the whisky lounge - a journal tracking a whisky maturation project involving a newly-acquired oak cask and a significant amount of patience

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Another Option

So, I've been planning on zipping across the border to Québec to grab a bottle of Lagavulin 16 for a couple of weeks, but I've been busy, or lazy, or both. It's one of the benefits of living in Ottawa: I just have to walk across a bridge and POOF - I have to remember how to speak French. The advantage of this proximity is that, for whatever reason, prices for many things, including whisky, are really inconsistent between the provinces. It's not always that alcohol is always cheaper in Québec, but it certainly is true some of the time.

My reason for running the border in this instance was that Lagavulin 16 was $22 dollars cheaper in Gatineau, the city right across the border from me.

Notice that I wrote "was" in that sentence. Not "is." When I checked the website of the Société des alcools du Québec this afternoon, I was chagrined to discover that the price has rocketed up to $89 from $78. Now it's only $11 cheaper than here! Curse my laziness!

This trend has been happening elsewhere: I see that Lagavulin has increased in price in the USA as well, and here in Ontario. It still seems cheap in New Brunswick, but that's a bit far for me to go just to save $25 on a bottle of whisky. Does anyone know why this increase is happening? I'd love to know.

The upshot is that I discovered that the SAQ has a cask-strength Lagavulin for $94. Although it's already 12 years old, I'm tempted to buy it and give it a shot in my little cask. Maybe leave it in for a few weeks to take it up to the level of a 16-year-old, which is one of my faves. I'm under no illusions: ageing here in my living room won't produce the same scotch as as Lag 16 purchased in the stores, but it might be worth a shot in any case.

So: a $94 experiment? Am I crazy?

Only another day or so until the second test of the Whisky Works spirit. It will have been two weeks, and with the dramatic changes we witnessed last week, I'm waiting with bated breath already.

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