Investors have been trading within the alcohol industry for centuries, with much of the action being seen around fine wines. However, investors have recently begun to look` toward whisky. In the first half of 2018, the value of rare Scotch whisky managed to exceed £16 million for the first time, marking a year-on-year increase of 46% during the same period in 2017. The market has grown since 2013, with a 732% increase, clearly highlighting a rising interest in Scotch whisky.
Here, we’ll look at whether or not the new interest in whisky is enough to take on the all-conquering fine wine industry.
Whisky investment is increasing in popularity
In 2017, the market value of a rare Scotch rose by more than 70%, smashing the £25 million mark and making whisky a better investment than gold. A huge 83,713 bottles of rare whisky were sold at auction in Britain that year, with an average bottle price of £299. The most expensive bottle sold that year was a 62-year-old Dalmore The Kildermorie, which was one of an edition of just twelve, and fetched £95,000 at Christie’s in London.
The interest in whisky has only increased since then, and bottles aren’t necessarily just being bought up by enthusiasts wanting to actually taste the drink. Instead, rare bottles—such as The Macallan Valerio Adami 1926, which was bottled in 1986—are bought solely for investment purposes, to be sold on for more money at a later date. The 60-year-old whisky broke the world record in 2018, where it sold for £848,000 at auction in Edinburgh for just one bottle.
Whiskies worth investing in are usually made in limited editions, making them much harder to come by on a day-to-day basis, or are brewed by a smaller, independent distiller. These blends can fetch a high price if the distillery becomes popular over time, or conversely, if it goes out of business. Independent distillers tend to only produce a limited number of bottles due to the small scale of their operations, making these bottles rare and therefore more appealing to investors.