popularity of single malt — that’s scotch made from the product of a single distillery rather than a blend, for all you rubes out there. In the U.S. alone, annual single-malt sales nearly tripled between 2002 and 2015, according to the Distilled Spirits Council.

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Try to stay strong, Ron.

Meanwhile, global single malt sales spiked 159% between 2004 and 2014, according to the Scotch Whisky Association. Asia now accounts for one-fifth of all Scotch sales, drinking up an astounding quarter of a billion bottles every year, CNN Money reports.  

That surging demand has threatened the global supply of age-labeled single malts, which are produced in limited amounts by distillers every year. 

“We are currently working at full capacity — seven days a week, 24 hours a day,” Charlie Whitfield, a brand manager for Macallan, tells CNN Money. “We just need to be patient and allow those casks to work their magic.”

By early 2018, Macallan, one of the world’s biggest Scotch brands, will have a second distillery going. But it won’t be releasing bottles right away, as all Scotch must be aged for a minimum of three years.

In the meantime, single-malt prices are on the rise. The Investment Grade Scotch Whisky Index, which tracks auction prices, climbed 14% last year, beating traditional assets like gold, which dipped more than 10% over the same period.

Our advice? Drink ’em while you got ’em.

h/t CNN Money