Thanks to an increase in popularity, whiskey consumers will be finding themselves in a pinch in the future.
With demand for the spirit soaring and bourbon producers unable to produce whiskey faster (it has to age for, you know, a lot of time), prices will likely rise tremendously.
Buffalo Trace, which produces (among other things) the legendary Pappy Van Winkle (and the criminally underrated Wellers), sent this letter about the shortage to drinkers.
Basically, it say shit sucks and there’s nothing to be done.
Last year we warned consumers that a shortage was looming, but many markets across the nation are just now feeling the full effects. Along with increased production, adding more bottling lines and hiring more people, we have also hired a full-time barrel allocation manager, just as we intended last year. Despite the increase in distillation over the past few years, bourbon demand still outpaces supply. Bourbon must be matured in new oak barrels and we age many of our barrels for eight to ten years, and some over two decades. That’s a long time to wait for a bottle of bourbon. Not to mention, with the amount of bourbon lost to evaporation over time, barrels are half empty after ten years. The increase in sales, coupled with the aging process and evaporation loss, leads to a shortage with no end in sight. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we try to catch up!