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5 Reasons Why It’s Hard to Find Affordable Whiskey

5 Reasons Why It’s Hard to Find Affordable Whiskey

It’s no secret that Japanese whisky has been skyrocketing in price over the years, but it seems that all whiskey is now following suit. It used to be that bourbon and rye were after-work drinks, but thanks to rising prices, you may only be filling your personalized whiskey glasses on more special occasions with the good stuff. What happened to whiskey, and why is it getting harder to find common whiskies at reasonable prices and good whiskies on the shelves at all?


Whiskey Got Popular

Whiskey was once a working man’s drink. But it slowly became known as a more decadent drink as people realized it was so good. You, too, could feel like an ad man in the 1950s by pouring whiskey out of your personalized whiskey decanter. It was effortless and suddenly cool, thanks to the media. Posting a photo of yourself with a rare bottle became all the rage. Social media made it cool to drink whiskey again, and connoisseurs hunted bottles. Suddenly collectors wanted in on a market where the whiskey stays in the bottle and appreciates.


Going After Collectors

Distilleries also targeted collectors, producing small batches that were already expensive and hard to find. In states that didn’t have state-controlled liquor stores, prices could shoot sky-high thanks to desirability. Collectors will go after these bottles with dogged determination. One state employee in Virginia illegally fed lists of which bottles would be in certain stores to a single collector, who then sold the information. Some states use a lottery system to combat this.


Premium Whiskey Exploded

Around 2016, premium and regular whiskies swapped places, as it were. Cheap whiskey was easy to find, but then premium whiskey took off. Sales were consistent across all price points, but super-premium sales jumped. As whiskey fans became more educated, they wanted better whiskey, and with that came a willingness to pay more. Hence the small batches that collectors now trample over each other to get. For example, a batch may come from a single barrel, making it highly exclusive. These are indeed limited edition batches.


Supply and Demand

Limited edition batches bring up the age-old problem of supply and demand, the exact concept that caused the prices of Japanese whisky to balloon. As more and more bottles are bought every year, supply dwindles. Whiskey takes time to age, and, in most cases, it can’t be rushed. That means it might be years before a batch is ready, leaving whiskey lovers with only what was bottled years ago. Production can’t increase to meet demand; it takes time.


The Pandemic

Finally, part of the boom can be attributed to the pandemic. With more time and money on their hands than they usually had, people started drinking. With whiskey’s new popularity and social media hype, bourbon, rye, Scotch, and other whiskies began flying off the shelves. Once again, supply and demand mean fewer bottles on the shelves, and prices go up. Thankfully, we only have to wait a few more years for more whiskey to mature.


About Crystal Imagery

In 2001, Eric Schuchart started his hobby of making personalized engraved glasses. What he didn’t know, as he gave them as gifts to friends and family, was that his life would change. The glassware earned rave reviews, so a dozen years later, he made his hobby his job, starting Crystal Imagery. Sherri Blum, a noted interior designer for celebrities and marketing expert, joined him. Now, Crystal Imagery is known for using a deep etching technique, producing a shadow and depth in the glass that competitors simply can’t match. Crystal Imagery offers personalized whiskey glasses, customized beer glasses, champagne flutes, wine glasses, crystal ice buckets, highball glasses, and several other glassware options. When it’s time to elevate your home bar, choose Crystal Imagery.


No matter the price of your whiskey, find personalized glasses and decanters at