How good whisky is helping to lift financial spirits

Dec 23, 2018 | Whisky Investment News

Whisky is a perfect tipple for Christmas, but for a keen collector it’s also the perfect seasonal gift that will turn into a profit.

There has been an increase in demand for old and rare whiskies in recent years, especially from collectors and investors in Asia, which, experts say, is helping to keep prices buoyant.

According to a report by Rare Whisky 101, the data and valuation company, the value of collectable bottles of single-malt Scotch whisky sold at auction in the UK rose 93.66 per cent in the first half of this year to £11.67 million; the average bottle price was £286.13, up from £217.56 the previous year.

“Antique and aged whisky is popular, with certain brands that are 30, 40 or 50 years old becoming cult collectables and selling for prices well into the thousands,” says Charles Ashton from Cheffins, the auctioneer. “More vintage whiskies are coming to auction — many from country house sales, where bottles of the finest single-malts have sat in drinks cabinets for decades.

The biggest buyers of aged single-malts are the Chinese, Japanese and Indians who are pushing up values. The issue is that the market is relatively finite. There are only so many bottles dating from the early 1900s, and these are slowly diminishing because they are being drunk or they are hidden in private collections.”

The majority of people who collect whisky do so out of a fascination or a fondness for drinking it, rather than viewing it as an investment; whisky returns can vary greatly, and often headline figures don’t include the transaction costs involved when buying and selling it.

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