Demand for rare Scotch whisky booms

Andy Simpson, co-founder of Rare Whisky 101
Andy Simpson, co-founder of Rare Whisky 101

A record number of bottles of rare whisky were sold at auction in the UK during the first half of 2015, according to new figures published today by Rare Whisky 101.

The whisky analyst, broker and investment experts said 20,638 bottles of single malt Scotch whisky were sold in the UK on the open market, an increase of 5,374 bottles and a 35 per cent increase on the same period last year.

Compared to the first half of last year, the value of collectables sold at auction grew 33.8 per cent to £4.604 million.

Andy Simpson, co-founder of Rare Whisky 101, said: “Demand for rare whisky and the supply of bottles at auction are both accelerating at an extraordinary rate, and this is driving up values. Even using the broadest metrics of the top 1000 bottles, we have seen a dramatic and dynamic rise in values since 2008 to end June 2015.

“Demand for desirable single malt Scotch brands and previously discontinued bottles remains exceptionally strong. The dead hand of marketing is gaining an ever tighter grip on the single malt category, where retail releases are becoming non-age stated (NAS) and the number of bottles ever more prolific. The dearth of truly collectable releases over recent years has only fuelled demand for older and discontinued past releases where quality and rarity are powerful motivations for purchase.

“For many in the broader Scotch industry, export and sales figures appear challenging. However, the secondary market for rarities shows little of this stress. We view this as a clear future trend, with the value of scarcity increasing demand from connoisseurs, collectors and investors.”

Today’s figures also show the top 100 performing bottles of “Investment Grade Scotch” (Rare Whisky 101 Apex 100 Index) increased in value by 8.93 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The rising values have yielded an overall increase of 506.24 per cent between 2008 and 31 June 2015. The Apex 250 and 1000 have recorded growth of 385.81 per cent and 245.08 per cent over the same time frame.

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