Planet Whiskies :: Scottish Single Malt Whisky, Scotch, Distilleries, American Bourbon, Japanese, Irish

World-Wide Whisky News by Planet Whiskies | Buy your whisky online

To advertise on Planet Whiskies visit our contact us page

Investing in Whisky - A Guide by Martin Green | Head of Whisky at
Bonhams | Part of The Glenlivet Winchester Collection | Vintage 1964 Investing in Whisky – A Guide by Martin Green Head of Whisky at

The launch of The Glenlivet Winchester Collection, Vintage 1964 this October is set to fuel the growing trend in whisky collecting around the globe.

The first auctions for rare whiskies were held in the late 1980s and since then sales have become more and more popular as an increasing number recognise not just the investment potential of single malts but also the joy of collecting the world’s finest objects. New markets with new buyers are also emerging, particularly in the Far East.

Here Martin Green, Head of Whisky for Bonhams* – the internationally renowned auctioneers – shares his top tips for collecting whiskies such as The Glenlivet Winchester Collection, Vintage 1964.

Q: What do buyers look for in an exceptionally collectable batch of whisky?

A: As with most products, reputation, scarcity and exclusivity are very important.  Ultimately a point of difference from the expressions that are more readily available all year round, perhaps a unique maturation story or limited productions run.

Q: Do whisky collectors tend to be investors with excellent wine cellars already or is it a different type of investor entirely?

A: There’s bound to be some overlap. The appeal of investing in a bottle of something highly revered, limited and of the highest quality applies to both categories.  It is worth remembering that collecting whisky is a relatively recent phenomenon.  The first stand alone whisky auctions, for example, were held in the late 1980s. Until then, whisky was routinely lumped in with other spirits and often included in wine sales.  Since then, interest has soared.

Q: What tips do you have for first time whisky collectors looking to start a portfolio?

A: This depends to some extent on your motivation.  If it’s to drink, then buy what you like drinking and gradually refine your palette as you become more experienced.   If it’s to collect, the usual advice is to buy the best you can afford but, of course, some collectors will be buying to plug gaps in their collections.

If it’s an investment, do your homework as you would with any purchase.  Start with the main range, available in any good whisky specialist. Then progress on to a Distillery exclusive bottling - this is a great place to start as by their very nature they are limited. These are available at a range of price points to suit any budget.

And, of course, exercise the normal precautions.  Forgeries, for example, are not common but if you are in any doubt consult the relevant distillery.  They are usually happy to provide information on authenticity to anyone who asks.

Q: How should a collector store their whisky safely?

A: Whisky should be stored out of direct heat or sunlight, so as not to undergo evaporation. Corked bottles should be stored upright, avoiding contact between the cork and the spirit inside. 

Q: How long should collectors hold onto their rare whisky before they could sell and see a return on their investment?

A: This is a difficult question to answer because it totally depends on the bottle in question.  As with anything bought specifically as an investment, it is sensible for the investor to keep a close eye on the performance of his or her portfolio.  There are now many magazines and blogs devoted to whisky and whisky collecting which offer statistics and advice.  Whisky auctions provide another source of information.  By studying the movement of prices over a period and talking to the specialists collectors can gain some idea of how their portfolio may perform if brought to market.  It’s worth adding that auction houses are usually careful to stick to the facts and not to make specific investment recommendations – that has to be for the judgement of the collector.

Q: With international brands now able to command impressive premiums, is the home of whisky still Scotland?

A: Absolutely! Japanese, Irish, American, Canadian whiskies are great but whisky is synonymous with Scotland and Scotland with whisky!  The romance and history of whisky is entirely bound up with Scotland (it’s called Scotch – sometimes - for a reason) and it’s difficult to see how that will ever lose its appeal.  

Q: What has made whisky so collectable in recent times?

A: A whole variety of reasons.  A greater appreciation and understanding of how much love, time and craft goes into creating this wonderful spirit.  A broadening of its appeal - consumers are increasingly willing to try new spirits - particularly spirits with genuine heritage and provenance and most importantly a robust and complex taste.  It is also, of course, the case that some buyers, especially at the high end of the market, see whisky as an investment rather than as something to drink and the seemingly inexorable rise in prices is fuelling demand among this group.   

Q: What is the future of the whisky investment market?

A: Cast iron predictions are never sensible in any walk of life but over the past 10 years the upward trajectory has remained remarkably smooth with new markets opening especially in the Far East. Prices in Hong Kong have continued to rise with collectable single malts in particular of greater demand. In Edinburgh and New York, prices have been driven up by competition from buyers located in the Far East and USA in addition to the continued interest from European buyers.  The fact that Bonhams and other auction houses are registering 90% sold across the range of prices suggest continued demand – but nothing in life is certain and investing in whisky requires the same level of common sense as anything else.  

Martin Green
Head of Whisky
Bonhams
*Bonhams in an internationally renowned auction house with offices in London, Hong Kong, New York, Los Angeles, Paris, San Francisco and Sydney

Read about the The Glenlivet WInchester Collection

Read Alan Winchester Q&A about The Glenlivet Winchester Collection

Read about Planet Whiskies tour of The Glenlivet Distillery

 

Planet Whiskies on Twitter
Planet Whiskies on Facebook
Planet Whiskies on Pinterest

Tasting Sets for Whisky and Gin

Whisky gift for Father's Day 2019

BUY WHISKY TASTING SET FOR £24.95

Gin gift for Father's Day 2019

BUY GIN TASTING SET FOR £24.95

VIEW OTHER IDEAL WHISKY GIFTS FOR FATHER'S DAY 2019

Subscribe to Planet Whiskies newsletter

* indicates required


Loch Fyne Whiskies

Loch Fyne Whiskies

Have you seen all the whisky specials on offer at Loch Fyne Whiskies in Inveraray? All orders placed have next day delivery. Click to discover all these fantastic offers... Read More

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society

View latest whisky news

Jura Single Malt Scotch Whisky announces rare opportunity to join tiny island distillery off the West Coast of Scotland

Jura Single Malt Scotch Whisky announces rare opportunity to join tiny island distillery off the West Coast of Scotland

Applications are open to become the Brand Home Manager at the popular Single Malt Whisky Distillery. Jura are seeking applicants to join the distillery team which sits at the heart of the tiny island community, with current population at c.212 people. Read More

Eden Mill Unveil £3.1m New Distillery Plans for new Production facilities in St Andrews, Fife.

Eden Mill Unveil £3.1m New Distillery Plans for new Production facilities in St Andrews, Fife.

Eden Mill, the award-winning Scottish gin and whisky distiller, has submitted a planning application for a major £3.1m development of new production facilities in St Andrews, Fife, which is part of a longer term £8m investment programme. Read more

Mackmyra Svensk Whisky turns 20, Sweden's first ever single malt whisky distillery

Mackmyra Svensk Whisky turns 20, Sweden's first ever single malt whisky distillery

Mackmyra is turning 20 this year, both as a company and Sweden’s first ever single malt whisky distillery. Under the tagline “The Swedish Original since 1999”, our vision to be at the cutting edge and produce world-class, innovative and eco-friendly malt whisky is the same today as it was when we started. After 20 years of hard work, we now enjoy a well-deserved position as a leading distillery in the New World Whisky category. Read more

Glenfiddich Elevates Flagship Range With Sophisticated Redesign for 12 and 15 year old bottles.

World’s Most Awarded Single Malt Scotch Whisky takes signature 12 and 15 Year Old expressions to the next level

Glenfiddich Elevates Flagship Range With Sophisticated Redesign for 12 and 15 year old bottles.

18th June 2019, Dufftown: Glenfiddich, the World’s Most Awarded Single Malt Scotch Whisky, pays homage to its origins in the Valley of the Deer with a striking new package design for its 12 and 15 Year Old iconic whiskies. The new packaging will be rolled out in the UK and US to begin with from 18th June 2019, with Small Batch 18 Year Old following suit in 2020. Read more

Planning permission approved for Clynelish Distillery New Look visitor experience by Highland Council

Planning permission approved for Clynelish Distillery New Look visitor experience by Highland Council

A key milestone has been reached in the journey to transform the Clynelish Distillery visitor experience after Highland Council formally granted planning permission for the development today (Monday 17th June 2019). Read more

Glen Scotia unveils Limited Edition Rum Cask Finish to celebrate its Campbeltown Malts Festival programme

Glen Scotia Rum Cask Finish 2003

Glen Scotia has introduced a new Limited Edition Rum Cask Finish Single Malt to celebrate its Campbeltown Malts Festival programme. Read more

Great Whiskies Website

Buy Whisky online go to Great Whiskies (Planet Whiskies sister website)

Planet Gin Website

To read all the Latest Gin News. please go to our sister website - www.planetgin.com

VisitScotland Interactive Whisky Guide

Visit Scotland Interactive Whisky Map

Found out about 105 whisky distilleries in Scotland's five whisky regions in this very exciting interactive whisky guide :: More information

Some Scottish Whisky Available to Buy Online

Karuizawa 1980 Golden Samurai 3cl Sample Single Malt Whisky
Karuizawa 1980 Golden Samurai 3cl Sample Single Malt Whisky ~ 61.6% ~ 3cl

Region: Japanese  ~  Type:   Scottish


Buy Now for £349.80
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change


Glenfiddich 29 Year Old Spirit Of A Nation Single Malt Whisky
Glenfiddich 29 Year Old Spirit Of A Nation Single Malt Whisky ~ 48.8% ~ 70cl

Region: Speyside  ~  Type:   Scottish


Buy Now for £1,495.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change


Glenmorangie 15 Year Old 1990 (cask 5979) Single Malt Whisky
Glenmorangie 15 Year Old 1990 (cask 5979) Single Malt Whisky ~ 57.6% ~ 75cl

Region: Highland  ~  Type:   Scottish


Buy Now for £1,200.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change


Johnnie Walker Old Harmony - 1970s Blended Whisky
Johnnie Walker Old Harmony - 1970s Blended Whisky ~ 43% ~ 75cl

Region: Other Scotch  ~  Type:   Scottish


Buy Now for £349.50
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change


Glenfarclas Family Cask Trunk Single Malt Whisky
Glenfarclas Family Cask Trunk Single Malt Whisky ~ 50.6% ~ 1000cl

Region: Speyside  ~  Type:   Scottish


Buy Now for £120,376.49
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change


Macallan Masters of Photography Magnum Edition Single Malt Whisky
Macallan Masters of Photography Magnum Edition Single Malt Whisky ~ 43.7% ~ 70cl

Region: Speyside  ~  Type:   Scottish


Buy Now for £2,695.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change


The Macallan Oscuro Single Malt Whisky
The Macallan Oscuro Single Malt Whisky ~ 46.5% ~ 70cl

Region: Speyside  ~  Type:   Scottish


Buy Now for £745.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change


Macallan 19 Year Old 1998 (bottled 2017) - Mackillops Choice Single Malt Whisky
Macallan 19 Year Old 1998 (bottled 2017) - Mackillops Choice Single Malt Whisky ~ 53.8% ~ 70cl

Region: Speyside  ~  Type:   Scottish


Buy Now for £384.14
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change


Littlemill 20 Year Old - Royal Wedding Celebration (Hart Brothers) Single Malt Whisky
Littlemill 20 Year Old - Royal Wedding Celebration (Hart Brothers) Single Malt Whisky ~ 46% ~ 70cl

Region: Lowland  ~  Type:   Scottish


Buy Now for £325.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change


Bunnahabhain 35 Year Old 1979 (cask 9521) - Artist #8 (La Maison du Wh Single Malt Whisky
Bunnahabhain 35 Year Old 1979 (cask 9521) - Artist #8 (La Maison du Wh Single Malt Whisky ~ 47.9% ~ 70cl

Region: Islay  ~  Type:   Scottish


Buy Now for £995.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change


Planet Whiskies on Pinterest

Planet Whiskies on Twitter