New firm Cheaper By The Dram to make 'old and rare whisky accessible' by breaking bottles down into drams to sell

A new online whisky firm is looking to make 'old and rare whisky accessible' by breaking bottles down into individual drams to sell. 

Published 14th Oct 2019
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

Cheaper By The Dram will release its first two bottles to the public on the 16th October, splitting over £1,300 of fine and rare whisky into 41 individual drams.

Whisky fans will then be able to buy these drams online and have them delivered to their door.

The start-up will then release two bottles of fine and rare whisky a fortnight for sale with each bottle split into 3cl drams and an average yield between 20 and 31 drams, depending on the size of the original bottle.

Cheaper by the Dram

The 3cl drams will be sold individually. Picture: CBTD

The brainchild of founder Mark Littler, who began working on Cheaper By The Dram two years ago, ever since realising that the whisky he loved to drink was steadily being priced out of his reach, he said: "I want to make old and rare whisky accessible for the drinker. These bottles are drinkers’ unicorns."

He explained that with the recent the boom in the Scottish whisky industry, and conversely the secondary market - where some bottles are changing hands for thousands of pounds - whisky fans can often find themselves on the losing end as desirable whisky becomes more and more expensive to buy.

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He added: "Some of our bottles are worth nearly £3,000 if we were to sell them as they are, but then they would almost certainly never be drunk. By splitting each bottle into 3cl ‘drams’ we can make them accessible to drinkers once again."

To celebrate the launch, the firm are giving all 23 drams of a 1980’s Bowmore away for free on its Facebook and Instagram profiles.

Mark added that anyone signing up to their mailing list on their website will get exclusive access 24 hours before the drams go live to the rest of the public – every fortnight.

Cheaper By The Dram are also including a scratch card with the first 100 drams they send out.

When asked why, Mark said: "We think whisky and scratch card have more in common than you might expect. Just like the value of a scratch card is not realised until is scratched, only when a bottle is opened and the whisky inside is tasted is the true value of whisky realised.

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"Sure, while the seal is unbroken a 1980s bottle of 15-year-old whisky from the Laphroaig distillery has the potential to be worth £1,500, but unless you open it and try it, can you really be sure that it is worth that price?

"At Cheaper By The Dram we are putting these fine and rare bottles to the test, allowing the drinkers to do the scratching and be the judges of their dream whiskies."

The first twelve bottles released will include the likes of CBTD NO.01, An Octomore Edition 1.1 distilled and bottled by the Bruichladdich Distillery; A 23-year-old whisky distilled by the Macallan Distillery in 1971, bottled by Hart Brothers; and a 15-year-old Laphroaig from the 1980s.


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Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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