“As soon as the last retailer sold out, it went up for auction and the price doubled. Now these versions are [up to] 250,000 bottles. For the world. Do you see what I’m saying? It shows how big the market is today.
Singh also says that at the Whiskey Exchange, they’ve seen an increase in the price people are comfortable paying for what might be considered an “everyday” bottle. “Three years ago I would have told you it was around £ 70. Now that looks more like £ 150-250. People aren’t afraid to spend that on a bottle of whiskey.
Of course, £ 250 is only a tiny fraction of the £ 840,000 made in the One of One charity auction for the Glenfiddich set of four single malts from the 1950s, but it helps demonstrate how, from this wide base, the whiskey pyramid can stretch so high.
Andy Simpson, a longtime whiskey collector, former investment banker and now whiskey investment analyst and co-founder of Rare Whiskey 101, says: £ 30,000, £ 40,000, £ 60,000 on a bottle of whiskey that they are going to drink and that takes stock of the world market. This of course increases the rarity value of some bottles, which can have the effect of increasing the price.
The Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index, published annually as part of the Knight Frank Wealth Report, positions whiskey as an alternative investment alongside colored diamonds, cars, wine and art. However, Simpson, who works with Knight Frank to create it, cautions against using this to make a broad interpretation of the fine whiskey market. “The index is one hundred of the oldest, rarest and most expensive bottles of Scotch single malt whiskey ever created by some of the industry’s most talented distillers.” As he puts it, “If you want to invest in whiskey, you have to do your research. I have 33 years of experience so I know what I’m doing and still make mistakes. Don’t spend what you can’t afford to lose.
Ultimately, as Singh puts it, “whiskey is drinking. It is better not to forget that.