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  1. #1
    Connoisseur
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    May 2003
    Location
    Virginia
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    621

    Local malt shortages?

    I'm sure many of you have heard the scuttlebutt about mid-1980's production being low, which supposedly has impacted availability of certain malts. The only one I've personally experienced is the disappearance of Lagavulin 16yo, but now there's supposedly a shortage of Oban.

    Have any of you noticed shortages?

  2. #2
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
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    9,055

    Re: Local malt shortages?

    I have heard via the discussion forum at www.whiskymag.com that there is in fact a shortage of Lagavulin. The 16 year old is apparently disappearing, to be replaced by a 12 year old version (which was available years back before the 16 year expression took off in popularity). Oban may have been mentioned too, I refer interested readers to the forum for further discussion.

    Some single malts may henceforth become vatted (combinations of malts from different distilleries).

    It appears indeed that 1980's production was not as high as required to meet the present demand.

    This sounds a bit discouraging but on the other hand, never before has there been such a variety of malts on the market, especially if one factors in the bottlings of the independent merchants. The whisky business, in the U.K. as here, faces challenges in always predicting correctly the ebb and flow of supply and demand. But as I say, the restricted supply or availabality of one malt should not be a major concern: others will always be available. If Lagavulin 16 year old in fact becomes unavailable and the 12 year version fails to please, I counsel people to buy Ardbeg, or Laphroig, or (a great value) Talisker. Talisker to my taste, despite being a rich peaty drink, reminds me of fine American straight whiskeys of medium but smoky palate, say the older Virginia Gentleman, or Russell's Reserve or Kentucky Spirit.

    The bridge to Scotch whisky from Western Pennsylvania (where U.S. whiskey started) is very long indeed at this point, but one can still make the crossing with special equipment.

    Gary

  3. #3
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Virginia
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    621

    Re: Local malt shortages?

    Some single malts may henceforth become vatted (combinations of malts from different distilleries).
    Are you saying this is a side-effect of underproduction (eg. there are stocks of a certain malt of a certain age, but not enough for a bottling run, so they use it in blends/vatted malts instead)?

  4. #4
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    Toronto, Canada
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    9,055

    Re: Local malt shortages?

    Yes, precisely. Cardhu will, according to Whisky Magazine, issue 33 (current issue) become a vatted malt. No doubt others will follow..

    Gary

  5. #5
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Posts
    224

    Re: Local malt shortages?

    Lagavulin is not the only one of the "Classic Malts" that apparently is in short supply. Talisker and Cragganmore disappeared from store shelves here (PA) months ago, and the vendor says they don't expect a shipment of those until next year . Also, I believe the new Lagavulin 12yo is a cask strength bottling, and reportedly is very good.

    SpeedyJohn

  6. #6
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    495

    Re: Local malt shortages?

    SpeedyJohn,

    I for one will be on the look-out for the Cask Strength Lagavulin. I bet that would be one fine dram!

    Bob

  7. #7
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    495

    Re: Local malt shortages?

    In addition to Gary's fine suggestions, I'd like to add a few more favorites for your consideration. Bowmore, Bruichladdich, The Macallan, Springbank, Dalmore, Glenmorangie, Highland Park are all excellent and offer different taste profiles as well as price ranges. While there are shortages of some favorites, it gives us an opportunity to try other things that we might not have tried otherwise. The journey continues...


    Bob

  8. #8
    Guru
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Central Arizona (near Prescott), U.S.A.
    Posts
    4,235

    Re: Local malt shortages?

    I think I'll ask for it the next time I'm at a full-line liqour store.

    Just to be mischievous, I'll ask for "that new, barrel-proof Lagavulin bottling".

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

  9. #9
    Bourbonian of the Year 2007
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    NYC, Louisville, Shenzhen
    Posts
    1,598

    Re: Local malt shortages?

    Just to be mischievous, I'll ask for "that new, barrel-proof Lagavulin bottling".
    I endorse that idea heartily. You are welcome to use me as a reference!

  10. #10
    Apprentice
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    NY, NY
    Posts
    40

    Re: Local malt shortages?

    Unfortunately the CS Lagavulin will not be brought in to the US anytime soon, but the Signatory UnChillfiltered Laphroaig is in the US and should satisfy any peaty cravings. Also if you can get hold of the CS Laphroaig from anyone going through duty-free, it is well worth it.

 

 

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