How do I buy my whisky?
About two-three years ago I turned on Google Alerts for a few whisky related topics to stay on top of my favorite drams and I still get three emails a day with everything that goes on in Dram-land. Anything from unique partnerships, changes in management, new reviews and many, many, many new releases from around the world. Every time I see an alert come in and I read five to ten articles about new whiskies brought to the market I keep asking myself: "Who would buy all these whiskies?"
I can't imagine buying every single new whisky that's released because a: quite a lot of the releases are very expensive and b: there wouldn't be enough space in my appartement to store it all, considering I don't drink that much, that fast.
So how do I filter through the endless lists of new releases? I determine my choice on a few simple criteria. I've used this tactic for years, both with my whiskies as well as my clothes (Jewelry doesn't count).
Is it from a brand that I know?
If yes, is it something significantly different from what I already know/own?
If no, does the description, or do the reviews appeal to me?
What's the price, including shipping fees and import taxes? Let me say up front that I don't mind paying import taxes, I just want to know what to expect and preferably have these costs be calculated and included in the price at the time of purchasing. Why? Simple: If I need to pay € 25 for shipping and an additional € 65 import taxes, that heavily impacts my choice.
How much "value" do I derive from this purchase? I'm not necessarily talking monetary value but emotional value as well. Does this buy bring me something new and unique? Some whiskies hold a special memory or remind me of something or someone.
I remember buying a bottle because of its unique name: Chardonnay Flavoured White Wine Gums. Why did that resonate with me? Because I have a friend that makes exactly that! The Real Wine Gums are made with real Chardonnay. It was just perfect. The 26 yeard old grain whisky from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society was great as well.
After taking the above three criteria into consideration I will decide whether I think the money is worth the buy. Of course everyone has their own way of deciding what to buy but this works for me and I am certain it has saved me both money and space over the years.