Whisky-Investment - Kapitalerhalt, Spekulation, jagen und sammelnHier werde ich eine Sammlung von Regeln veröffentlichen, die man beim Investment in Whisky & Whiskey anwenden kann. Diese Regeln habe ich aus verschiedenen Quellen zusammengeklaubt. Deshalb können durchaus redundante Regeln auftauchen.
Schritt 1: Individuelle Whiskysammel-Strategie festlegen
- Single Malt Scotch
- Alte Flaschen? Neue Abfülllung?
- Limitiert sollte sie sein.
- sammle aktuelle, limitierte Originalabfüllungen mit Jahrgang in der Preisklasse von etwa 75 – 150 Euro
- Eine goldene Regel lautet: Der Wert wird durch die Verfügbarkeit bestimmt (scarcity makes the value).
Schritt 2: Anzahl der Flaschen in der Whiskysammlung festlegen
- Qualität oder Quantität
- bestimmte Destillerien
Schritt 3: Single Malts auswählen und Preise prüfen – im Einkauf liegt der Gewinn
- Lowland Whiskies bringen nicht viel Gewinn (nur Ausnahmeflaschen)
- Any single malt from the 1960s and 1970s
- Single-cask bottles
- Newly released limited editions and collectors’ editions
- Bottles from closed distilleries, also known as « silent distilleries » (which have ceased production) are particularly favoured by investors. Amongst those: Littlemill, Brora, Rosebank, Port Ellen or Hanyu when it comes to Japanese whisky.
- Of course, like for all kinds of investment, it’s important to remember that trends are always evolving and whisky investment doesn’t come without risk (which is what makes it thrilling for some…). Still, in order to minimize this risk, I would advise you to prefer official distillery bottlings (which often offer better gains when sold than independent bottling from a similar nectar – same distillery, same age, same distillation/bottling year…)
- Look into limited releases – for instance, during the annual Feis Ile whisky festival on Islay (Scotland), some distilleries (like the world-famous Ardbeg & Laphroaig) are launching special editions in small quantities – often sold out in a few days…
- When it comes to popular investment-friendly brands, a handful of historical distilleries keep standing at the top ranks of auction houses : Macallan, Ardbeg, Dalmore, Bowmore, Highland Park (pssst, look at this new baby!), The Balvenie or Glenmorangie…
3.1 what should I check
The overall state of the bottle: are front and back labels readable, torn, ripped or damaged in any way (may happen for vintage whiskies which haven’t been stocked in the best conditions)?
The filling level (or filling line). Evaporation is normal with time but it’s still necessary to make sure the filling level isn’t abnormally low.
Make sure the bottle is sealed and unopened. An open bottle drastically decreases in value.
Read carefully all the information on the labels and bottle: distillation/bottling dates, content, ABV, cask types, number of batch, bottle, barrel… The more information the better.
Always do some research before buying and do not hesitate to ask advices to your fellow whisky enthusiast friends to avoid buying fakes.
Schritt 4: Whisky lagern
Stehend lagern – Der wichtigste Punkt. Nicht liegend lagern, wie man es beispielsweise von Rotwein kennt. Da der Korken beim Whisky nicht so fest sitzt, kann es vor allem nach einer längeren Lagerzeit vorkommen, dass der Whisky anfängt zu lecken. Außerdem kann es passieren, dass der Korken beginnt porös zu werden. Also: Flaschen unbedingt stehend lagern.
Dunkel lagern - Damit der Whisky möglichst unberührt bleibt, sollte man ihn auch vor direktem Sonnenlicht fernhalten. Eine dunkle Lagerung hilft nicht nur dem Whisky seine Qualität zu erhalten, sondern auch der Verpackung und dem Etikett. Äußerlichkeiten sind den echten Whiskysammlern äußerst wichtig.
Temperatur: Geht ein wenig mit dem zuvor genannten Punkt einher. Nicht zu warm lagern, aber auch nicht zu kalt, 15 Grad Celsius wären fein.
Lange Lagerung: Wer seinen Whisky 10 Jahre oder länger lagern möchte, der kann darüber nachdenken, ob er nicht Parafilm verwenden möchte. Als zusätzliche Verschlussfolie, sollte Sie dabei helfen, das Verdunsten von Alkohol auch über viele Jahr auf ein Minimum zu reduzieren.
Schritt 5: Verkauf
Online-Auktionen, Foren, privater Verkauf
* Kauf / Verkauf
Find out what your favourite local distributor has in offer – if you’re not familiar with any specialised shop, always make sure the seller is well-established, recognised and trustworthy (check reviews on the internet, many forums could be helpful to ask for tips such as Whisky Magazine’s).
I do believe auction houses are still the best way to find great deals as buyers and make the best gains as sellers. My go-to choice would be Catawiki.com which allocate a dedicated marketing budget to its auctions every week (meaning greater worldwide exposure) and offer 3 weekly auctions of both regular and more exclusive whiskies. A real goldmine for investors. (I see you coming “Pssst, you’re an auctioneer you’re not being objective here” –> Just keep in mind that I agreed to join the platform because I strongly believe in its performance and service for whisky enthusiasts – so far, I haven’t been proved wrong as the whisky auctions keep increasing in volume and value! \o/ – And seriously… getting to check and auction all those whisky wonders is more than thrilling… Yes, I’m one of those persons who get excited at the sight of an old Littlemill or Bruichladdich Micro Provenance… Neurosis? Maybe.)
################ ############## ########### ##############
1. Go Scotch
The best performing investment in whisky, is in Scotch. Its premium global status has heralded in a new wave of investment-grade bottlings, which are aimed at the collectors market, such as the 70 Year Old Glenlivet by Gordon & MacPhail released in 2012.
2. But don’t forget the new whisky producing markets
Japanese whisky is seeing an explosion of interest, with the two established producers of Nikka and Suntory both releasing super-quality products, fuelling demand for both drinking and collecting stock from this part of the world. One producer in particular, Karuizawa has seen phenomenal price rises on the secondary market, as the distillery no longer exists. Expect it to soar further when it does eventually run out.
3. Quality liquid always wins
Quality liquid is always going to be sought-after, so keep an eye on reviews both in magazines and online. Even bottles from unheard of distilleries can be a good investment if the reviews are stellar for something rare and limited.
4. Check the name
Big name brands such as Johnnie Walker, The Macallan and Glenfiddich have a strong following, with certain smaller, cult brands such as Ardbeg releasing small amounts to a rabid fan base who all seek to complete their own collections. Other names to watch are Highland Park, Springbank, Glendronach, Bowmore and Lagavulin.
5. Associations are good
Look out for bottles with added value, such as The Macallan’s boxset with iconic British artist Peter Blake or their Masters Of Photography Series where each bottle comes with a limited edition signed print by a famous photographer such as Albert Watson or Elliott Erwitt.
6. Be wary of limited editions
In Scotch whisky, there is no definition of what can be called ‘Limited Edition’. Look for single casks (often limited to 500 bottles or fewer) or outurns of less than 3,000 globally. A high alcohol content helps, which will add value to the overall item as well as those limited editions designed for specific markets or travel retail outlets.
7. Closed distilleries are open for business
Scotch has seen ups and downs with many distilleries closing in periods of low sales. In this boom time, those brands such as Rosebank, the smoky mainland Scotch of Brora and the lost Islay distillery of Port Ellen are extremely sought-after commanding very high prices as auction. Eventually stocks from these distilleries will be gone completely. Then you’ll see some truly bonkers prices.
8. Old bottles, new prices
Not all collectables have been released since the investment market opened up. Old bottles from the early 1900’s through to pre-Prohibition bourbons and those released in the latter half of the decade will be wanted for investments as well as for high-end bars. Look out for early 1900’s American whiskey on the backbar at Claridge’s Hotel in London.
9. Consider the condition
The condition of bottles is important. Unlike wine, whisky won’t go off in bottle but it could evaporate, so check the ‘fill level’ (the height of the liquid in the bottle) which should be well into the neck. Make sure the label is in tip-top condition too and beware of fakes: by from reputable auctions sites such as Scotch Whisky Auctions or Bonhams, or retailers such as The Whisky Exchange, Hedonism or Master of Malt.
10. New brands on the block
They say that when the Bellhop in your hotel gives you share tips, it is time to get out of the market. So what are the new kids on the block? Alongside stalwarts such as The Macallan, look out for Diageo’s Mortlach, indie-distillery Kilchoman, single grain whisky from Girvan and, to be totally left-field, world whisky craft distillers such as Overeem from Tasmania and Chichibu from Japan. Always remember: your investments can go up as well as down, but at least if it does fall, you can have one hell of a party with your stocks…
How to invest in whisky for profit
How to buy and sell whiskyArticle by Derek Kemp
Happiness is a rare steak, a bottle of whisky, and a dog to eat the rare steak.
Recently I was in the Clynelish distillery in Brora, Caithness (waaaaay up in the far north of Scotland, an hour’s drive beyond Inverness).
While I was there I got chatting to a whisky enthusiast and investor. He firmly believed, like I do, that whisky can be a safer investment than gold – and that’s what I want to talk about in today’s Insider’s Edge.
Now talk of gold is particularly relevant here, because the very river that provides water for the Clynelish single malt whisky is itself panned for gold.
(That’s what gives Johnny Walker Gold Label its name, because the largest part of that particular blend is composed of Clynelish whisky).
Why now is such a good time to invest in whisky
Simply put, there’s a growing market for whisky.
(Note I’m spelling it ‘whisky’ and not ‘whiskey’, because any whisky made in Scotland is spelt without the ‘e’; whiskey made anywhere else in the world, is spelt with the ‘e’)
Why? Because there’s a huge shortage of aged whisky and lots of people looking to collect it.
This is demand on a global scale.
Distillers didn’t foresee this kind of demand many decades ago, and so neglected to hold back a large amount of aged whisky – and that’s just one of the reasons they’re so valuable.
Another reason is that some smaller distilleries come and go, but the demand for the whisky they produced remains.
The Clynelish distillery was built on the site of an earlier mothballed distillery simply known as Brora. There’s still a small amount of Brora single malt whisky left, dating from the time when the Brora distillery was still running.
Every few years a limited amount of Brora single malt bottles are released and the value of them rocket exponentially.
How to invest in whisky for long term profit
The simplest way to start investing in whisky is to buy new, limited-edition releases as soon as they come out (more details on this in a moment).
Never pour whisky like this
If you’re partial to single malt, buy two bottles: one to drink and one to save. Remember, older whiskies are increasingly rare, because, ultimately, collectors drink them!
For older releases, scour the specialist auctions:
1) Scotch Whisky Auctions should be your first port of call
2) Also try the less specialist auction houses such as Bonhams, where you’ll find bottles in various price ranges.
Which are the best whiskies to invest in?
There’s a whole gamut of different constant releases from every distillery in Scotland.
You’ll find different ages, different blends of different ages, whisky aged in bourbon casks, whisky aged in sherry casks, whisky aged in bourbon and then sherry casks, different strengths… the list goes on.
So how do you know which are the best whiskies to invest in?
Let’s start with what to avoid.
Here’s what NOT to buy…
Any whisky with a standard age on it – 10, 12, 15, or 18-year-old expressions (‘expression’ is the term for a specific bottled release).
These bottles only increase in value in very rare circumstances (just drink them instead).
Here’s what you should be buying…
1. Newly released limited editions and collectors’ editions
Tun 1401 was a limited edition release from a distillery in Speyside called The Balvenie just a few years ago. It retailed for £150 per bottle, and can now be sold for anything up to £2,000 a bottle.
That’s a £1,850 profit per bottle!
Tip: only buy limited editions that are of a run of 10,000 bottles or less.
2. Single-cask bottles
Distilleries also release single-cask bottles, which means there is automatically a finite number of these bottles released – so keep an eye out for them, they can prove very valuable.
3. Any single malt from the 1960s and 1970s
If you’re buying older bottles, any single malt from the 1960s and 1970s will be valuable. This was a time when there were generally fewer releases of single malt whisky). Anything pre–1945 is exceedingly valuable.
Ultimately the earlier you buy, the less money you’ll pay upfront and the greater profit you stand to make as it ages and increases in value.
This is one investment where you’ll be rewarded for patience. The longer you’re able to hold onto your whisky the more it will be worth.
With that said, you can often make a relatively quick profit on a very good bottle of whisky. Take the Macallan Fine Oak 12 year old.
The first 100 bottles from the distillery cost £35 each, yet within months they were selling for in excess of £100 per bottle!
Why? Simply because being within the first 100 bottles of a release is attractive to collectors.
What to look for in a whisky (and how to store it correctly)
Any expressions that are commemorative, single cask, discontinued lines, limited release, in the first 100, or small-batch are the types of bottling that will attract interest from collectors in the future.
Whisky investingSomething else to mention, is that it’s not only distilleries that bottle their own whisky. There are independent bottlers to source from, who are preservers of some of the most rare whiskies from mothballed and current distilleries. Cadenheads is one such independent bottler.
Here are some important things to look for:
– The bottle condition (the label, the top seal, the presentation box)
– Fill levels are also very important when selecting whiskies to invest in: the higher the fill level the better and more desirable the bottle is
When it comes to storage, store your whisky upright (do not lay them down as the cork will be damaged by the strong alcohol content), at a constant room temperature, away from bright light and dampness.
To research which distilleries are most desirable, check out the Whisky Highland Index.
They provide guidance on the top distilleries who have produced collectable bottles, and provide data taken from UK auctions.
The index takes into account four variables:
1) the total value of sold collectable bottles
2) the highest single bottle price for each distillery
3) the average price per collectable bottle and
4) the highest percentage gain in value for collectable bottles.
They then score each distillery out of 100.
Collectable bottles from The Macallan are the best performers (after all, the 50 year old is James Bond’s choice of tipple) with a score of 96.9. This is followed by Port Ellen (90.2), Brora (88.65), Dalmore (88.2), Bowmore (88.15), Ardbeg (88.0), Balvenie (86.6), Glenlivet (84.6), Talisker (84.55) and Mortlach (83.25).
A passion for whisky helps, as does patience: short-term returns aren’t unheard of as we’ve talked about, but this should be seen as a long-term investment of 10 to 20 years.
As with any form of investment, the price of whisky can go down as well as up, but if the worst happens and the bottom falls out of the market, at least you’ll have something wonderful to drink!