Big Brand, Limited Edition
The rarity of a bottling depends on how in-demand the release was when it first came to market, so make sure you weigh up the popularity of the brand against the quantity of the product made.
A limited release of 18,000 bottles from a big name like The Macallan is much more collectable than the same run from a smaller distillery, simply because their whiskies have a much bigger audience to begin with. That means they’ll sell out of 18,000 bottles before you can say “Edition No.1”, and those bottles will become instantly collectable.
It should come as no surprise that collectors love collections! That is especially true for brands that have attracted a niche, devoted fan base, such as Highland Park. If you own part of a collection, it’s likely there’s somebody out there keen to complete their series with the very bottle in your possession.
Official or Indy?
As a rule of thumb, official bottlings (those released by the distillery itself) hold more value than independent bottlings although the latter are growing in popularity. If you’re just starting off in whisky investments, we recommend focusing on Official Bottlings.
Silence is Golden
Silent, or closed distilleries attract lots of attention and are often in huge demand, which translates into big bucks at auction! This is especially true if the liquid already has a fantastic reputation.
Karuizawa Distillery closed in 2001, before the recent boom in Japanese whisky’s popularity. Rumour has it that there are now only 50 casks of karuizawa whisky left in the whole world, causing demand, and prices, to skyrocket!
Port Ellen Distillery closed in 1983. Now set to reopen, whiskies produced in the original distillery – already highly revered by whisky drinkers – are more in demand than ever.
Origins of the Species
As whisky appreciation has spread across the globe, a whole world of whisky production has followed. Scotch still dominates the market – both in retail and at auction – however it’s becoming increasingly common for people to collect whiskies from one lesser known whisky producing country. So, if you’ve got a souvenir bottling from a far flung craft distillery, it may well appreciate in value.
The original feature is our cover story in the Spring 2019 edition of Whiskeria, delivered to the door of W Club subscribers and also free with any Whisky Shop purchase in store or online. Learn more here