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Why 2019 is the Perfect Time to Start a Rare Whisky Collection

Whether they’re interested in stamps, football memorabilia or coins, around a third of Brits collect something for fun. Not only can this bring us great pleasure, but depending on what is being collected, there’s often profit to be had as well. From gold to art, certain items are likely to increase in value over time, and rare whisky is one particularly lucrative endeavour. Scotch has begun garnering significant attention in recent times, and is rapidly becoming one of the most profitable items to own.

Fine wine is traditionally thought of as the alcoholic drink to collect. However, there are significant differences involved when it comes to collecting the two types of alcohol. For example, as drinks brokers Justerini & Brooks note, “unlike wine, most whisky is purchased by the individual bottle and not the case”, and whilst wine ages in the bottle, whisky does not. The latter difference makes collecting whisky much less onerous than collecting wine, as wine needs to be stored a lot more carefully to ensure it ages properly. Considering that whisky can also be just as—if not more—profitable, now is the perfect time to start a rare whisky collection.

Growing demand for whisky across the world

Investing in whisky is a smart move due to growing global demand. China, in particular, has been noted for its rising interest in whisky, with regional sales of single malt whisky totalling £45.1 million in the first half of 2017. Whisky is now the third most favoured alcoholic drink in China, and sales are expected to increase by nearly 40% in total by 2022. It is not just China that’s experiencing an upswing in whisky consumption. Global sales of Scotch reached over £4.36bn in 2017, with the USA, France, Singapore, Germany, and Spain spending almost £2bn between them.

With this huge surge in whisky consumption across the world, starting your own whisky collection now could be a shrewd investment, especially if current trends continue. If you invest wisely and buy whisky which is expected to increase in value, you could stand to make some serious money in a few years’ time.

  1. The value of whisky keeps rising

The value of whisky has increased exponentially in recent times, so it would be wise to jump on the bandwagon as soon as possible to capitalise. Sales records are being broken on a regular basis, such as the £1.2 million bottle of The Macallan sold in November 2018. In the first half of 2018, the value of rare Scotch whisky sold at auction reached £16 million overall, marking a remarkable 46% rise in value from the previous year. The whisky market’s value has grown by a staggering 732% in just five years, and the volume of bottles sold has also risen by 563% in that period, soaring from 8,825 to 49,719.

Statistics have shown that rare whisky yields better returns than most other collectable items, including gold, oil, and fine wine. This has been borne out by the Rare Whisky financial exchange outperforming both the oil, gold and fine wine indexes in 2017. This lends further credence to the assertion that now is the perfect time to invest in whisky yourself, particularly since waiting too long might leave you priced out of starting a collection at all.

  1. It is easier than ever to invest in whisky

Whisky is not just increasingly profitable, but increasingly easy to invest in too. The world’s first ever whisky investment fund was launched last year. Unlike funds that facilitate investment in whisky companies like Jack Daniels and Jim Beam, the Single Malt fund lets investors put their money into a collection of rare and limited-edition whiskies.

Selling has become simpler too. Online auction sites enable whisky collectors to flog their bottles with just a few clicks. Take Irish Whiskey Auctions, which became the world’s first dedicated Irish whiskey auction site in September 2018. All bottles sold on the site were verified by the company before being listed, guaranteeing a simple and secure service where whisky enthusiasts can sell—and buy—bottles. Whisky Auctioneer, meanwhile made headlines in July 2018 when a bottle of Bowmore 1966 Samaroli Bouquet sold for a record-breaking £51,611.

Claire James

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