Value of rare whisky rises by 582% in 10 years

Rare whisky has topped the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index as the asset with the biggest potential return, having achieved 40% value growth in the past year and a 582% increase since 2009 – the highest of any investment.

The Wealth Report 2019, released yesterday, shows that whisky has topped the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index (KFLII), rising in value by 40% over the 12 months to Q4 2018.

The Knight Frank Rare Whisky 100 Index, featured for the first time in the KFLII. Compiled by Rare Whisky 101, it contains 100 bottles of the world’s most desirable rare Scotch whisky, and tracks actual UK auction prices of these bottles, finding that over the past ten years values have increased by almost 600%.

The most significant sale of 2018 was a bottle of Macallan 1926, hand painted by Irish artist Michael Dillon, that sold for a record-breaking £1.2million in November.

This growth was attributed in part of the rising interest in Scotch whisky by the Asian market, with sales of Scotch whisky to India, China and Singapore rising by 44%, 35% and 24% respectively in the first half of 2018, according to the Scotch Whisky Association, with single malts totalling almost 30% of total exports.

“The stunning price growth of rare single malt whiskies shows that the appetite for new ‘alternative’ asset classes remains strong among high-net-worth investors,” said Andrew Shirley, editor of The Wealth Report and the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index.

“However, we are seeing growth soften for some of the other asset classes in KFLII like classic cars that had been performing exceptionally strongly. This is partly down to a slowdown in activity by speculative investors and a return to a genuine collector-driven market. Despite this, the best examples in each asset class are still setting records when they come up for sale (see below).”

Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index (to Q4 2018)

Whisky was followed by coins (12% annual growth) and wine, which was the third most investible asset have increased in value by 9% over the part 12 months and 147% over the past 10 years.

Andy Simpson, Co-founder Rare Whisky 101, added: “While rare whisky remains a somewhat fledgling asset class compared to some other passion investments, the market for rare and vintage bottles has witnessed extraordinary growth over the past ten years, both in terms of the volume of whisky being traded and the value of that whisky.

“The key to rare whisky’s sustained growth as an asset class, is the passion buyers worldwide share for investing, collecting, and occasionally drinking, some of the best and rarest Scotch whisky ever made.”

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