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Looking Ahead to 2023

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@Nozinan
Nozinan started a discussion

As the New Year approaches, I'm sure we're all looking forward to what 2023 will bring.

What will the next whisky trend be?

Will you be looking to buy? Looking to sell? Looking to try new spirits or fall back on the tried and true?

What are you planning for 2023?

about one year ago

15 replies

@OdysseusUnbound

I’m planning to whittle down my collection, yet again. I’m also pledging to catch up on reviewing samples provided by fellow Connosrs.

about one year ago 5Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

It’s always interesting to look back at the end of the year and see how reality compares to our plans and predictions. Last year I came closer that I have in the past. Let’s see how I do next year. This will be a long post because I intend to review next December to see how I’ve done.

My intake has decreased significantly over the past few years, and seems to be levelling out at about 2 bottles (~1500 cc) per year of spirits. That’s about half of what it was in 2019. While I’m comfortable with this amount, I suspect that if I have a “good” 2023 (ie - no loss of smell or taste, no stressors like a death in the family that curb my intake), I may consume a little bit more.

I would like to increase the number of reviews I post next year to at least 2 per month on average. I hope to make it through at least some of the 2019 advent calendar that languishes in my office.

With more in-person tastings and, with luck, with more people getting together, I hope that this will contribute to “drinking down” my collection in a bigger way. Because even though I will start the year with fewer sealed bottles than I did in 2022, my actual volume of spirits “in” was still twice the total “out”. I am hoping that 2023 will bring more balance.

In terms of my collection, I hope that once again I will have the same (or fewer) number of sealed bottles at the end of the year as at the beginning. To do this I will have to be very judicious about buying.

I’ve already committed to some Canadian Whisky from North Of 7 when the new private casks are dumped and delivered. But other than that I have very little on my radar. Any new Amrut that is available and reasonably priced, any affordable cask strength Talisker or Caol Ila (peated), any Wiser’s aged and CS bottling, and Lot 40 or AP CS ryes, lthough I am wary of Lot 40 as it has departed from its origins. If something becomes available from Milk and Honey distillery I will also be interested.

I would be very happy with bottle splits for many of these. Even for APCS, where I would want a spare, 1 1/2 bottles would be better than 2. And for unexpected expressions that fall into my lap, I will try to keep FOMO at bay, and if I can’t, at least combat FORO and get either a single bottle or a split.

I have 8-9 bottles targeted for opening this year. Most of these will depend on my ability to get together in the right setting with the people I want to open them with.

I have set my sights on about 15 bottles that I would like to either finish or give away if someone wants them. Most are heels but a few are simply bottles that I never reach for. Two were received as gifts, and one was bought as a curiosity.

As I am now early into my second decade of this hobby, I have a fairly good idea what I like and what I want to have at home. I am hoping that where opportunities exist to give whisky as a gift, I will draw from my collection those bottles that seemed like a good idea at the time but that I will never likely open, or bottles that I like that I have too many of. Of course they would have to be something that the recipient could appreciate. I count 17-20 bottles in this category.

I would like to wish all of you a happy and healthy New Year. May your glasses contain only the finest of spirits.

Bottles to Open

  • Amrut Intermediate Sherry batch 20
  • Amrut Portonova batch 6
  • Caol Ila peated CS (IB or OB 200 cc bottle)
  • Aberlour A’Bunadh batch 54
  • Dillon’s Rye 1 (2 releases)
  • Glenfarclas 105 NAS
  • One Springbank (12 YO, 12YO claretwood, Rundlets and Kilderkins)
  • Bowmore Laimrig or Tempest
  • Johnnie Walker Swing

Open Bottles to Finish or Give Away

  • Aberlour ’Bunadh batch 49
  • Adelphi Glenborrodale batch 2 (give away)
  • Bladnoch 12 YO Sherry-matiured 55%
  • Bruichladdich Peat
  • Bruichladdich “the Laddie Classic”
  • Octomore 9.3
  • Stagg Jr. Batch 7
  • Caol Ila 17 YO unpeated CS
  • Forty Creek Portwood Reserve
  • Highwood 90/20 Burgundy label
  • OGD 114
  • Springbank 12 YO CS
  • Talisker 57 N
  • Teeling Poitín (give away)
  • Kirkwall Bay single malt (give away)

about one year ago 5Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

Same as last year really! That is spend less, drink more ... Which I failed at miserably!

I think my main desire is to stop any buys aimed at stockpiling simply because they are at a good price or fear of a price hike. It's a sound strategy but I have so much now so it seems unnecessary.

In terms of buying: I have a few desirables that I can only get at auction so will keep an eye out for them but otherwise, ill be hanging back. My aim is to only buy things that meet my personal taste and with distilleries I know and trust, e.g. IB Mortlachs, Caol Ilas, and maybe pay a little more than usual for the privilege. I'd rather spend a bit more but buy less and on better quality.

Quality being the most subjective and hard to define word in whisky ...

Happy 2023 everybody tada sparkler fireworks

about one year ago 3Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

Whiski drinking for me in the last few months has been mostly a celebratory thing, particularly if I get a chance to share the experience with friends face to face. Really, since I lost my main whiski buddy 4 years ago my consumption of all alcoholic beverages has declined to a low level, except when I am socializing with friends and family. .

My experience level now is such that I am seldom uniquely surprised or greatly entertained by new experiences with whiski, but I do always remain eager to learn more when the opportunity to sample something new presents itself. This results in no new bottle buys, because I don't need additional supply of "more of the same" taste profiles, and excellent newbie taste profiles have proven few and far between in my experience of the last 5 years. The net result is that it is a bad bet for me to buy something on the dark horse chance that it will wow me or provide a unique new experience. My SOP the last few years has been to swap samples with friends, not buy new full size bottles.

I expect whiski prices for middle and bottom shelf products to go down during 2023, particularly in the second half of the year, because I perceive a worldwide deflation to be inevitable. The trick for whiski lovers will be to maintain their sources of income and their capital so that they will be able to continue to afford the lower priced products. As for the collectibles, they will remain collectibles, which is to say, scarce and expensive. The Top shelf non-collectibles will likely decrease in price somewhat, but less than will the large production mass market products.

Will there be another "Whisky Loch"? Yes and No. Yes, for common products. No, for old and rare collectibles. In a few years the long-aged products will likely come down moderately in price due to increasing supply in barrels now aging, but probably not at first, and not in 2023.

about one year ago 6Who liked this?

@65glenfarclas

@Victor Prices on bottom shelf/starter whiski may very well come down, however, companies typically don't drop prices on luxury goods ("high end" whiski). Instead, I think prices will remain "high" ... until inflation catches up. In the mean time, bottles will stay on shelves longer than has been the case over the last few years as consumers shift to other alcohol (or reduce consumption altogether).

about one year ago 3Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@65glenfarclas yours are reasonable expectations if you expect inflation to continue. I do not.

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@Victor @65glenfarclas - apologies in advance as I somewhat hijack your comments, but this topic (inflation, rising costs, lowering quality) has been on my mind a lot of late.

I'm noticing that a lot of stores/brands are reducing the quality of their goods, which I assume is due to higher costs for production. So as prices are increasing, quality is declining on many items.

I'm predicting (as things stand) a return to how things were when I was young - luxury items, eating out, holidays etc are going to be much less the norm and more of once in a while treat for most folk. People simply have less, in real terms, and stuff is more expensive - we will see what people value most dependant on where their money goes.

I think this might be the year that whisky sales really start to drop off. How that will affect prices remains to be seen, but in all likelihood they will decrease as predicted above. The older, 'high end' stuff will continue to rise in price, however.

about one year ago 3Who liked this?

@65glenfarclas

@Victor Historically, deflationary periods have been extremely rare. If that were to happen we will be in deep doo doo. When prices drop, people stop spending (waiting for the price to be lower), production drops, jobs are lost, less money to spend ... spiral. Inflation (rate of increase in prices) is a given, the only question is how much (i.e. what is the rate of increase). Nobody talks about inflation when the number is in a "normal" range (prices rising 1-2%), but that's still inflation! Recently, inflation has been running in a much higher range (5-10%) which is not sustainable. Producers are much more likely to reduce production than reduce prices. That's why economies normally operate with inflation rather than deflation.

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@65glenfarclas yes, indeed, what you say is generally true.

And what I say is also true, because, three years from now, most people will define their last 36 months of experience as the deepest of doo-doo. Be ready for it. It's coming this year. Many MANY surprises, for which most people will be completely psychologically unprepared. It is not my job to tell you what they will be. It is your job to find out for yourself. No one on this earth can do another person's homework for her or him. And I am not about to try.

about one year ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

WOW!. This thread has gone from whisky to armageddon...

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

@Nozinan Armageddon is what's going on in California right now and the reason we will be paying even more than the current 8 bucks a head for cauliflower very soon. I suspect this is a much greater cause for concern than the rising cost of whisky for most people.

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

Not really sure where to post this but, as I've been planning this for a while, here seems as good as anywhere. Today, I finally moved the bulk of my stash into its own designated area - with proper shelves and everything laughing .

They should be sturdy enough but I'll admit I'm a wee bit nervous about having so much glass stacked up like that. The shelves are two deep and I reckon I've got about 120 bottles on them.

When I open the closet, it's like looking at the face of God joy

about one year ago 7Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

The top shelf houses all the old blends I've been acquiring. Front and centre(ish) are two JW's from the early 70's. Most will be for drinking but I might hang on to these two for a while.

I can't express how good it feels to consolidate them all (most) into one convenient place!

about one year ago 6Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

Before making whisky predictions for 2024, I want to look back and see how things played out for 2023:

In terms of consumption, I don’t have the final numbers yet but it looks like I will come in at or just under 1500 cc, very similar to 2022. I had thought my intake might increase if I stayed heathy, but I ended up being very busy in the evenings helping the kids with homework (sure, blame the kids).

I aimed to post an average of 2 reviews per month. For the first half of the year I was ahead. Then in July I had Covid, and while I didn’t lose my sense of smell and taste, I lost some of the momentum. and being preoccupied with other things since October 7 has also contributed. As of now I have 17 reviews posted in 2023 and I’ll be hard pressed to get one ready for January 1. Still, it’s only 2 fewer than last year.

My volume of spirits in vs out was still unbalanced, though maybe a little better than last year. Of course, in 2 days I may receive some gifts that could skew the balance more. I know my father in law has bought me a bottle but I don’t get to see it yet. I held the line on purchases (one less than last year) but that was primarily because I could not pick up this year’s release of APCS in Ontario, so I don’t have a spare. I also have a couple of North of 7 Bottles that I will be paying for and receiving in 2024.

I did limit my scope of purchasing somewhat. As predicted I focused on specific expressions from specific distilleries, and tried to limit multiples. FOMO remained an issue, FORO less so.

Of the 9-12 bottles I identified for possible opening, I managed 3. My birthday batch A’Bunadh, a Springbank, and a JW Swing. October 7 likely got in the way of 2 Amruts, but ultimately the responsibility rests with me.

Of the 15 open bottles I hoped to finish or give away,, I also managed 3. OGD 114, A’Bunadh 49 and Stagg Jr. batch 7.

Now I will set my mind to considering 2024…

5 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

...And the Christmas list haul added 2 bottles to my collection... so I am 5 more than I started the year with. I had originally hoped to hold the line on my collection.

At least it isn't increasing as quickly as the national debt...

5 months ago 1Who liked this?

Liked by:

@casualtorture@Victor@RianC@paddockjudge@OdysseusUnbound