Food & Drink

Don’t panic but we might be running out of Scotch

They always said you can't have too much of a good thing.

And now it seems that the world's love of Scotch is going to cause a serious shortage in the near future.

CNN reports that single malt sales tripled between 2002 and 2015 in the US, with Asia recently getting into the good stuff, and buying up to a quarter of a billion bottles of it every year.

High prices, low stock, high demand, low supply - it's not looking good.

The cheapest single malts need a legal minimum aging of three years, so replenishment is not easy; not to mention the fact that those versions are not going to be as high-quality as the super-aged stuff. The situation is a result of the lean years of the 1980s, when Scotch was out of fashion, and many distilleries were going out of business.

That lack of capacity is coming home to roost now that the drink's popularity has increased, with whisky investment expert Rickesh Kishnani commenting, "The shortage of old and rare single malt ... has already started, and it's going to get worse".

Charlie Whitfield, a brand manager for the Macallan distillery told CNN, "We are currently working at full capacity - seven days a week, 24 hours a day. We just need to be patient and allow those casks to work their magic."

Meanwhile, the good whiskies out there are continuing to appreciate in value. The Investment Grade Scotch Whisky Index, which tracks auction prices, climbed 14 per cent last year - while gold tumbled more than 10 per cent over the same period.

Liquid gold? You bet.

[via CNN]

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