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Duty Free Only Scotches… WTF?

20 Nov

I’ll make this quick today. What in the world is up with Duty Free only scotches?

Lead in story: My poor buddy, Leone, is a freak for Laphroiag. He overpaid for a bottle of Laphroiag 18-year several months ago only to find the price reduced to almost half of what he paid in the market right now. Is he upset? Sure. Would he probably still have overpaid a little to get it earlier? My gut screams to the affirmative.

Which brings me to the Duty Free tease. He recently learned of a neat-o bottle of Laphroiag which only available in the the Duty Free retail. BEHOLD…

Laphroaig Triple Wood

Laphroaig Triple Wood (click this link to read a review that makes me want to punch someone). Sound interesting? You’re darn tootin’ it does! Laphroaig does not play much with its time-tested recipe and flavor profiles. But if you want to try it, you are going to have to travel internationally and cross your fingers that you run into it in your international airport’s Duty Free. Maybe that is no big deal for some wealthier Brits who are flying to Paris for the weekend, but for us Scotch freaks in the U.S., you have more chance of finding a bottle of Black Bowmore on the street unopened than stumbling across this one in a local retailer.

Highland Park 21-Year

Where do you think I got my uber-weird bottle of Highland Park 21-year? Leone accidentally picked one up for me on his way back from England a year back. It is actually the only Highland Park flavor profile that I would put a slight step up from Highland Park 18-year, which I consider their sweet spot on the spectrum (Highland Park 25 and 30 are rather dull to me).

I cherish my 21-year because I know damn well that the chances of me being able to replace it are slim to none. That’s why the bottle looks like someone opened it, scooped out a very large dram, and then never touched it again. *Single Tear*

So my message to the distillers is to knock it off. We know that you are playing with the market to dip your new flavor profiles’ toes into the market to see how they do without making an ass out of yourself when the critics pan it, but it is really frustrating to huge fans that just want to get their hands on a bottle without paying $1,200 for a ticket to England for a £40 bottle of hooch.

Will they knock it off? No way. I am just a sore loser.

If you want to read a little more about Duty Free, this article is a great start: