Whisky Auctioneer in high spirits over rising demand

Perthshire based online auction house Whisky Auctioneer has seen almost £4 million of sales in a month thanks to rising global demand for rare whisky.

Whisky Auctioneer in high spirits over rising demand

Sales between October and November were the largest both in value and volume in its seven-year history. The news comes as the firm announced the opening of its new Brexit-proof office in Germany, to ensure business growth continues once new trading rules come into force in January when the UK’s transition period comes to an end.

Consistently low-interest rates and falling yields on investor havens such as government bonds are boosting interest in alternative asset classes, including rare whiskies.

Andy Simpson, founder of Rare Whisky 101, which charts the value of the secondary market, told The Times that whisky as an investment started being taken seriously in 2011. Annual growth in value of whisky sold at auction hit a peak of 38% in 2018. He estimated this year to be more subdued — with growth of up to 8%.

He added: “Whisky as part of a portfolio for a sophisticated investor can work very well.”

Iain McClune, founder and managing director of Whisky Auctioneer, said demand is such that investors in Asia, America and Europe, as well as emerging markets, shrug off tariffs, such as those Donald Trump imposed on sales of whisky to America.

Further duties may apply in European markets as the Brexit transition completes.

He said: “There were tariffs in most countries well before the US tariffs. There is acceptance from this global database of clients who use auctions of those rules; they are more accepting than you might expect.”

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