Thursday, August 8, 2013

Nikka: Then & Now


The cost of whisky from Nikka’s long established line-up has naturally changed overtime in prices. Production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services have played part in the pricing structure of whisky from Nikka’s past to their present situation.

It is interesting to see price trends change overtime. Perhaps a thought-provoking example would be that of the above ad where the recommended retail price of the blended whisky Tsuru 17-yo in a white ceramic bottle was 12,000 yen in 1990 - obviously priced accordingly to the market situation of that period. Today’s pricing, purchasing, and demand have dramatically changed. What was once an associated luxury item for the elite has been superseded with newer luxurious products, leaving the ceramic version of the Tsuru sadly fetching around 4,000 yen at today’s auction prices (in Japan), while retailing in market shops at a recommended retail price of 7,900 yen (depending on place of purchase). Again, the price fluctuation is naturally due to the current economic times; therefore it is just a thought-provoking comparison.

Back to the ad - quite captivating with clever catch copy that reads: “Kaori wa, ten o mau”. This can be interpreted in a few variable ways, but the basic meaning is as follows: “The Aromas Float in Midair”. An interesting play on words given the product is named after a native bird, which naturally “hovers in midair”. As mentioned when posting Evoking Nostalgia, I have accumulated quite a few vintage ads and will be introducing them regularly; therefore I have added a new theme to the sidebar menu: Vintage Japanese Whisky Ads. In addition, I planed to mention in this post Nikka's decision to replace the Taketsuru 12yo with a no-age-statement as well as their launch of the Taketsuru Sherry Wood finish that I mentioned some time ago. However, I have decided to do so at another time and in another way.

6 comments:

  1. Many thanks for sharing this beautiful ad of what I still consider to be a great blend. Interesting to see that the ceramic bottle has survived in spite of the decrease in the sales price. I look forward to more vintage ads in the future!

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    1. Quite a lovely ad isn't it. Many vintage ads I have retain this kind of local beauty. I really enjoy the simplicity of the Japanese catch copy - a single phrase without unwanted jargon. As for the Tsuru blend I must be honest, I have only ever tried it from the glass bottle and not the above ceramic decanter. Back to the ads - im planing to up load vintage ads from each distillery first before uploading many of the same distillery at once. Lovely stuff - good to archive.

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  2. That is good to hear, Clint, look forward to it. The Tsuru ceramic bottle, by the way, goes for about 14,000 yen over here in Continental Europe (at current exchange rates).

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    1. Interesting, Pierre. So the current price of the Tsuru (ceramic bottle) in Europe exceeds the 1990 price in Japan - obviously, again, it is all about economics. Interesting to visually see these fluctuations and increasememts. Thanks for the input.

      Regards,
      Clint

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  3. A beautiful & tasteful ad.
    I brought a bottle of this home to Australia in my suitcase a couple of years ago.
    It was a bugger of a thing to ship, needing plenty of bubble wrap because of the bulky ceramic decanter.
    But a lovely whisky nonetheless!
    I would happily buy a few of these at Y4000!

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    1. Hi Alan,
      It really is an interesting fact - there is so much hype surrounding the likes of Karuizawa and other collectables such as old Hanyus (card series) and single cask whiskies from Nikka and Suntory that the ceramic Tsuru gets completely overlooked, well at least at auction in Japan. If you take a look at the most well known auction here on any given occasion the starting price for many a Tsuru is 2,000 yen, often than not settling between 4 and 5 thousand yen, and from my records this is the maximum hammer price. A simplistic but beautiful ad indeed.

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