A fantastic decade for whisky

Scotland still holds the record for the most expensive whisky ever sold – but Japan is catching up fast.


1926 Macallan: the world's most expensive bottle

Whisky has been on a roll recently. As an asset class, rare whisky appreciated by 40% last year, making it the best-performing collectable asset of 2018, as rated by Knight Frank in its annual "Wealth Report". By comparison, coins came in second, with a relatively measly 12% growth. That caps an impressive decade for the spirit over the last ten years, whisky has risen by 582%.

So, it's fair to say that with hindsight, whisky has proved to be one of the most appealing alternative investments of the past decade. That record, in turn, has encouraged ever more buyers into the market, particularly from Asia. That has led to some eye-catching results at auction houses.

The fine art of drinking

Like wine, you can simply buy your bottles from a stockist, and allow them to mature in a warehouse. However, cashing in on whisky's popularity, this year also saw the launch of the world's first regulated whisky fund in Sweden.

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The Single Malt Fund allows investors to buy a stake in a larger collection of rare whiskies. As the assets are "liquidated" (ie the whiskies are put up for sale), investors get the chance to buy the bottles. The fund is supervised by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority, which approved it for launch on the Nordic Growth Market (NGM) exchange in Stockholm.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, we went to the London launch of another innovative whisky venture, Cask Trade. The business, founded by entrepreneur Simon Aron, is unique in that it only deals in whole casks of whiskies that it owns (ie, it is not a broker). It will soon offer its own online auction service at auctionyourcask.com.

Another auction site worth checking out isjust-whisky.co.uk. Register to sell your own whisky, or simply browse for anything from unusual whisky memorabilia to rare individual bottles.

The next big thing

Chris Carter

Chris Carter spent three glorious years reading English literature on the beautiful Welsh coast at Aberystwyth University. Graduating in 2005, he left for the University of York to specialise in Renaissance literature for his MA, before returning to his native Twickenham, in southwest London. He joined a Richmond-based recruitment company, where he worked with several clients, including the Queen’s bank, Coutts, as well as the super luxury, Dorchester-owned Coworth Park country house hotel, near Ascot in Berkshire.

Then, in 2011, Chris joined MoneyWeek. Initially working as part of the website production team, Chris soon rose to the lofty heights of wealth editor, overseeing MoneyWeek’s Spending It lifestyle section. Chris travels the globe in pursuit of his work, soaking up the local culture and sampling the very finest in cuisine, hotels and resorts for the magazine’s discerning readership. He also enjoys writing his fortnightly page on collectables, delving into the fascinating world of auctions and art, classic cars, coins, watches, wine and whisky investing.

You can follow Chris on Instagram.