As the great bourbon shortage heats up, some collectors are turning to hoarding.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that a man in Virginia has a basement bunker with 700 bottles in it.
According to the report, domestic sales are up 36% since 2009, and international exports are up more than 50% since 2010.
A representative for the Beverage Information & Insights Group, which tracks the industry, told Business Insider that sales grew 6.7% in 2013 alone.
That’s a lot, but not enough to threaten big bourbon production. Jim Beam and Jack Daniels are going to be fine, partially because there’s so much more supply of mass market whiskeys and partially because they aren’t aged very long — only about four years — so there’s less of a time lag for supply to catch up to demand if it starts increasing rapidly.
But older and small-batch whiskey is starting to feel the pinch. And that’s why big enthusiasts have started to hoard. According to The Journal, “panic has gripped bourbon enthusiasts across the country, and they are amassing stockpiles of it, hoping to guard against shortages and price hikes.”
If you are tempted to get in on this hoarding game, remember that this is a relatively long-term but still temporary problem.
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