Top 10 Scotch whiskies at auction

Scotch whisky as an investment has yet to really take off but as a collector’s market it’s thriving.

While anyone with a passing interest in Scotch might be able to reel off a handful of well-known distilleries, the true extent of Scotch production is simply staggering – once the number of different cask bottlings, vintage bottlings, limited edition bottlings and any other permutation one cares to thinks of are taken into account, the number runs to many thousands.

As with anything from cars to historical periods to Star Wars it evokes passionate interest and emotions, with collectors of all degrees searching for a bottle of that special something to complete their library of malts.

Some collect alphabetically, some only Speyside, some only certain years or decades, there’s no limit to what people are after and as the number of collectors grows and the supply of whiskies they’re after dwindles, when a sought-after bottle appears at an auction it’s bound to generate interest.

The results can be truly impressive, Glenfiddich’s 50 year old Janet Sheed Roberts Reseve (although sold for charity) has broken numerous records at its appearances so far, notching up £59,350 for a bottle in New York in March this year.

Similarly, a bottle of 1933 Glenfiddich sold for over £40,000 in London this month, although this was shy of the £50,000 low estimate.

And there is the danger of Scotch investment or indeed any investment. Don’t automatically assume or expect you’re onto a winner.

Data from Whisky Highland, which runs the auction evaluation used to compile this list, shows that while the top 10 performing whiskies averaged a peak rise of 302% between 2008 and 2011, the bottoming performing 10 went down by some 70% over the same period.

Age, rarity and a price able to appreciate are key to success (so Dalmore’s Trinitas at £100,000 a bottle is out even if only three were produced) as is the benefit of being a single malt (so don’t bank on those bottles of Johnnie Walker Blue – even the Jubilee bottling, which at £100,000 is too much anyway).

Here follows in ascending order the top 10 best performing malts at auction.

3 Responses to “Top 10 Scotch whiskies at auction”

  1. Tim F says:

    A little correction, there were only three bottles of Dalmore Trinitas, not 60 (hence the name). The last one sold at a famous London department store for £125,000, so it seems unlikely that the other two (sold at £100,000) will go down in value.

  2. I think that whisky investment is a sure investment – hey, even if the value goes down by 70% you can at least drink it! You can’t do that if you buy shares!

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