The latest addition to the the Glenfiddich product range is the Millennium Vintage, a World Of Duty Free travel retail exclusive bottling. It is a 12 year old distilled in 2000 and bottled at 40% after maturation in “European and American oak” and a two month finish in bourbon casks. 35000 bottles are suppossed to be released.
So apart from the fact that the casks for this release were personally selected by Glenfiddich Malt Master Brian Kinsman, we have basically the regular 12 year old whch has undergone a short finish in (probably first fill) bourbon casks.
The standard Glenfiddich 12 yo sells for around £26 in the UK, the Millennium Reserve has a price tag of £39.99 which means it is £14 or almost 54% more expensive. Of course fresh bourbon casks cost money, but how much will this effect the price?
Let’s do a rough estimate: You can get about 300 bottles of whisky at 40% out of a bourbon cask which should not cost more than £200, probably less. Re-casking takes some time, so it seems like a fair estimate that the cask finish increases production costs by about £1 per bottle.
For the 100 to 120 casks Mr. Kinsman selected for the bottling, he may have had to check 500 cask samples (just guessing), a task that an experienced professional should be able to do in a week, provided that spittoons are used – if the samples are actually tasted at all and not only nosed. I don’t know Brian Kinsman’s salary, but it is likely to be less than £35000 a week, so the special selection process should increase the bottle price by not more than another £1.
Is £140000 enough for the marketing campaign of the new bottling? I can’t really say but I would be surprised if it was much higher. This would leave Glenfiddich with £8 more net profit per bottle than they have from the regular 12 year old. Well done.
Of course the standard disclaimer has to follow: This is just about the business side of the bottling. I have not tasted the whisky. If it is better than the regular, then anyone has to decide on their own if it will be worth the additional money.
I finally got a chance to taste the Millennium Vintage.