The Return of Discontinued Aged-Statement Japanese Whisky: When?

A few weeks ago, several reports surfaced on the internet indicated that more Japanese Whisky will be discontinuation. The announcement was made by Suntory and Nikka in January 2019. This time, it will affect Nikka 12, Nikka Coffey Malt and Nikka Coffey Grain, Chita 350mL, Suntory Kakubin White Label and Suntory Kakubin.

nikka 12 600x750Let’s recap, the following Japanese whiskies are already discontinued or put on hold, Hibiki 12 and 17, Hakushu 12, Yoichi 10, 15 & 20, Miyagikyo 12 and 15 and Taketsuru 12. Once upon a time, it is possible to find them at a local bottle shop, nowadays, you are more likely to find them on eBay. Do be careful about counterfeits, which we will discuss another time.

Will aged statement Japanese Whisky single malt whiskies come back? Given the current success, why won’t they? The more interesting question is when? Let do a quick hypothesis. Yoichi and Miyagikyo aged statement single malt were discontinued in 2015.

“So logically, we should see a new 15-year-old aged-statement single malt Yoichi by 2030… hmmm…This is highly unlikely!”

Because this assumes the distilleries have no planning and forecasting and decided to cut supply when nothing was left in 2015.

A more likely scenario is to assume that Japanese Distilleries are well-run businesses, and they made an informed decision in 2015 based on good market intelligence and forecasting. It is reasonable to believe the distilleries are aware of the growing market trend long before 2015.

For example, the infamous Yamazaki Sherry Cask won the world whisky award in 2013, Japanese Whisky was the “disruptor” at the time. Knowing the changes in market dynamic, residual stock level, production rate and storage capacity, the distilleries can make an inform decision of what was needed to be done.

“Therefore, the more likely hypothesis is that we will see Japanese Distilleries release single malt aged-statement whisky much earlier than 2030.”

Once the forecast meets the internal business profit targets, we will probably see some special aged-statement special release (new old stock), as the new production rate is catching up to balance the scale.
This is our hypothesis, no inside news here. Let’s hope that it is right so that we can enjoy some new old stock soon! Go Suntory and Nikka! In the meantime, we will enjoy whatever we can get our hands on!



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