What are we expecting from the whisky market in 2020? If 2019 is anything to go by then we can expect the market to continue to surprise us.
Looking back at 2019 we saw the top single malt distilleries change very little compared to 2018 and we wouldn’t expect any great changes in the top 10 in 2020
The top 10 distilleries of 2019
- HIGHLAND PARK
- PORT ELLEN
The top ten distilleries weighted equally for market value and market volume as per Rare Whisky 101 Half Year Review 2019.
What to buy
Lower down the rankings then there is more mobility and so it is worth keeping an eye on smaller distilleries especially those producing small limited batches that may offer potential long term gains on bottles. A great example of this is the Royal Lochnagar who saw a 400% increase in market value in the first half of 2019 thanks to some great marketing at the end of 2018. Smaller distilleries offer potential rewards for the savy buyer. If you are after bottles from more established distilleries then buying direct from the distillery is a sound option if you can get there.
What to keep
Standard bottles from sought after distilleries can become valuable over time. That being said, some standard bottles even from the mid twentieth century still do not command more than £100. So what is the difference between at £250 bottle of Macallan 10 year old and a £60 bottle of Glenmorangie 10 year old, both from the 1980s? The difference is marketing, Macallan has positioned itself as a luxury brand, and as a luxury status symbol Macallan bottles command a premium.
Knowing which standard bottles will become sought after in the future requires research and a bit of luck – we are certain that no one who bought the original Macallan Private Eye bottles for £38 a bottle in 1996 expected them to reach £3,500 wholesale in 2019. Sources like Rare Whisky 101 are good sources for tracking the whisky market and discovering potential bottles to keep in the cupboard.
What to sell
Like all investment style markets, the value of whisky can go up and down. In 2019 we saw prices start to drop at the start of the year and then toward the end of 2019 we saw prices spike again. The rise in values in October is likely linked to two things: The first is the record for the most expensive bottle ever sold being broken by a 60 year old Macallan 1926 – breaking the record set by same bottle from 2018 – and the second was the effects of Brexit.
What does that mean for the future? Prices may start to rise again when talk of Brexit starts again due to ‘panic’ buying and if the pound falls as a result due to the effects of foreign buyers getting more pound, and therefore more whisky, for their money. Other political uncertainty may have the same effect on the pound; unfortunately a weak pound is likely to good for the value of whisky.
There is another bottle of Macallan 1926 60-year old being sold as part of a single owner collecting throughout February and April. This appears to be the same style bottle as the one sold in October 2019 so we wouldn’t expect the bottle to break any records but if it does we might see a similar rise then drop in values compared to the one we saw following the 2018 sale.
If you are looking to sell a bottle of whisky then please get in touch. We will be happy to chat with you about the value and let you know the best options for selling your bottle in 2020. Please email [email protected] with a picture of your bottle for a no obligation valuation.