A fantastic decade for whisky

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


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.

Subscribe to MoneyWeek

Become a smarter, better informed investor with MoneyWeek.

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.

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.

Advertisement - Article continues below

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



Share tips

Alternative investments: three hidden gems beyond stocks and bonds

Alternative investments such as private equity or commodities are one of the oldest forms of investment, says professional investor Alex Barr. Here. h…
16 Sep 2019
Alternative investments

Forget stocks – handbags have outperformed them all

A surprising collectable has been trouncing other asset classes. Chris Carter reports
20 Mar 2020
Alternative investments

Nintendo Playstation: geek dreams are made of this

The only Nintendo PlayStation ever made is up for grabs.
21 Feb 2020
Alternative investments

The $68 trillion inheritance

A very valuable torch is being passed to a new generation, says Chris Carter
24 Jan 2020

Most Popular


What does the coronavirus crisis mean for UK house prices?

With the whole country in lockdown, the UK property market is closed for business. John Stepek looks at what that means for UK house prices, housebuil…
27 Mar 2020

Coronavirus: what it means for your mortgage or your rent

Ruth Jackson-Kirby looks at all the key questions for owners, renters and landlords affected by the coronavirus crisis.
29 Mar 2020
UK Economy

The UK’s bailout of the self employed comes with a hidden catch

The chancellor’s £6.5bn bailout of the self employed is welcome. But it has hidden benefits for the taxman, says Merryn Somerset Webb.
27 Mar 2020
UK Economy

Debt jubilee: will our debts be written off?

The idea of a "debt jubilee" – general society-wide cancellation of debt – goes back to Biblical times. Could it happen again? And would it really do …
28 Mar 2020