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Do you 'blind buy'..?

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@Jules
Jules started a discussion

And if so, what is your 'cut-off price', ie. the price point at which you would no longer 'blind buy', even if the Whisky had a good review(s)?

I have occasionally purchased bottles

8 years ago

13 replies

@Jules
Jules replied

(continued as somehow my full text didn't get posted)...

I have occasionally purchased bottles up to 150$ without first tasting if they had a good review from a blogger I trust... not often, but a few times, as it's an expensive gamble.... am I nuts or do others do this?

8 years ago 1Who liked this?

@sorren
sorren replied

A lot of my buys have been done " blind " the most I have spent on something I had not tried was £580, I am sure I will carry on and I am sure that figure will rise ..

8 years ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

By necessity most of my initial purchases of a whisky are done blind. I just don't have the capacity to open so many bottles at one time. I've had some mixed results:

Back when I was starting out, I bought all my Scotch based on either Ralfy reviews or the reviews of one newspaper reviewer. I did ok, finding some gems such as Bruichladdich Peat (and the classic - not the newer one now), Springbank CS and Claret Wood, and Aberlour A'Bunadh.

On the other hand, I decided one weekend when my wife was away to complete my collection of the Aberlour line-up. I bought 2 18 and one 10, 12 and 16. I've since been disappointed with the 18, and tried someone else's 16 which I thought was "meh". Now what to do with 4 bottles I really have no use for?

My Livet 18 at least is good for beginners who can't handle CS but it's a litre from DF.

I've picked up a few more bottles of some Canadian whiskies than I probably should have.

I think my blind buying has likely improved overall when I consider single malts. With US or Canadian whisky I sometimes buy based on others' enthusiasm and don't necessarily get what I should have...

8 years ago 1Who liked this?

@MuddyFunster
MuddyFunster replied

I have learned not to blind buy. I'll at least try to taste in a bar before buying.

I just bought Redbreast 12 blind and whilst it's decent I really wish I'd gone for the cask version. Great nose but feels a bit tame on the palate.

8 years ago 0

@Alexsweden
Alexsweden replied

I rarely sample a whisky before I buy it, usually I just look at reviews from trusted sources and decide. One of the few bottles I have sampled and then bought for my own is the kilkerran wip 7.

8 years ago 0

@Pandemonium
Pandemonium replied

Most of the time I scan the website of the shop for their inventory and note a few interesting ones. Check whiskybase for the latest releases of independent bottlers like Cadenhead, Signatory Vintage, AD. Rattray and Douglas Laing, to look at the scores they received. In shop it is mostly an indication of distillery, prices, age and most importantly bottling year. A bottle of for example 18 yo Bunnahabhain that has been on the shelves for 6 years and still costs 'only' €70 is most of the time a big no no.

Furthermore after some time you can make a pretty accurate risk calculation. Indy Laphroaigs have a better track record than indy Tamnavulins. An indy Mortlach is safer than an indy Glendullan at the same price. Its more fun to take a risk, but I rarely do that with expensive indy bottles. I always try to obtain a sample first.

A quick example. Last week I visited a whisky shop that just purchased the new collection of Kintra, Samaroli and AD. Rattray. So I checked their scores with whiskyfun and whiskybase to gain some perspective. In the shop when confronted with the actual prices I deceided it would be wise to leave them be. Instead I took with me an Imperial (my 6th) from Whisky Mercenary (my 4th) and a bottle of Tamdhu (my 3rd) from Van Wees (my 5th).

8 years ago 0

@sengjc
sengjc replied

I regularly buy blind and learnt to accept a whisky by its own merits and flaws. Decisions are made based on reputation, general feedback, trust in producers and recommendations. There is a plethora of styles to try, some will intrigue while others will provide experience and a small handful that you will resonate with which makes the journey of discovery all the more worthwhile.

Right now, my typical cut-off point is AUD$150 a bottle which is typically the median pricing for the range that I am interested in.

8 years ago 0

@Ol_Jas
Ol_Jas replied

My willingness to buy blind is inversely proportionate to price.

8 years ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

What OlJas said.

8 years ago 0

@Pete1969
Pete1969 replied

Being a first year newbie there is no choice but to buy blind which is we're this site helps. I have invested a few pounds sterling in whisky this year and have to say not had a bum steer yet price point being £20-50 or from Europe online €20-55. Bought both of my favourites WT Rare Breed and Glenlivet 16 Nadurra as blind buys best investments so far but believe as I start to extend the price bracket I may have to buy samples before I blow £60-70 on a dud But they are such poor value it seems self defeating

8 years ago 0

@McTeague
McTeague replied

I try not to blind buy and get to taste quite a few whiskies at the 4 or 5 major whisky tastings held in NYC each year. There is no online reviewer whose tastes I agree with, so reviews don't help me much.

But yeah, I still blind buy, but try to stick with known reputations for quality. The most I've paid blind was $220 for a 29 year old SMWS Glenfarclas. I loved it so much I bought a second bottle.

8 years ago 0

@Ol_Jas
Ol_Jas replied

@Pete1969 , I think the duds decrease quite a bit once you get into that price range.

We don't see a lot of posts like "I'm considering bottle X for price X—is it worth it?" but I at least would welcome them. Sure, you'll often get split opinions, but you'll also get some overwhelming "yes!" and "no!" input from the crowd.

8 years ago 0

@Jules
Jules replied

@OlJas
Not sure I agree. £70 GBP is about 105$ bucks, and I'm afraid there are quite some OB's that really don't warrant that price. I have bought several OB’s in this price range where I wish I’d saved my money for an indie bottling that I had tasted before (buying indie’s ‘blind’ is smth I think you should only do once you have a fair amount of experience with Whisky so that you know enough about casks type influence, distillery character, etc. .

Sure, you won’t get any AWFUL bottles for that money, but you may well still end up disappointed. Especially the big brands (Diageo, etc) really have no qualms about selling below average stuff for such prices...

8 years ago 0