Rare whisky market review

Over recent years, rare and vintage whisky has evolved from a popular collectable into a highly desirable cult ‘passion’ investment. The exceptional quality and character of certain bottles of Scotch (and Japanese) whisky, coupled with vast supply pressures has seen prices for rare bottles and casks increase significantly. In some case many fold.

Throughout a turbulent year of trade wars, economic unrest, almost public warfare within the UK government and continued price instability in many markets, Scotch has, again, ridden the storm and shone through like a liquid gold beacon. The Apex 1000 index (the broadest measure of Scotch as an investment) increased by 29.82% year to date in 2018, outstripping our regularly measured basket of traditional and alternative investments.

The secondary (auction) market within the UK has exploded into a significant and sustainable industry. One which has replaced the more traditional rare whisky retailers as the go-to place for a growing global fan base to hunt down bottles long ago discontinued.

Looking to the future, we don’t see a significant cooling in the market, simply because demand is too strong. That demand is also truly global. Whisky, and particularly Scotch whisky, is produced in such tiny quantities, no one single market becomes the single ‘play’ from an investment perspective. The investment potential is in effect de-risked by virtue of their being such tiny availability of the ‘right’ bottles.

RW Apex 1000 performance summary

Start value 31/11/2018 Change
Total since 27/12/2010 138.00 837.51 +506.89%
Year to date 645.15 837.51 +29.82%
12 month 600.61 837.51 +32.19%
6 month 672.72 837.51 +21.88%
3 month 709.07 837.51 +10.84%
1 month 755.61 837.51 +1.01%

Whisky vs. stock, bond, oil and gold 2010-2018