Ballbaggie distillery has shocked the whisky world to its core by releasing a ‘competitively priced’ single malt aimed at a neglected niche in the Scotch market: people who actually drink the stuff.
Ballbaggie 12 Year Old costs £30 a bottle and, according to head distiller Pete Smoke, has ‘absolutely nothing unusual about it whatsoever’.
‘We get some barley, water and yeast, and, after a bit of mucking about in the distillery and sticking it in a cask for 12 years, we end up with some whisky,’ he told Fake Booze. ‘So we thought we might put it in a bottle and sell it. In shops.’
Rival distilleries have criticised the move as ‘radical’ and ‘dangerously ordinary’.
Hermès Lalique of Glen Baccarat distillery, warned: ‘This risks dumbing down the entire category.’
Describing the malt as ‘bafflingly enjoyable’ Lalique said there was ‘a real danger that people buying this product will actually open it. We don’t need that sort of thing in Scotch.’
According to Lalique, Ballbaggie needed to ‘stop undercutting famous names’ and learn from the example of Ardbeg.
The fact that LVMH had recently sold a cask of old booze for £16m – more than twice what they paid for the entire distillery in the first place – was, she said, ‘an inspiration to us all about what makes Scotch so special.
‘By which I mean pointlessly, illogically and unnecessarily expensive.’
Pete Smoke said Ballbaggie’s marketing department had suggested finishing the whisky in Outer Mongolian Pinot Noir casks, or packaging it in the remodelled fuselage of a downed WWII fighter plane, ‘but we told them to fuck off’.
Meanwhile, Glen Baccarat is to proceed with plans for a £100,000 new release from the distillery, which recently achieved zero-carbon status thanks to being powered by teams of trained hamsters running around a gigantic wheel.
The distillery told Fake Booze that the whisky would be infused with distilled unicorn tears, and packaged in an anus-blown crystal decanter made using sand from Mars, sitting in a cradle constructed from the severed hands of staff who had recently been made redundant.
The single malt, called Les Habits Neufs de l’Empereur, will only be available for purchase from the distillery, where visitors can also enjoy the set menu of deconstructed haggis and neep froth on a lump of slate for £100 a head.
‘Our Habits Neufs launch is proof that we don’t need modern gimmicks like “affordability” to sell single malt,’ sniffed Lalique.
‘It’s precisely the kind of release that has made Scotch whisky what it is today.