Whisky is a hot investment right now!

Monday 12th February 2018 - Della Bentham


Whisky is a hot investment right now!

It seems that whisky is a hot investment right now, with prices soaring on rare and collectable whiskies. We take a look...


If you pay attention to the collectable markets news, you may have noticed that whisky seems to be a hot topic right now. 2017 was a record-breaking year for the spirit. While we may only be a month and a half into 2018, the surge in sales and values seems to be continuing its upward trend.


2017 saw a 43% rise in whisky sales at auction, with 83,173 bottles sold. It wasn’t just the volume of sales which grew though, values were also up, with the average bottle price reaching £299.36, which was a 24% rise on 2016’s figures.


2016’s whisky sales hit a huge £14.2 million, but 2017’s total sales smashed this out of the water topping £25.06 million!


So why is whisky surging in popularity and value?


Rare whisky 101 is a broker and consultancy, they measure and analyse the sector.  They say the number of bottles on the open market is greater than ever before, but demand is still far outstripping supply. It’s this demand that is helping prices rise.


The Apex 1000 Index, tracks the value of the best performing 1,000 bottles of rare whisky. In 2017 it rose by 27.5 %. This rise was higher than gains seen on the FTSE 100 as well as certain commodities such as Brent crude oil and even gold!


Co-founder of rare Whisky 101, Andy Simpson says: “In certain parts of the world collecting and investing is still very much in its infancy but wealthy status buyers are targeting high-value bottles and consuming them as they were always intended.”


Online auctions have definitely helped the market grow, connecting buyers and sellers of rare whiskies, allowing transactions to occur globally. Collector’s in the Asian market are most prominent right now.


The most expensive bottle sold in 2017 was a 62-year-old Dalmore, which sold for £95,000! But this has already been surpassed in the mere few weeks of 2018 by a bottle of 50-year-old Japanese Yamazaki whisky which went for a huge £212,528 this month!


A cask of rare Macallan 1989 whisky went under the hammer for £242,000 at a Blackpool auction this month too, again highlighting just how strong the market is right now.


According to Anne-Sophie, Whisky expert with Catawiki, Collectors who buy for investment and sell on can make anywhere between £5,000 to £10,000 in a good month, simply by reselling 15 to 20 bottles a week.


She says that Whisky is considered a ‘safe investment’ as in the worst-case scenario a bottle can be sold for its purchase price rather than dropping below that.


Sentat Asset Management AB, is a Swedish fund manager. They recently announced that they will be offering shares for what they claim will be the first publicly traded Scotch whisky investment fund.


The Single Malt Fund AB is looking to raise up to 25 million euros, which will be invested in a portfolio of “rare and limited-edition whiskies.”



Thinking of investing in whisky? Here’s what to consider:


  • Patience is Key. As with all investments, patience is the key, knowing when to buy and sell will come with time, but keep a close eye on the markets.
  • Research, research, research: Before getting into any investment, you should do your research. It’s imperative you understand whisky and make it your goal to become an expert.
  • Condition is important: As with all investment pieces, the better the condition, the more money the item is worth. Unlike wine, whisky doesn’t need to be kept in a cool cellar, but it does need a consistent room temperature in an upright position to avoid the liquid coming into contact with the cork.  


This poll at Whisky magazine, shows what collector’s feel are the most important factors.


Research is the place to begin your journey, here are some of the best online resources.


*Image from Sothebys