Whisky investment has been a hot topic lately. With values every increasing and low barriers to entry, if you know what you’re doing, you can make good money buying and selling whisky.
Here’s a few recent examples of what I’ve managed to achieve:
Bought for £174 sold for £410
Bought for £91 sold for £327
Bought for £104 sold for £472
… and there’s no reason you can’t do it as well.
In this article I’m going to show you how I invest in whisky for both long and short term, what distilleries to pay attention to and how you can maximise your investment.
Why Invest in Whisky?
Over the years whisky has became more and more popular as an investment. With minimal barriers to entry there’s not much stopping your average Joe from starting a whisky collection.
You can also get started quite cheaply, even under £100 can get you started. Not to mention whisky has shown more growth than gold and oil.
Stick to the Main Distilleries (Usually)
You want to stick to the big distilleries. These distilleries have built reputations over the years and collectors can’t wait to get their hands on their latest releases. Generally speaking the big distilleries are:
- Highland Park
- and Glenmorangie
Keep your eye on overseas brands like Suntory. They often release limited editions which collectors snap up. Suntory owns Hibiki, Yamazaki and Hakushu which often sell for thousands of pounds on auction sites.
Don’t discount brands like Johnnie Walker who often release limited editions as well. They recently released a collection of Game of Thrones whiskies which sold out quickly – however the resell value is unknown as so many bottles were originally released. I picked up the Night’s Watch bottle at £70 just in case.
Big Whisky E-Commerce Websites to Check
There are a few big whisky ecommerce sites to keep your eye on. These are:
They all have a “new releases” page for new bottles. You’ll often see tens or even hundreds of people looking at newly released bottles as soon as they’re put up.
Familiarise Yourself with Whisky Auctions
Whisky auctions are big business. You can snap a bargain if you’re clued in enough or sell bottles to cash in when the market’s right.
Auctions to check:
And a couple of smaller ones:
Best Whisky News Websites
The main reason I’ve managed to build a good collection is checking whisky new websites every day. These sites report new releases, limited editions and general industry news.
For example, Suntory recently advised that they are discontinuing their Hibiki 17 and Hakushu 12 whiskies as they can’t keep up with demand. As soon as that news was released, I snapped up a bottle of Hibiki 17 at £170. That was last month, and today Hibiki 17 bottles are selling at auction for £300-£400. You have to be quick though as lots other people will do the same.
Improve your Whisky Knowledge
It’s important to build a decent whisky knowledge which happens over time. The more you read and are around whisky, the more you’ll pick up.
There are some good resources which can speed things up however like this and this.
Be on the Ball to Limited Editions and Exclusive Releases
This is where you’ll make the majority of your money. Distilleries and brands often release limited edition and exclusive casks. These are available at limited quantities, and as such are worth more when they’re all gone.
Macallan recently had a bit of a disaster releasing their Genesis Limited Edition at £495 causing chaos and road closures at the distillery.
However those lucky enough to secure a bottle could sell it for £4,600+ the same day.
That’s a 860% return on investment by queuing and securing a limited edition where most people were still in bed. The whisky industry is in ever-growing demand, and this example clearly highlights that.
How Much Money Can I Expect to Make?
As with anything, you can make as you’d like. It depends how passionate you are, how much time you invest and how hard you work on your whisky knowledge.
Many people make £10,000+ per month, some people an extra £200 per month. The results you achieve are entirely up to you.
At the moment I’m making about £500 per month which I’m more than happy with – it pays the mortgage.
Best Whisky to Invest In 2019
No longer being produced. As such value and rarity has increased.
Similar to Hibiki 17. No longer being produced.
Japanese whiskies in general
Growing in popularity amongst collectors and experts. Look out for limited editions and special releases.
Danish distiller Nyborg is embracing its location to make its products stand out. The upcoming Ardor Danish Oak whisky has been finished in casks made with oak sourced from the Erholm Forest, which is close to the distillery.
No Age Statement are growing in popularity. These whiskies don’t release what age they are, and as much allows the master blender to experiment with different ages and blends the might not have done otherwise. Many NAS whiskies make it to top honours in the whisky world.
Silent distilleries are those who don’t operate anymore. As they don’t produce whisky anymore the rarity increases as do the prices.
Is Single Malt Always Better Than Blended?
Single Malt is generally regarded as better, as it’s not blended with any other whiskies.
This certainly isn’t a deal breaker though, as many limited edition blended malts are in high demand.
How to Store Your Whisky
There are three golden rules when storing your whisky:
- Always store your whisky in a cool, dry place
- Avoid direct sunlight
- and keep them upright. This is to make sure the cork isn’t in contact with the whisky where it can start to break down and ruin the bottle.
Once you’ve built yourself a decent collection, it’s worthwhile looking into whisky insurance.
Think about it:
You probably insure your boiler, TV and other electronics. Your value of your whisky collection could run into thousands of pounds, it would be stupid not to. Your normal house insurance provider will (probably) insure it, but shop around for the best deal.