Food & Drink

There’s a Japanese Whisky Shortage

Go ahead and tack Japanese whisky onto the list of examples of why we can’t have nice things. The hype that drove consumers to love the spirit is now killing it thanks to dwindling supply and rich hoarders who buy whisky for investment rather than enjoyment.

Hibiki, Yamazaki and other premium Japanese whiskies are becoming increasingly hard to find, according to a report in the Nikkei Asian Review. Bottles are being bought up at prices more than double the recommended retail price as soon as they hit store shelves—especially when it comes to aged expressions. There’s simply not enough supply to meet demand, and it could ruin the day for Highball lovers around the world.

“For some buyers, Japanese whisky has become an investment, something they can sell later for a higher price,” a liquor store staffer told Nikkei Asian Review. “It’s a shame that we can’t simply enjoy it anymore.”

The outlook is bleak for casual Japanese whisky drinkers. The already high price is likely going to continue rising, and, what’s worse, we could be facing a shortage. A representative from the industry research company IWSR predicts that Japanese whisky won’t be able to grow much until 2020.

This could sound familiar to Pappy fans. The bourbon sells for exorbitant prices because there’s just not enough to go around. Tequila is facing a similar problem. Agave takes seven years to mature but demand is here now, which has industry insiders warning of a shortage. The hypebeast has now struck Japanese whisky and producers won’t be able to recover anytime soon, so sip your (semi) affordable whisky while you can.