It's all about hunting down that obscure distillery with an unpronounceable name now. That's how my mate looks at it.They use caramel E150, it's supposed to interfere with the taste, but gives a consistency of colour between batches.
Macallan appears to have gone out of fashion somewhat. Still good whisky, as is Glenfiddich.
Suntory I believe chased short term profits and ruined their own pipeline. One of my old bosses said Hennessy confessed to them on his tour their XO now is nowhere near the quality from before due to excess demand.Suntory has largely stopped selling a few different types of aged whisky, but I think that was because demand skyrocketed and they ran out of supply. That's the problem when you're making something that you won't sell for another 12 or 18 years - you can't simply ramp up the supply!
Reminds me of when I was travelling through the backblocks of Indonesia and my host in a small town asked me to get some alcohol that we could drink with the dog that his wife was preparing for dinner.
After roaming around town I managed to track down a bottle of whisky in a small store.
Turning the bottle over, the label said:
Ingredients: Alcohol, whisky flavour
I've went to a few tastings of brand new whisky distilleries n Canada. One of them (Forty Creek) joked that all new whisky makers are wine makers for a few years because you need the barrels and you need to make some money whilst your whisky ages.