Drinks

The World Is Facing a Japanese Whisky Shortage

You're going to need to make that bottle last as long as you can
Whiskey Shortage 2018
Photo: Suntory

Whisky lovers—especially those with a collection of Japanese bottles in their cabinet—might want to take a seat (and put down that old-fashioned), because we're about to face a severe shortage of your favorite spirit.

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Suntory, the Japanese distillery that makes some of the world's most prized whiskies is stopping sales of its Hakushu 12-year and Hibiki 17-year bottles due to a lack of supply. The shortage was caused by a slowdown in sales in the 80s, which led to distillers cutting back on aged whisky production. (Of course, no one could have predicted the popularity the spirit enjoys today.)

"We are very sorry for the temporary discontinuation," a spokesperson tells Quartz. "We have already invested on the distillery and warehouse, and we will continue various investments to meet the market demand."

Those who are already making plans to clean the shelves of their closest liquor store should know this isn't a brief shortage either. Since it'll take years for the next batch of aged whisky to fully mature, representatives for Suntory are predicting it will "take quite a long time before we can restart sales of the products."

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