Whisky, be it single malt or the latest craze bourbon, seems to be the hottest thing since slice bread for a few years now. But recently we are seeing more and more people buying whisky for investment purposes. Because of today’s whisky trend some bottles (old Macallans/Ardbegs/Broras/Port Ellens) are selling for large sums of money at auction and on the secondary market. This has caused some to believe that stocking piling whisky today for the purpose of selling years down the line is going to have similar payoffs. While some bottles may definitely accumulate a great deal of worth I find it hard to believe that many of the bottles touted as ‘limited’ or ‘collectable’ today will truly provide a huge pay off years later. Not every baseball card can be the Honus Wagner card. The real problem is whisky is a trend and there is no guarantee that the trend will continue.
Many whisky companies are aware of this trend and are pumping out ‘collectable’ whiskies at a very fast rate and for large sums of money. The sad part is the a lot of these whiskies aren’t selling for the actual whisky itself but rather because of the packaging and perceived collectibility and people are buying into this. So with every Tom, Dick and Jane buying these so-called limited edition whiskies for the purpose of investing it will be interesting to see if there will be a high demand for these bottles years later or will people be sitting on mounds of whisky with very little accumulated worth. My bet is on the latter. The nice thing is when the whisky ‘bubble’ does bursts people can always drink the stuff. I don’t fault people for buying into this notion that whisky will make a sound retirement plan because these big companies are taking advantage of uninformed consumers who are just hopping on the ‘investment whisky’ bandwagon but we need to be aware of this and understand not everything ‘finished’ in 12 different wine casks is a truly collectable whisky or even good whisky for that matter. Don’t let ‘limited’ supplies fool you into thinking this is a whisky that will pay off big in the end because chances are it wont. Not with hundreds of other limited supply whiskeys out on the market. In the end though it is your money and you should do what you see fit with it. But the best advice I can give is “invest’ in whiskies you think YOU will enjoy, whether today, tomorrow or years later.
I recommend Scotch Malt Whisky Investment and Enjoyment by Michael Ross out on kindle for anyone interested in this area.