Whiskey Is the New-Old Collectors’ Item

Investing in truly rare whiskeys from highly-regarded distilleries can prove to be a shrewd financial move, according to The Wall Street Journal

Whiskey is on the rise in recent years, and there are stats to back it up. Prices for the 1,000 most-prized editions of single-malt Scotches “have risen around 175% since 2008.” The number of bottles sold at auction almost quadrupled between 2010 and 2013. A six-liter bottle of Macallan sold for $630,000 earlier this year. Although the auction sales of wine still trumps that of whiskey by miles ($337 million and $7.5 million, respectively), whiskey, especially single-malt Scotch, is deemed a good investment due to its durability in different temperature and light. 

Mahesh Patel, an Atlanta-based whiskey collector who is “one of the world’s leading buyers of investment-grade, single-malt Scotch,” has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on ultra-rare editions of whiskeys over the past few decades. Hunting down releases of 500 or fewer bottles, Patel trusts his palate to judge the quality of his investments. “If you’re going to buy it, it has to be a brilliant, brilliant whiskey,” he says.

Although some collectors worry about a bust in the whiskey market, experts insist that investors in quality whiskey will be protected, especially if they are “focusing on respected, popular Scotch distilleries—such as Macallan, Dalmore, Bowmore, Ardbeg, Gelnfiddich, Glenlivet and Port Ellen—and on whiskeys that are truly limited in release.” [The Wall Street Journal] [Photo: Flickr/Damien Pollet]