Monday, 5 April 2010

A New Whisky, Purchasing Whisky

I decided that to assist me in my writing, I would need a new single malt of which to sample. Having, as has been mentioned, dined in The Fat Duck last week, and sampling The Glenlivet 12 year old in one of the courses, I decided I would get a bottle from this distillery.

When shopping just before Easter, I noticed in the Waitrose that I was in, that the 15 year old French Oak and 18 year old were currently on special offer until the 13th April. Because of this choice, I was hard pressed between the two, but decided I would go for the 18 year old, the only other 18 year old of which I have sampled being the Highland Park.

So this afternoon, on Bank Holiday Monday, I trundled down to the local Waitrose to pick up my 18 year old The Glenlivet for a good price of £28.49. Small problem with that. It does not seem that my local Waitrose, is in enough of an affluent area, as some of the whiskies that I noted the other day, do not appear in the locals offering. A more basic and younger range is present.
Therefore, I have come away with a French Oak 15 year old The Glenlivet which was on offer at £25.99. I would say that this is a pretty reasonable price on face value, of course I haven't tried it yet, but a 15 year old for under £30.00 is uncommon. It is with anticipation that I await trying The Glenlivet.
Something inside of me is not satisfied though. I really wanted to get my hands on the 18 year old. I will make it my quest over the next week to track down a bottle at a Waitrose for sampling, which at that price, a saving of £8.00 seems a good offer.
This all leads me on to some thoughts I have. In commencing this writing, I have naturally scoured the internet looking for availability of whiskies, researching different distilleries and where to purchase the whiskies. It is without doubt that the reason that Glenfiddich, The Glenlivet, Glenmorangie et al are so widely consumed is that they are commonly found in the supermarkets. Some of the more obscure distilleries, or some of the older or rarer vintages come from one of two sources. Either direct from a visit to the distillery, or if available, their online shop, or via an online retailer.

This would seem easy, especially for me who purchases many things online, usually DVD's etc, but these all come with free shipping. Whisky, it seems does not. This might be understandable, as it is a fairly heavy product, but then, I have had huge cook books delivered free of charge or for a small nominal value for the postage.

They aren't competitive with everyday single malts, so if you are looking online, check the local supermarket first. They do have an interesting collection of more unusual distilleries or vintages, but if you are purchasing this way, it is probably best to order more than one to at least spread the cost of the postage out. £6 or so for postage is quite a large percentage if you are only paying £30/£40/£50 for a bottle. It is a shame they do not do a competitive price for just one bottle purchases.

If anyone does know of a retailer who is competitive one both the price of the whisky and postage for one bottle, please do let me know.

To find out more about The Glenlivet, please visit - 

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