Rare whiskey is the savvy investor’s latest hot commodity

Pappy Van Winkle, one of the most sought after whiskies
Pappy Van Winkle, one of the most sought after whiskies

Stocks, bonds, property and … whisky? Savvy investors know how to keep their spirits highs and glasses half full. As a result, the investment world seems to be following the Mark Twain mantra, ” Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.”

According to a recent piece by the Independent, sales in rare whisky have reached an all-time high this year.

UK auction sales of rare whisky rose by 35 per cent in the first half of this year, according to data released by Rare Whisky 101 cited by the Independent. The publication also cites as evidence a bottle of 50-year-old Glendfiddich expected to reach about $23,000 during a whisky sale in Scotland.

But it isn’t just Europe that is feeling the buzz. Now the Far East is increasingly drinking in the whisky market as well, In August, a bottle of 1960 Karuizawa sold for roughly $119,000 in Hong Kong — an auction record for Japanese whisky. Another 1974 Karuizawa bottle with a 40 year old vintage cask sold for just over $10,000 online.

Bonhams whisky specialist, Martin Green, explains why this type of aqua vitae may provide a great ROI. “People collect it as it has much longer shelf life than wine, once bottled, whisky can be stored indefinitely. For people on a trip to Scotland, its a product they will immediately turn to.”

Now, one company — a sort of boozy mashup of Etrade and FreshDirect — has set up an alternative marketplace for whisky called WhiskyInvestDirect. “The company aims to change the way whisky is traded and financed. It allows people to buy and sell units of whisky as it ages in the barrel, starting at a very cheap price while the liquor is still maturing.”