Whisky investment 'as good as wine', says FT

Glen Albyn, Glen Mhor, Milburn, Port Ellen, Distillers Company, Dalmore, Gordon & MacPhail, McTear’s, News Wine News http://decanter.media.ipcdigital.co.uk/11150/000001052/57b2_orh100000w160/dalmore64-stag.jpg http://decanter.media.ipcdigital.co.uk/11150/000001052/17ac/dalmore64-stag.jpg
  • Monday 17 October 2011

Bottles of whisky from long-demolished distilleries can be as solid as wine as an investment, the Financial Times says.

Dalmore Trinitas

Dalmore Trinitas: £100,000

The recession of the 1980s led to the wholesale closure of whisky distilleries, with the result that there are bottles around today whose distilleries are long-gone, the newspaper reported in an article last week.

Whisky writer Peter Temple says that whisky bearing names such as Glen Albyn, Glen Mhor, Milburn or Port Ellen comes from distilleries ‘that you can be sure are no more’.

Port Ellen, for example, owned by the Distillers Company, closed for good in 1983, but produced whisky that ‘is reckoned to be among the best ever made on Islay.

Such bottles fetch in the hundreds of pounds, and as they can only get scarcer, represent far better investment than the ultra-rare bottlings from still-established distilleries that can fetch tens of thousands and more.

Dalmore distillery recently sold a 62-year-old bottle for £125,000, following its bottling of the 64-year-old Dalmore Trinitas, which became the world’s first six-figure whisky last year, with two bottles, out of only three made, selling for £100,000 each.

Cheaper – but still the price of a case of 2005 Chateau Lafite – is the 60-year-old Dalmore Eos, of which 20 bottles were produced at £15,000 each.

And weighing in at £13,000, the 70-year-old Glenlivet from Gordon & MacPhail was released earlier this year.

To make such bottles work as an investment would require serious outlay, but you can start much more modestly, Stephen McGinty, whisky specialist at McTear’s auction house in Glasgow told Decanter.com.

‘Whisky is made in much smaller quantities than wine. If you get a numbered bottle from a single cask, as bottles from that cask get opened and drunk, the remaining bottles go up in value. It is also much easier to store than wine.’

McGinty gave the example of a Brora rare malt, which on release in the 1980s sold for between £20 and £40.

‘We have just sold one for £1200. So if you buy low, and play the long game, you have a very good investment.’


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