When you plan to buy whisky online, it’s important to understand some basic principles.
Don’t be surprised if you see unexpected things in some online stores. You may get an impression that they want to hide something from their clients, but it is more often than not caused by the lack of knowledge of shop owners or managers.
The most common things we’ve seen when buying whisky on the web:
1. The wrong images of labels on bottles.
2. Prices are lower than they should be. It usually happens on sales and offers, but sometimes it’s caused by ignorance of the shop owner or manager, who doesn’t know how to determine an accurate market price for the whisky they’re selling.
3. Shops try to cheat on VAT or other taxes when doing international deliveries.
4. Wrong bottlings in the case of independent bottlers, home bottlers.
5. Wrong ABV levels in whiskies (it’s very frequent).
Keep reading to learn what to consider when buying whiskey online:
1. Age statements
Just about any bottle of whiskey, you find online will have an age statement on it. It may be a number or a letter code, but whatever it is, you’ll expect the whisky to be at least as old as stated on the label – and sometimes even more years have passed since distillation until bottling.
2. Single Malt or Blended?
The distinction between single malt and blended whiskies is important as each type has its characteristics.
Single malts are produced at a single distillery, whereas blended whiskies contain whisky from several different distilleries. The common belief is that the more single malts in a blend, the better the quality.
3. Where was the Whisky Produced?
When buying whisky online, you should find out where it was produced (what country), what distillery or brand name made it, and when it was bottled.
4. What is the Mash Bill/Recipe/Makeup of this Scotch Whisky?
For example, it could be 100% malted barley or a blend of several different cereals. The type of grains used in the recipe will also influence the taste and character of the whisky.
5. What is Whisky Color?
Some whiskies can have an amber colour due to the aging process in oak casks. The length of time they are mature can also affect their color.
6. Is the Whisky Peaty?
This characteristic comes from the dried, partially decayed vegetation on which the barley was grown before malting. A few drops of water over freshly cut peat will give you a whiff of fresh peat smoke that’s used in some whiskies such as Islay scotches.
7. Who Bottled this Whisky?
A distillery will not bottle its whiskies; they usually sell them to the blenders, brokers, and bottlers who market and label their product under a brand name.
8. Where Can I Find Reviews of This Whisky?
When you’re buying whisky online, this is a must-have. Be sure to check out hundreds of reviews posted by real buyers/drinkers at reputable sites like Reddit or WhiskyAdvocate.
9. Is the Whisky Chill-Filtered?
This process removes fatty acid esters and, in turn, some of the peat characters. Chilling is done to preserve the clarity of spirits in cold climates.
10. What is Whisky Price?
The whiskey’s age will certainly affect its price. Still, many other factors also come into play when calculating a bottle’s cost, such as initial investment in wood casks and their current market value for trading with rum or brandy producers.
It’s also worth noting that less-expensive whiskies are produced in greater quantities, and their production costs will be lower than expensive ones. They may not be finished in old casks or contain malts from the best years; however, they still make a good value for money.
As you can see, there are some aspects to consider when buying whisky online. If you’re not sure about something, contact the seller and ask for more information before placing your order. Remember: if the price seems too good to be true – it probably is.