Investing in rare Scotch is ‘better than cars or art’

By Robert Mann contact

- Last updated on GMT

Winning whisky: the value of rare Scotch whisky has soared in value by almost 600% within a decade
Winning whisky: the value of rare Scotch whisky has soared in value by almost 600% within a decade
Whisky was the most lucrative luxury asset investment during the past decade with a 582% increase in value, according to a new report.

The Wealth Report​, released today (6 March), revealed that rare Scotch topped the Knight Frank Investment Index (KFLII) with 40% annual growth, easily beating coins, watches, classic cars and art.

The KFLII Rare Whisky 100 Index, featured for the first time in the KFLII, contains 100 bottles of the world's most desirable rare Scotch whisky.

The index tracks actual auction prices of the bottles and has discovered that, in the 10 years leading up to 2018, the value of rare whisky has surged almost 600%.

The most significant sale of 2018 was a unique bottle of Macallan 1926, hand painted by Irish artist Michael Dillon, that sold for a record-breaking £1.2m​ last November.

The staggering rise in values has been driven partly by the Asian market, as sales of Scotch whisky to India, China and Singapore rose by 44%, 35% and 24% respectively, according to the Scotch Whisky Association.

Andrew Shirley, editor of The Wealth Report​ and the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index, believes Scotch will continue to "rise significantly" in value over the years.

“The stunning price growth of rare single malt whiskies shows that the appetite for new ‘alternative’ asset classes remains strong among high-net-worth investors,” Shirley explained.

“However, we are seeing growth soften for some of the other asset classes in KFLII like classic cars that had been performing exceptionally strongly and this is partly down to a slow down in activity by speculative investors and a return to a genuine collector-driven market.”

Andy Simpson, co-founder of Rare Whisky 101, which compiled the Knight Frank Rare Whisky 100 Index, echoed Shirley’s thoughts and added: “While rare whisky remains a somewhat fledgling asset class compared to some other passion investments, the market for rare and vintage bottles has witnessed extraordinary growth over the past 10 years, both in terms of the volume of whisky being traded and the value of that whisky.

“The key to rare whisky’s sustained growth as an asset class, is the passion buyers worldwide share for investing, collecting, and occasionally drinking, some of the best and rarest Scotch whisky ever made.”

Related topics: Spirits & Cocktails

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