Both the primary and secondary markets for whisky have experienced historic growth in the last decade, driven by the opening and access of new markets (China, India), increased awareness of whisky as an unique category of spirit and an increase in disposable income in emerging markets.
The result is a new generation of global whisky lovers, drinkers and collectors, eager to access previous limited releases, amass as many of their favourie distillers/brand as possible, complete specific sets or acquire “whiskies of legend”.
This behaviour is not new, however, with this unprecedented level of growth, the demand from whisky fans far outweighs the finite number of bottles available of limited release whiskies and with a newfound global audience prices are continuously reaching new records.
Investing in physical, alternative assets offers a sound portfolio hedge and is often about enjoyment of one’s passions. Investors have been doing so for centuries on items like watches, cars, property, art and very commonly, wine.
Our research shows that whisky is less volatile than wine but with higher return potential, and although there are many structured investment vehicles for wine, there are barely any of whisky. 12, 15, 30+ year old whisky takes that much time to mature, which puts supply pressure on the demand. Thus, based on our own returns, and interest from outside individuals, the Spirit Vault Collective was created to open the opportunity to others.
Not all whisky is created equally. The vast majority of whisky available on the primary market is comprised of name brand, high-volume releases that are available on a consistent basis. In our estimations less than 0.1% of whisky can be considered investment grade, and focuses on the same fundamentals as any good investment should: scarcity, rarity and collectibility.
Furthermore, if you keep in mind that many of the whiskies are consumed as intended, the remaining pool of whiskies shrinks further. This leaves historical limited releases, as well as new releases that are sold out near instantaneously, in incredibly short supply but in high-demand. The perfect scenario for any sound investment.
In Scotland producing single malt whisky
of Scotch whisky shipped every second in 2018
Value of Scotch whisky exports in 2018 in GBP (£)
Visits to Scotch Whisky distilleries annually
Single malt Scotch whisky sold on UK auctions in 2019
Value of Scotch single malt whisky sold on UK auctions
Annual increase in value of Scotch single malt whisky sold on UK auctions
The most expensive bottle of whisky ever sold on auction