The Great Whiskey Shortage Is Near

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Prepare yourself for some hellish news. There’s not enough whiskey to go around. We’re going to have to start rationing it…like animals. Buffalo Trace, one of the oldest bourbon distilleries in the country told Smithsonian Magazine recently that a whiskey shortage is at hand. Why? Because we drink too much of it.

According to Buffalo Trace, “Despite the increase in distillation over the past few years, bourbon demand still outpaces supply. The overall bourbon category is experiencing 5% growth, but premium brands are up nearly 20% from last year. Bourbon must be matured in new oak barrels and Buffalo Trace ages many of its 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.”

Even more bad news, there’s a shortage of wood needed to create whiskey barrels. Double bummer. A bar manager at one of my local cocktail bars said he’s already having trouble stocking certain bourbon labels, and advised his friends to “buy as much bourbon as you can get your hands on.”

Raise your hand if you’re completely depressed?

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