There was a typically irreverent post from Whisky Sponge today about collectors of whisky miniatures which prompted me to write this post.

Although it’s well observed that whisky prices are going through the roof (is it an investment? is it a bubble?), this is a discussion for another day.

What I can’t quite get my head around is the prices which are being paid by some people for miniatures!

An example is Cameron Brig – this is pleasant enough grain whisky from Diageo; good as light dram, for making toddies and an excellent grain base if you fancy a bit of home blending.

I bought a bottle a while ago for about £13 from Glenkinchie Distillery (it has risen slightly since then, but not much).

In the August Scotch Whisky Auction, a 5cl miniature of Cameron Brig was sold for £10 which in reality means the buyer paid £11.20, plus any other fees. I’m hoping this wasn’t being bought as a collectable, but even if you just wanted a sample, Master of Malt will happily sell you one for £3.25 (or a full bottle for £20.29).

There’s plenty more cases of this; why buy a full sized, boxed bottle of Macallan Easter Elchies 2010 for £150, when you can buy a 5cl miniature for £190! Seriously?

Maybe I’m missing something, but it just doesn’t make sense. From the sampling point of view, there are plenty of bars (or the previously mentioned MoM) who will sell you a dram of whisky if you don’t want to commit to a full bottle for a taste. If you are collecting – yes, a miniature may be rarer than a full-sized release, but it’s like owning a CD over Vinyl; just not quite the same.

Part of the appeal of owning good whisky (in my opinion) is that even if that value plummets, you’ve still got something pretty special to drink and share with friends; more difficult when you’ve got little more than an Irish pub measure to work with.

Anyway, mini(ature) rant over…

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