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Balblair's massive price hike

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Wierdo started a discussion

Balblair, who are owned Inverhouse (by the same company that owns Old Pulteney) have announced a shift from their current vintage system (e.g. 2005 1st release bottled 2018 means whisky is 12 years old), which I loved for it's relative uniqueness but some people found confusing to a more standard age range 12, 15, 18 and 25.

They've also changed the style of bottle, again I loved the old style bottle but they've gone for a more standard design.

The one other thing they've changed is the price.

Massively.

The new prices are on the whisky exchange.

thewhiskyexchange.com/b/40/…

Using the current prices of the 2018 vintage releases the price of the 12 remains comparable to the equivalent vintage whisky (2005 1st release) at around £40.

But from then on there is a significant price hike with the 15 being £5 more expensive than the 2000 2nd release, despite being at least a couple of years younger. The 18 comes in at the same price as the 1991 3rd release. So that's £120 for an 18 year old and about £60 more expensive than the equivalent vintage whisky (2000 2nd release).

They don't have the price of 25 on whisky exchange. But presumably it will be comparable to the Old Pulteney 25 so around the £250 mark I'd say. So probably double the equivalent 91.

Very disappointed in Balblair for this. I haven't brought any more Old Pulteney since they massively ramped up their prices and I won't be buying Balblair any longer after this.

It doesn't even make much commercial sense to me. Balblair is not Macallan, it's not even Old Pulteney. From what I can tell it doesn't have much of a presence internationally and even here in the UK its a fairly obscure whisky. Strictly, for malt-heads. You don't find it in supermarkets or bars and even if you get talking to someone who's into their whisky they've rarely tried Balblair, most have tried Old Pulteney as the 12 is in pretty much every supermarket in the UK.

So I understand the change from the vintage system as new customers may find that confusing. I understand the change in bottle style. The old style bottles and boxes were very stylish but they looked expensive to produce. So cut costs I can grasp that. But I don't understand the price hike? My limited understanding of commerce is you create demand for a product and then when demand begins to outstrip supply you can charge more. I don't understand the logic in massively increasing the price of a whisky that wasn't exactly flying off the shelves anyway?

Unless they decided to lay off staff, cut back production, create a limited supply and charge mre for it?

5 years ago

8 replies

Wierdo replied

Correction the new Balblair 25yo will retail at £500 a bottle open_mouth

scotchwhisky.com/magazine/latest-news/…

3 or 4 months ago I brought a bottle of 1991 vintage bottled in 2018 for £122. So overnight they have implemented a 400% price increase for their 25yo.

Shocking

5 years ago 1Who liked this?

Wierdo replied

@fiddich1980 joy

He's gonna do a new video 'Ralfy rages at pish taking Balblair bampots!'

5 years ago 3Who liked this?

RikS replied

Well... alienating their fans when the market is up.... tends to be quite expensive when the market goes down. As a well-known man once said, "lose money and I'll forgive you, ruin my reputation and you're fired".

5 years ago 1Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

I'm glad I've still got a bottle of the 27 year old 1990 2nd Release in the bunker. As I recall, I paid around 130GBP each for two of them last year.

5 years ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

I have been saying on Connosr for at least 7 years now, if you think that a whisk(e)y is well-priced and you love it, that you should stock up on it, because you can't count on it staying as good, being as available, or costing the same reasonable amount. Few act on that advice, it seems. I have never regretted having stocked up on favourites, many of which I cannot purchase now, except at a scalper's price.

5 years ago 6Who liked this?

Wierdo replied

@Victor excellent advice.

I have a couple of bottles of Balblair stashed including the 27 year old '91. I've just ordered another bottle of the 2000 I loved and I think I'll stash a couple more over the next few months whilst the old ones are still available.

5 years ago 4Who liked this?

Wierdo replied

Well I commented on Ralfy's love letter to Balblair video about the price hike. He responded saying like me he's not happy with the price increase and won't be sending any more love letters to Balblair!

5 years ago 4Who liked this?

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