Flipping Hell!

It’s not nice to sit under the Sword of Damocles.

We come to Friday once more, and I am looking for a thought to provide you all with this week. It has been quite a week for me with a lot of stress. A couple of weeks ago, my car was involved in a minor collision and this was the week it was going in for repair. I’m lucky enough to have an insurance company that are quite generous when it comes to providing a hire car when mine is off the road, so I was lucky enough to be given a Toyota Aygo.

Lucky? No. These small cars are really only good for the city. I have driven an Aygo over one hundred miles from Aberdeen to home over twisty country roads and let me tell you that it wasn’t fun. Given we have had really bad weather and have a good blanket of snow, I opted to pay a little bit extra and get something bigger. I was given a Vauxhall Insignia which was a lovely car to drive but a bit longer than I realised. When backing the car in front of my garage, the sensors must have been covered in dirt from the slush on the roads, and the net result was that I backed the car into the garage door. Conclusions – car not a mark; the garage door seemingly a write off.


The car before a trip down the A9. Nice and clean only for another 30 mins.

Of course, the weather was bad with snow and heavy winds, and the garage roller door was out of the guides on one side so I got plenty of fun with some hammers, spanners and pry-bars to get the door back into the guides. I didn’t care at that point if the door would ever open again, as long as I could get it wind and watertight once more. But I knew eventually that I had to make a hard decision – do I leave the door as is, for I don’t use it that often, or do I pay for a replacement? After paying a 4 figure sum just before Christmas for a new oil tank, I wasn’t really wanting to take the hit of a new electric door. I knew that the choice of doing nothing could become very inconvenient. Sadly, it was realistic to say that a new door was the only option and I had a £1500 bill staring me in the face. It was unexpected that when my local friendly garage door supplier turned up a couple of days later that he didn’t give me a quote. Thankfully he was able to repair the door in such a way it will survive another couple of years given the amount of use it gets. All ends well. I still haven’t had the dram to celebrate the avoidance of financial disaster!

So what has this got to do with whisky? Well, last Friday my package from Macallan turned up, the recently balloted Folio 5 which is part of the Archival Series. Costing £260 including postage, I entered the ballot without knowing too much about the whisky I was hoping to win. However, this is not that uncommon with Macallan releases nowadays. But, given the fact that previous Folio releases have been about 2000 units and usually keep at a price well above the purchase, then I thought it would be a safe bet.


Macallan Archival Series Folio 5

Well, after the ballot was concluded, with my whisky contacts and on various forums, I noticed that quite a lot of people had actually won a bottle in the ballot. Far too many for my liking. Research suggested that Macallan had done the dirty and possibly released 20,000 units. This is a bit of a kick in the teeth, as it would mean 18,000 people will never be able to collect the full collection, and the value of the other four editions is now going to smash through the roof as those who do wish to collect the full series will be forced to pay for a much rarer whisky. This can only get worse as future editions are released (there are still 19 releases to go).

Of course, caveat emptor should be the phrase first and foremost in mind, but I feel in whisky terms I have metaphorically smashed the car into the garage door and have a tough decision to make in terms of what to do with this whisky. It may serve me well to give you another metaphor that would sum up my feelings adequately, I felt like the pigeon who didn’t notice there was glass in the french windows, and is now lying stunned on the patio waiting for the neighbours cat to get me.

To be honest, I bought it with the intention of not collecting the full set, but keeping it back to sell at a later date when the price settled. I had no intention of flipping it, as you should know by now my views on flipping. In the back of my mind, my thoughts were that if there was only 2000 made, I might be able to swap it for a Folio 4, which has the music of James Scott Skinner on it (I used to play the fiddle, so it was relevant). But now I am stuck with a bottle that I feel doesn’t fit my collection policies, won’t necessarily increase in value and I’ve no interest in drinking. And £260 isn’t a small amount of cash to splurge for no return.


Book with marketing blurb

And now I have to face the difficult decision – do I flip it, do I keep it and hope for the best, do I sell it to somebody that didn’t get one at a price that covers my costs, or do I drink it? I’ve opened more expensive bottles but I’m just not interested in Macallan. I’ve drunk too many insipid drams in recent times to be opening an NAS that cost so much. It should be nice to be in the position that I am to own such an item, but the responsibility of what to do with it hangs like the Sword of Damocles above my head, pretty much like it did with the garage door.

I’ll be honest with you, I am really tempted to flip it. I feel really let down by Macallan’s marketing practices, and I have since removed myself from their marketing data base. This has been the final straw that has broken this donkey’s back. I have had deep misgivings about the brand for some time, and this is one of the articles I have been trying to write for some time, but haven’t managed to articulate my thoughts in such a way that is readable. It seems I am not the only one, and have seen quite a few articles saying similar things. I also have written a diatribe against flippers, but again, the article is just too rough to be released without offending people. The possibility of being a hypocrite also fills me with dread.

So what’s it to be? To flip or not to flip. #sipdontflip – as in last week’s review? Or sit tight and take the loss in the meantime and hope it gets better? Let me know your opinions, either by commenting on Facebook, or below this article.

Yours In Spirits

Scotty

Index of tastings here

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Scotty’s Drams encourages responsible drinking. To find out the facts about drink, and where to find help if you need it visit Drinkaware.co.uk by clicking on the link.

Photo Credits

All Photos – Authors Own

4 thoughts on “Flipping Hell!

  1. Great read, mate! I echo your sentiments. I also have a Folio 5 – likely it’s going to sit on the back of the cupboard for a while.

    A cursory glance shows 118 lots of Folio 5 currently on Whisky Hammer. That’s an insane amount and looks like the price is going to plateau at aboit 350/400. After fees and shipping it’s a wonder if it’s even worth flipping any time soon.

    Glad your collision wasn’t a bad one.

    Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hate to say it, but I am heavily likely to flip. I feel so dirty saying that but for me Macallan have scored an own goal. I have removed myself from the Macallan mail list, and will no longer consider Macallan NAS when there is no transparency about how many bottles they will release. I feel it is not fair on the buyer, especially as they made the archival series as a collectible. So many people are now going to be disappointed that they cannot ever hope to get the full range.

      However, this may not be a bad thing, as it encourages people to drink, but why then bother with a special packaging and price for a whisky (which I would be confident is probably not too bad) which they won’t release any details about?

      I realise they aren’t in it for the home market and proper whisky geeks. Macallan is now all about the export market and I think they are trading on the reputation of their high end bottles and the historical quality of the brand. When the market slows down they will pay the price. But it’s a juggernaut that shows no sign of stopping and I’m sure Edrington don’t care.

      I’ve written an article about Macallan some time ago, but it is a bit of a hater rant. I want to let my thoughts mellow before I publish, but the points I raise are shared by a few people in the industry I know.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Great points, and put down in a way far more articulate than I could hope to do.

        I was initially very excited to find out I had managed to succeed in the ballot, particularly as I had entered the previous ones, but that soon turned to trepidation as I noticed almost every single person I follow and interact with on twitter had also managed to succeed.

        I will flip mine, but it won’t be flipped any time soon because I have a slight concern that the huge numbers in auction may cause the price it fall further. If (or when) it falls to the £300 mark it’ll probably mean taking a loss once fees etc come in to play.

        I enjoy a Macallan rant – let me know if you end up posting it!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Trust me. I am now in the process of fine tuning it. A thought crossed my mind that made me quite annoyed when you realise the whole point of the archival series is its supposed to be collectable.

        Like

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