In a previous post I mentioned that it appeared the Costco had discovered scotch. Not the blended junk, not just the ubiquitous Johnnie Walkers but also the Platinum in addition to the Blue, not just Glenlivet an MacAllan 12’s, but all kinds of 12’s and 15’s and 16 single malts and an occasional 18. About 2 weeks ago I noticed that they had added the Glenlivet 21 and XXV. The 21 was about 140 bucks which is a great price, and it came with a fancy box with a carved wood front et cetera. The XXV was $329 and seemed like a great price if I thought I was buying one bottle for my retirement or something. Of course the Blue and Platinum sniffed at them unceremoniously from the other side of the shelf. One thing that I didn’t notice at the time was that the shelf on the right seemed to have some new metal framing on it. Take a look at the right of the picture here. You can see the framing but you can’t see the contents of the shelf. That day, December 11, they had a variety of Brut and Prosecco and other sparkling wines on that shelf. About a week after picture was taken this I went back and looked up at the scotch shelf shown and it appeared that someone had purchased the $329 Glenlivet XXV and all the JW Platinums were gone. The Blue and the Glenlivet 18 were still available…almost looking commoditized.
Today I went in and I saw the result of the new framing and the missing bottles. A new case had appeared where I had noticed the metal framing on the previous picture. Okay folks if you want to sign away your first born or your left nut for scotch, Costco has a new locked glass case. Take a look at this. If you can imagine, Glenlivet 18 and the simple JW Blue (without the extra glasses and stuff) is still on the shelf where you seem them in the previous picture. However, in the new glass case you have the…
…let me digress a little here for a second….
Back in the 80s I remember there was a a high end fidelity store somewhere in the Framingham area. Back then, if you were a serious audiophile, you’d pass by Lechmere and Tweeter and turn your nose up and away in disapproval until you reached it. In there in the main area (and I’m talking in the 80s) the main area had a bunch of stuff that was at the high end of what you’d see in the pedestrian audio stores. But off to one side was the entrance to a room with the really high end stuff. you know $10000 single block Krell tube amplifiers and stuff. The sign over the door said something (to my distant recollection) “Divorce Room”. Okay I think it was Natural Sound, and I think it was Krell, but that was 30 years ago. Natural Sound is still open and more power to them (I think that’s an amplifier pun, but please let it go).
So why do I bring this up? I now see that Costco is getting eerily close to having its own “Divorce Case” There’s a 40 year old Kirkland branded Glenlivet for several hundred dollars, the XXV is now in the case for 329 and there’s a 25 year Macallan for $659. Now I have to bring myself to reality. I can see how something can be pretty rare, maybe a bottle of Claret from a cellar that collapsed during the French and Indian war or was in a basement of a Church in St. Augustine or something. But almost 700 for a fifth of scotch? Forget the markup you’d have at a bar selling that, just imagine this: A fifth is 1/5 of a gallon or 128/5 = 25.6oz. a shot is 1.5 oz roughly. 25.6/1.5 =17 shots in a fifth. that means that at home, not counting tax, that each shot in that bottle is 659/17 = $38 at home. that’s (as a guess 300% markup at a bar) = $114 a shot. It is almost to the point of silly.
Of course, if someone offered me a shot of that 25 year MacAllan, uhm, I’d be silly for a brief moment, consume it slowly and not regret it a damn bit. 🙂