Whiskey Shortage

We recently saw a Zagat survey that found whiskey is the number one favorite spirit of drinkers in America. This wasn’t really a surprise to us because we’re one of those people, but we were a little shocked to see that whiskey is so popular that some distilleries are actually having trouble keeping up with the demand.

You booze hounds are going to put the whiskey industry out of business. Okay, you probably won’t put them out of business, but damn – save some for the rest of us.

Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky actually put out a press release last week to let people know that the “bourbon boom” is causing periodic bourbon shortages at their distillery. The company said that while they’re making more bourbon every single day, it’s important to remember that there’s nothing they can do while they wait for it to come of age. Bourbon has to be matured in new oak barrels and Buffalo Trace ages many of its batches for eight to ten years, and some even as long as 23 years.

Compared to the big boys like Jack Daniels, Buffalo Trace is pretty small – and it’s those small distilleries that are having the biggest issues. However, Maker’s Mark (the fourth largest straight American whiskey in the U.S. market) was also facing a possible shortage earlier this year. They announced that they were going to be watering down their whiskey so that they could put out more product, but obviously, we all threw a big fit and they had to take back their blasphemous statement. After that little stunt, their sales increased by 44 percent in the first quarter, mostly because customers panicked and bought all of the liquor before it got watered down.

Ehh, sounds a little fishy to us.

As the popularity of whiskey grows, some distilleries are beginning to invest more into their businesses so that they can keep up with demand. Sales-wise, vodka has been king for many years in the United States. It looks like it finally may have a worthwhile competitor in whiskey, though. We’re happy to see whiskey finally getting its time in the spotlight, but if it means suffering shortages of our favorite beverage, we’re happy to let other liquors take the top spot.