Brace yourself, the whiskey apocalypse is coming.
According to Jason Sheehan at Foobooz, we are downing bottles of premium whiskey faster than they can be produced and there is not much we can do about it. Except, well, not drink whiskey. But let’s be realistic here.
We have been warned about the looming shortage of top-shelf whiskey for a while. The whiskey industry has failed to predict the rise in demand. According to PR representatives at Buffalo Trace, “the thirst for premium brands (of which Buffalo Trace is but one) is up something on the order of 20%.” And no one saw that coming.
The whiskey that was laid to rest in oak barrels about a decade ago is coming into maturity just now, but it cannot keep up with today’s demand. The day has come; “some mystical time every hipster worth his mustache and tiny hat would be drinking Redbreast and Pappy like water.”
The rate of evaporation, also known as the angel’s share, is an issue as well. Premium, top-shelf whiskies take a longer time to age in barrels than cheaper brands. “Whiskey–good whiskey– is kind of like the ultimate slow food,” writes Sheehan. “And the longer the aging process, the more whiskey is lost.”
It gets worse. There’s a shortage of barrels due to the long, cold winter we just experienced. Even if distilleries increase the production of raw spirits, they are useless without good ol’ American oak in which to rest. Stock up, people. [Foobooz] [Photo: Flickr/ctj71081]