Ever since the release of the Redbreast Small Batch series in the US, I’ve been inundated with requests about how much they’re worth – Guys, there have been very few open sales so let’s chill out a little before we go too mad on prices. Once we have enough data, I’ll do an update.
This beautiful series will however be highly coveted and I suspect there will be very few full sets in circulation in the future given the very limited runs. One person who has no less than 2 full sets is Larry Masouka who is based in the States. So rather than me talking about them – lets hear some actual facts from Larry and his thoughts on the collection:
“There may not be enough data to support current market valuations, however this release has all the hallmarks of great collectability.
1) Rarity. Small release numbers – 252 for each of 10 labels and 504 bottles for the 11th label. This is the smallest number ever released by Redbreast. Even the superlative single casks series yield 534 – 648 bottles per release. The vaunted Dream Casks were both over 800 bottles, albeit 50cl. Now go and find all 11 small batch bottles and the rarity of a set goes up considerably. The varied geographical locations of the stores and widely variable sales constraints made easy purchase impossible. Two of the labels went to on-trade (restaurant/bar) licenses which further restricted availability as these establishments are generally barred from selling bottles to retail customers.
2) Provenance. Redbreast Single Pot Still can lay claim to being amongst the finest of Irish Whiskey. Countless awards and continuing accolades make this one of the most if not the most respected brand from the most accomplished distiller on the island. And this is no ordinary offering – it is a Tour de Force of innovation and result.
3) Finally and certainly not least (but in a frenzied market often overlooked) is drinkability. To take a top brand – Redbreast Cask Strength, kick it up a notch with an additional 2 years of age to 14 years and then deconstruct the flavor profile into 4 batches to provide fans and fanatics with an irresistible experience. As more bottles are opened and sampled the excitement will only grow.
This adds up to checking all the boxes on collectability which means that bottles will be preserved for the coming generations to sample this unique offering.
I suspect individual bottle valuations will initially vary by a lot. At some point in time the prices will likely converge and stabilize. Look for a long term uptrend because of the above rarity and excellence of the dram.
Initial price – msrp $99. Actual pricing was determined by the individual label owners. The 4 Boston bottles were priced at $124.99 and interestingly there is no additional sales tax on alcohol.
The Northern California bottles Blackwell’s, K&L, BevMo , Bounty Hunter, were all priced at $99.99 and with online sales the tax and shipping varied. Maison was $124.99 plus tax and shipping. The two on-trades had very limited availability for bottles, GBOD $249, Oak Violet $350 plus tax and limited or no shipping.
BevMo sold just 2-3 bottles from each store that received them and not all 200 stores were stocked. Some bottles were sold from their online warehouse.
There are various methods to repatriate bottles to Ireland/UK. With VAT and alcohol excise tax along with shipping, legal transport easily adds $50/€45 to a bottle.”
Me again: Ultimately a full set here is going to be incredibly difficult to put together, but thats not going to stop the canny among us. If successful, the set will be one that will grace any collection – and will only increase in value over time given the very limited supply of same.
That said – these bottles were made to drink – so get seconds and open them!
For convenience, I’ve put together the below table for those on the hunt – but bare in mind the significant US Sales Taxes, Shipping, Irish Excise & VAT – Hence the big discrepancy in prices by the time they hit Irish shores :
Last but not least – I just wanted to thank you all once again for your continued support for the Irish Whiskey Valuations project. We now honing in on 1k followers on Instagram, 1.5k members on the Facebook Group, and failing miserably on Twitter (but in fairness I put least effort into that). As a Thank-you, I’ll be doing another give-away soon – so watch this space!