And finally…£16m of rare Scotch sold at auction in past six months

More than £16 million of rare Scotch whisky has been sold in bottles at UK auction during the first six months of the year, according to new figures published today by whisky analyst, broker and investment experts Rare Whisky 101.

Rare Whisky 101’s 2018 Half Year Report shows that the value of rare Scotch whisky in bottle sold at auction has exceeded £16 million during a six month period for the very first time, reaching an impressive £16,335,635, a year on year increase of 46 per cent on the £11,176,000 transacted during the same period last year.

To put the growth of the secondary rare whisky market into context, only 5 years ago, during the first half of 2013, the £ value of Scotch whisky sold at auction was a mere £2,232,000 for a total of 8,825 bottles sold. Since then, the market has grown 732 per cent in £ value and 563 per cent in volume.

The growing gap between value and volume is reflected in the average per-bottle price, which has risen once gain to a new high of £328.56, up 14.83 per cent on H1 2017’s average price of £286.13.

Based on year to date and projected growth during the second half of the year, RW101 has forecasted the market to exceed 100,000 bottles for the full year, at a value of more than £36 million.

The value of the broadest measurement of the market, the Apex 1000 Index, increased 9.91 per cent to the 2018 mid-year point.

The Macallan has further cemented its credentials as the secondary market brand leader, increasing its share of the total amount spent on rare whisky to 34.41 per cent, which is larger than the next nine brands combined at 31.27 per cent. Despite its significant increase in share of value, its share of volume (the number of bottles sold) has remained static at 12.73 per cent (a marginal increase from its share of 12.71 per cent in H1 2017).

Whisky investment analyst and co-founder of Rare Whisky 101, Andy Simpson said: “Scotch whisky as an asset has continued to perform extremely well within a volatile global economy. However, while we’re seeing an impressive increase in the number of bottles traded at auction, the increase in value is nothing short of phenomenal. The Macallan is the clear winner within this market. Some of the prices being paid for the distillery’s rarest and most iconic releases underline its star quality among investors, collectors and connoisseurs across the world.

“Macallan stablemate, Highland Park from Orkney, has enjoyed an incredible half year with volume share growing from 3.55% to 5.86% at the detriment of Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Bowmore and Bruichladdich. Finally, the holy trinity of silent stills (Brora, Port Ellen and Rosebank) continue to experience strong connoisseur, investor and collector demand, despite all three of the distilleries announcing plans to recommence production.

“Looking to the future, it’s difficult to predict demand for today’s premium releases once they reach the secondary market. Given the growing global thirst for premium whisky, sector investment from the large single malt brand owners and the proliferation of new distilleries commencing production, we see a sector in rude health.  We are, therefore, confident that the right bottles from the right distilleries will continue to offer a strong investment proposition.”