Forget Faberge, if you are looking to find some hidden treasure in your home then you had best look in your drinks cabinet.
The value of single malt whisky has risen incredibly over the past 10 years as the drink has become recognised as a luxury status symbol the world over. Bottles such as the Macallan Private Eye which was released in 1996 for a mere £36 is now worth over £4,000. The first edition of Black Bowmore sold for £80 in 1993 but is now worth over £10,000. So how do you know if the bottle in your cupboard is worth a fortune? Cheshire-based whisky brokers Mark Littler LTD have recently published a guide on how to value your bottles of single malt whisky and what to look for.
Owner Mark Littler says “the last 5 years have been really transformational for the whisky sector. Most of our clients collect whisky in the same way that people collect luxury watches; they are not interested in how these whiskies taste or perform but are more interested in what they represent in terms of their history and their rarity. In many ways bottles of whisky are treated the same as any antique or collectors item.”
The factor that has the greatest impact on the value of a bottle of single malt is the distillery. Macallan, Springbank, Bowmore, Ardbeg, Port Ellen and Brora are some of the most sought after and almost any bottle from these distilleries will command a significant premium. Even standard 10 year old bottles of Macallan from the 1980s are worth hundreds of pounds now so make sure you check any bottle before you open it. There are many other factors that affect the value of a bottle of whisky, and so it is not only the distilleries mentioned above that you need to look out for.
The age of the whisky in the bottle also influences the value of the whisky greatly. Clearly the higher the age statement the greater the value. Macallan again made records in 2020 with the release of their 78 year old whisky as part of the Red Collection. Exceptional age statements like this aside the most common higher value vintages are 18, 21, 25 and 30 years old. It’s worth noting that whisky does not continue to age once it is in the bottle, and it is the stated age on the bottle that shows for how long the whisky was matured in its cask.
Closely linked to the age statement of the whisky is the year in which it was distilled. Unlike wine, the vintage has no impact on the quality of the whisky. However, distilleries change styles over time, and some vintages can be more sought after, such as bottles from Brora distilled in the 1970s when it was making a heavily peated whisky. Anniversary years such as 1971 and 1961 will be popular in 2021 as people look for unique 50th and 60th birthday gifts.
Other factors such as the condition of the label, the level of the whisky in the bottle and the presence of the original box all have an impact on the value of the whisky too.
If you would like to find out what your bottle is worth and discover the best way to sell it Mark Littler LTD has published several in depth guides which can be found here. Mark Littler LTD can help their clients decide the best way to make the most from their bottles, be it through auction, private sale, or via their brokerage shop. It is through their brokerage shop which they sold the Macallan 18 Year Old vertical for Matthew Robson which made the headlines worldwide in 2020.
For more information visit www.marklittler.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org