May 24, 2023 SVC 0

Monthly newsletter for May 2023

Dear All,

First off, we would like to congratulate the Whisky Brother team for being awarded their second Icons of Whisky Award for Global Multiple Outlet Retailer of the Year! The team were up against outlets from across the globe, including Scotland, Ireland, Japan, Europe and the US, which is an outstanding achievement.

Our portfolio has been driven by a strong performance by Mars Komagatake 1988 29 year old hitting an all time high of £2,421 up +100%. Our SMWS Macallan “In a tapas bar” also reached new heights in value, up almost +90%. Just to ensure we keep perspective on where we are as SVC, below is an excerpt taken from the latest annual Whiskystats report:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the golden age of rediscovering nostalgia-inducing unicorn bottles. It was the season of seemingly unfathomable whisky auction prices. And, for the whisky collector in 2022, it truly was a tale of two years. Entering 2022, the whisky auction market had experienced 24 months of rapid growth. The Whiskystats Whisky Index—which tracks the auction value changes of the 500 historically most-traded whiskies each month—gained nearly 80% between January 2020 and March 2022. However, between March and the end of 2022, the whisky auction market was struck by a market-wide price reversal: the Whiskystats Whisky Index lost 16.5% of its value in just 9 months, leading to a market loss of 3.3% on the year as a whole”.

Phew. The SVC team’s careful selection of bottles in the portfolio, coupled with the bottling of a few casks helped smooth out our 2022. This year we will be looking to bottle even more of the casks to maximise returns.

In industry news, the Glenturret Triple Wood 2022 release was judged the best single malt at the 2023 International Wines and Spirits Competition (IWSC). Glenturret is Scotland’s oldest working distillery. Originally known as the Thurot Distillery, its distillation history, both legal and illegal, dates back to at least 1763. Whisky distillation likely occurred here even earlier, possibly as far back as 1717. For all those Karuizawa collectors out there, 50 ultra-limited sets are going up for sale a few weeks ago, clearly a first step in their marketing as the distillery begins its process of relaunching. A beautiful collection of 128 year old whisky were auctioned off last month in Glasgow, having been recovered from the SS Wallachia which sank in the Firth of Clyde in 1895. It lay undisturbed for more than 80 years until the steamer was found by a local divers club, and now put on auction by the collector. Last week Sotheby’s auctioned off an eye-popping collection of 59 Macallan Fine & Rare bottles, which was expected to fetch as high as US$2 million (no sales price has been released yet, but we will be looking at this closely). For those of you looking for an interesting addition to your collection, Highland Park released a cask 64.3% ABV cask strength single malt.

Lastly, the Guardian recently launched a great article on what to watch out for when buying casks, especially that investors need to receive a certificate of ownership or deed of title acknowledged by the warehouse. It’s such a pity that fraud continues to happen in this industry, so we urge everyone to please tread with caution.

Marek, Marc, Neil, Gary

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