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Value of rare whisky rises 21% during 2022

The value of fine and rare single malt whisky has risen by 21% in the year-to-date, a new report has said, with volumes also up 23% driven by growth in the £100-£1,000 price bracket.  

According to the inaugural Noble & Co Whisky Intelligence Fine & Rare Whisky Auction Market Report 2022 (the first in a series of quarterly reports), this year had been one of “strong growth” in the fine and rare whisky markets, which had returned “to a positive trajectory” following the pandemic.

£31m of whisky transactions took place in the first 9 months of 2022, it said and if the growth trends continue, then volumes could reach 56,000 bottles of single malt Scotch by the end of the year, at around £42m of value.

“There is no doubt the appetite for fine and rare whisky remains strong whether it’s for drinking, collecting or investing,” it said.

The report noted that the average price paid for fine and rare whisky was falling however, down 2% to £616, reflecting the largest growth being seen in the £100 to £1,000 price bracket. Within this part of the market, volumes rose 30% to the end of September on values up 40%, it said. This was attributed to younger collector driving demand.

However, this segment was also being boosted by “flippers”, who are increasingly seeking security of supply, at a level where availability of fine and rare bottles is higher.

In terms of regions seeing growth, although Islay remains a “stable, secondary market favourite”, accounting for 20% of the market (after Speyside) with the average price rising by 35%, it was Campbeltown and Lowlands that proved the best-performing Scotch regions (albeit of a lower base), with the volume growth of 82% and 41% respectively in the year to date.

“We believe Campbeltown will continue to outperform the other regions due to scarcity of supply,” the report said.

The Highlands however, had seen a fall in demand, down from 8,808 bottles in 2021 to only 6,895 in the first nine months of 2022, with values of £3.1m, a significant decrease compared to pre-Covid levels.

“Investors and collectors seem largely unexcited by the region,” the report noted, with “too-many me-too brands to get the auction buyer too excited”.

Meanwhile the average price in Speyside slipped slightly, down by 6%, even though volumes reached record levels, with 14,781 bottles sold in 2022 so far. Noble & Co said it expected the the region “to remain the giant but show relatively sluggish growth in the near-term”.

Other things highlighted by the report included the sign that the oldest whiskies were “significantly” outperforming no-age statement which had seen a fall in the average price per bottle. “Whisky collectors still care about age statements,” it said.

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