Everything Worthwhile Takes Time
If houses were built in a day they would cost less to purchase, and the same goes for Scotch Whisky. It takes a minimum of 3 years for a whisky to develop into a consumable product which can legally be deemed a Scotch Whisky. The older a whisky is, higher the price it commands.
3 year old whisky is used in the blended industry to produce the likes of the Johnnie Walker, for example. Blended whiskies are cheaper because it doesn't take as much time to produce them.
As you can see, the more mature a cask is the less whisky there is to be bottled. This explains why older bottles of whisky cost more. The longer a whisky is matured the better it becomes. Also, older casks have experienced more evaporation meaning there isn't as much left to bottle.
Unlike wine, Whisky only matures when stored in an oak cask. Once bottled maturity halts.
Scotch Whisky is the most traded spirit internationally and the principle remains unchanged. Purchasing a newly filled cask ensures you are purchasing at the lowest price. A cask of mature whisky which is ready for bottling is more valuable than a cask which isn't.
What Makes a Whisky Expensive?
As Glenfarclas launches a 62 year old Scotch priced at £53k, we ask; What makes a Scotch Whisky so expensive?
Glenfarclas Pagoda Ruby Reserve is a limited edition bottling presented in a Glencairn decanter that features hand-mounted rubies. The whisky joins the Pagoda Reserve Trilogy which includes 43, 48 and 59 year old Scotch Whiskies.
A further addition to the Pagoda Reserve Series will be released later this year – The Pagoda Sapphire Reserve which is a staggering 63 years old.
George Grant, sales director at Glenfarclas Distillery, said: “I take great pleasure in releasing this extremely rare 1954, single Sherry butt cask 62-year-old. The Glenfarclas Pagoda Ruby Reserve is a rare piece of Scotch whisky heritage and one of the oldest whiskies on the market today.”
So what makes this Whisky so expensive? The main factor is age. For a start this whisky has spent 63 years maturing in an oak cask. Whisky only matures when stored in a cask and maturity completely halts when once a whisky is bottled. 63 years is a long time for a distillery to wait for their return. Most whiskies are bottled after 5 - 18 years.
The older the cask, the larger the Angel's share (evaporation). This means there is very little whisky left to bottle. Only 180 bottles, as well as 62 magnums of The Pagoda Sapphire are available to purchase.