Spirit Works label closeup

A Note About Numbers, Revisited

Numbers sure can be confusing. Or, at least, they can be confusing when they intersect with a global pandemic. Back in the spring, we wrote about how the labels on the Spring 2021 Single Cask Collection all actually said ‘2020’ and not ‘2021’. That was a vestige of the pandemic, which caused a delay in our initial release: whiskies that we expected to come out in 2020 came out in 2021 instead. We even released a single cask #13, without there being a #11 or #12! 

Well, that’s all over with. Yet here we are again, with another update on our numbering system. Who knew sequential numbering would be so complicated?

We learned from the 2020 numbering issue. We don’t want to release whiskies in the wrong year, and we definitely don’t want to skip over numbers. And part of the reason we had to do that in the first place was because we had pre-printed those years and cask numbers on the labels, and printed them months in advance.

So, starting with our Fall 2021 Single Cask Collection, we’re not doing that anymore. Now, we’ll actually be writing in the years and cask numbers (and the alcohol-by-volume) by hand, just before we bottle the whiskies. So we can be much more flexible going forward. 

The New Lost Lantern Label Numbering System

The new labels actually look even better than before. They’ve got nice silver ink now! And it is actually quite satisfying to handwrite on 500+ labels of our own whiskey just before we release it into the wild. For us, it really drives home the reality and excitement of what we’re doing. For you, we hope it adds a personal touch, a direct connection to me and Nora as the founders of Lost Lantern. 

We still had one issue, though. We had to decide how to number the Fall 2021 Single Cask Collection. On the one hand, we have already released six single casks in 2021. On the other hand, all six of those casks actually said 2020 on the labels. So we had to decide whether the new single casks should be labeled starting as 2021 Single Cask #7 (despite no casks actually being labeled as #1 through #6), or as 2021 Single Cask #1 (making it seem like we didn’t actually release anything until October 2021).

It was a judgment call. But ultimately we decided that it’s more important to avoid long-term confusion than short-term confusion. If we skipped 2021 #1 through #6, it would make sense to people who already know our whiskies and bought most of this year’s releases. But it would be confusing to anyone else down the road, and they might be left wondering (or trying to find) what happened to those other numbers.

So we decided that the Fall 2021 Single Cask Collection will be labeled as 2021 Casks #1 through #5. Yes, they aren’t actually the first casks that we released this year. But the other ones were labeled as 2020 casks anyway. Yes, it may look down the road like we didn’t actually release as much whiskey this year as we did. But we did, and that’s what really matters.

From here on out, though, it should be smooth sailing. All of our single casks will be hand-labeled with the year and cask number, and in 2022, there won’t be any more confusion. We’ll be able to start fresh with 2022 Single Cask #1… and you definitely won’t have to wait until October to find out what it is.