Why did I buy that…? Whisky investing?

Posted on | January 2, 2011 | No Comments

In 2005 I bought a bunch of bottles to “drink later”, back then I was managing a relatively OK cocktail bar it was easy to try most spirits before buying them so sticking them in a box came guilt free.

This Christmas while back in Newcastle visiting my parents I realised that those plus other bottles bought in 2006 and 2007 were sitting in the loft. This made me wonder if there was any cash in the attic or whether I should just open the bottles at some point and drink them.

With work I follow auctions at McTear & Bonhams so I’m conscious that most bottles now perched on my office shelves may have only appreciated by small change, but still what is the time scale required to see a possible return in investment?  I’m inclined to say it’s a long game, but also requires some understanding of the collectors market.  One example is the Ardbeg Young range as all were £30-35 pounds, but 3 -5 years later have a retail value of £70 – 120 and are starting to become rarer every year.  This may be because of the passion for Islay in the whisky world.  Most distilleries have a collector or two (i.e. Gordon Homer or Marcel van Gils)

However, buying Scotch or any malt whisky as an investment can be a tricky one as it may be money badly spent!  So a word of warning, like the current gold market, buying whisky can reap big rewards or crash dramatically and leave you with a negative balance sheet if you don’t know when to buy and sell.

So in short avoid gimmicks, buy it when you see it unless it’s on ebay in the first couple of months of release for a hiked up price (just look in the shops) and stick to classics like The Macallan & Highland Park (I wish I’d bought Earl Magnus back when it came out!)

Stay passionate and spirited!



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