Whisky retail prices soar 50-75% above auction prices in 2023

Whisky retail prices soar 50-75% above auction prices in 2023

New whisky data analysis has revealed that in 2023 whisky prices at retail were 50-75% higher than at auction, making it far more economical to purchase whisky at auction than at a whisky shop.

In a report published today, which provides an in-depth analysis of whisky brand performances and trends, Whiskystats revealed that the number of whisky bottles traded at auction houses (-5%) and their cumulative hammer prices (-19%) decreased in 2023.

At the same time, more than 10,000 bottles failed to meet reserve prices-36% more than in 2022.

The auction market’s three most value-losing brands were all Japanese – Chichibu (-43%), Karuizawa (-36%), and Yamazaki (-33%). Ratings winners for 2023 were Glendronach and Port Charlotte. The 2023 releases for the two Scotch brands scored highest in Whiskybase data analysed by Whiskystats.

In contrast, Ardmore and Jura saw the biggest decline in quality perception, based on public ratings. Craigellachie was 2023’s most-improved brand, according to change in public perception.

Whiskystats also launched a first-of-its-kind ‘collector-drinker gauge’ to compare secondary market turnover to public ratings and reviews. The gauge reveals that Macallan, Hibiki, and Yamazaki are the most collector-oriented brands, while Ledaig, Kavalan, and Glen Scotia are the most drinker-focused.

Johannes Moosbrugger, founder and head of data at Whiskystats, said: “Data shows that the whisky market is shifting.

“Buyers’ willingness to purchase whisky at listed retail prices has dropped significantly. And even for whiskies that eventually sell, bottles tend to remain on shelves far longer than in the recent past.

“What we’re seeing in the auction market data is clear: prices are no longer reaching the peak prices of the COVID era, and there are some great bottles for sale at the lowest prices in years.”

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