Cheaper by the Dram
I was recently approached by a new company named Cheaper by the dram to take a look at one of the upcoming releases from them, but who are Cheaper by the dram ?
My initial understanding was that they are a new service entering the sample market with the intention of offering you a way of trying old and rare whiskies at a more affordable price, taking away the massive price tag attached to these exclusive bottles.
My thoughts were that this is going to be an extremely interesting way for whisky lovers to enjoy some of those bottles that are out of reach to the majority of us.. I wasn’t wrong!!
After chatting with Mark Littler who is passionate about whisky and has spent the last few years setting this concept up explained this was a labour of love for him and the minefield of obstacles were never ending. The idea is to select a pair of “interesting and rare” bottles that have probably been long gone or just too expensive for most of us to look at, split them down into 3cl samples and send out to those who have decided to buy these samples.
Each bottle will be from the “Fine and Rare” category of whisky and should offer up a unique opportunity to whisky lovers to finally get their hands on some of these gems before it’s too late. Once each bottle has been split into 3cl sample size offerings they along with an informational card will be sent direct to you in order to enjoy.
Each release will incorporate a pair of bottles selected especially for the rarity or exclusiveness which are then split down and sold separately. Every fortnight a new pair of bottles will be released and I am told the best way to stay ahead of the crowd will be to sign up to the newsletter as this will give you a 24 hour head start on the general release..
The first releases are to be a pair of bottles from Bruichladdich including the octomore release 1.1 !! This 5-year-old whisky is edition NO.01 and was distilled and bottled by the Bruichladdich distillery as edition 1.1 of their heavily peated Octomore range and is prices at £45 with the second sample being a 10-Year-Old whisky, edition NO.02 and was distilled and bottled by the Bruichladdich distillery, released in the 1980s and has been priced at £18..
So the first question is Why ?
Well the simple answer or answers are, firstly to offer us a rare opportunity to sample whisky that just does not enter most of our budgets but secondly and this was emphasised they want to put these bottles back in the hands of the drinkers and not the flippers !! The company also have a campaign of “ #SipDontFlip “ and believe whisky is for drinking..
1965 Glen Garioch – 21 year old
So the review today is for this long gone official bottling from 1986 that was distilled way back in 1965. This bottle was on general sale but as always the bottle was replaced and as stocks diminished, this became a rare bottling that will not be available to virtually any new whisky drinker.
Distillery.. Glen Garioch
Age.. 21 years
Nose.. An initial burst of fresh fruits including green apples, pear and orange segments mingle with freshly cut damp grass, cherry blossom, honey and soft spices that lurk in the background.
Palate.. An initial burst of soft peat engulfs those soft fruits and sweeter flavours before eventually letting them shine. Freshly peeled apples, pear and honey are nicely balanced out by a little bitterness from orange peel.
Finish.. Earthy and dry
Thoughts.. The whisky itself is very interesting in that the peat really does surprise you as there is absolutely no indication on the nose that this has any peat levels what so ever..
This whisky was obviously distilled just a few short years before Glen Garioch was closed, and at a time when the spirit was lightly peated.
Bottles like this can very easily be lost to us all and concepts like this will once again let the drinkers of today try the bottles of yesteryear !! My thoughts with this is that its not really about the individual whiskies but rather an opportunity to try a piece of history long gone and a chance to let the past give a little happiness in the present..
I am sure there are plenty of bottles like this hiding in private collections that will never see the light of day again (I know because I have a few myself) and thanks to Cheaper by the dram some of you might just get the chance to try these before it’s too late..
So I suppose there is only one more question to answer and that is the one about costs.. From the conversation I had with Mark each sample will be worked out from the initial cost of the bottle and the obvious costs of splitting into sample bottles and packaging.. For example a £1000 bottle split into 23 x 3cl bottles equates to £43 and the actual cost would probably be around the £45 mark from the information I have been told but obviously each sample would be independently priced..
Do I think this will work ? I hope so as it’s a little different, it offers a few more people the chance to try these long gone or expensive expressions, it is packaged attractively and each bottle carries a “Not for resale” mark which won’t stop flippers but it’s a step in the right direction..
I am sure that there will be those who don’t get the concept but for those who do get it and want the opportunity to try old whisky, whisky distilled before they were born or just to compare old styles with current styles then this might just be for you..
If this is something that interests you then take a closer look at the official website – https://cheaperbythedram.co.uk/