News and opinions came in the last few days that one of my favourite whiskies, Aberlour a’Bunadh has seen a significant price increase with most reaction being negative with questions over the future of non-age statement whisky, why Pernod / Chivas who owns Aberlour would do this aside from profiteering and many folks stating their intention to boycott the product and the brand.
Now, whilst this reaction may seem to be a bit over the top, there is a question of fairness here when a price increase takes a single malt from £48 a bottle to £80 a bottle quite literally overnight. Aberlour A’Bunadh is a fantastic whisky, that’s a given, but does such a price increase take the proverbial?
I’m sure I’m going to be in the minority here, but I don’t think so.
Aberlour A’Bunadh has a place in my heart, I’m a big fan of the distillery – it even features prominently in my book, The GreatDrams of Scotland, I’m a founding member of the Aberlour A’Bunadh Collective and have been an Aberlour A’Bunadh drinker for years.
I have often said that it is one of the most reasonably-priced whiskies on the market, and now I genuinely think it is on sale for a fair price given the quality, the flavour and the brilliance of the product.
I do see why there is outrage at this happening, believe me I do, and I naturally wish that Aberlour A’Bunadh would still be available for sub-£50 going forward, but I genuinely think we have had it so good for so long with this whisky.
And it does not matter about age or cost of casks used in the maturation really as that’s not something that the product has traded much on in the past aside from the blend being made up of whisky matured exclusively in Spanish Oloroso casks, which is a premium cask to have whisky mature in, what matters is the awesome flavour imparted by these casks, the experience many of us have had with the whisky over the years and hopefully will have again in the future despite this price increase.
Why should a brand not up their prices when the time is right?
Why should a brand not reassess their portfolio?
Why should a brand with over a century of distilling history, heritage and prowess not change their status in the market through premiumising their price point when so many distilleries with no proven track record are putting their first releases out to market at prices higher than Aberlour A’Bunadh will be going forward?