Whether you’re looking to impress or want to feel that simmering warmth in your veins on a cold winter’s night, the spirit of choice has to be whisky. The mystery and allure of the spirit is unparalleled. And so, when it comes to whisky, the options are, literally, limitless. Whisky or whiskey, single malt or blended, mature or younger bottles, peat or oak, there’s so much to choose from.
Though it is a generally accepted fact that aged whisky is much superior to its younger counterparts, they are also that much tougher to find in the market. Whether you’re a connoisseur or collector who is looking for that rare aged whisky, your best bet would be the second hand whisky market as the typical retailer will only sell what is readily available through distributors. Through the resale market you have a fair chance of finding that particular favourite that is off the shelves, though the price may be steep if your choice is exquisite.
Know Your Whisky
Given the immense popularity and demand for good aged whisky, the distilleries have been unable to keep up with the demand. This is in part due to limited production capabilities and also due to the extensive aging period – generally over 10 years. The aging period is the amount of time that the whisky is allowed to mature in casks before being transferred to bottles at which stage the maturing process stops. The pursuit of good whisky is so vigorous that collectors and discerning drinkers are willing to pay a good dime for their preferred whiskies, to the extent that whisky is now seen as an asset class and is traded much like the stock markets.
Most collectors (or some may even qualify as investors) typically hold the whisky for a while to sell it when the price has appreciated to their liking. This however is a boon for the connoisseur as good whiskies that are not generally available in the market may be obtained this way. The second hand whisky market is a veritable marketplace for whisky buyers to find the finest or rarest whiskies.
The price of whisky may depend on many factors. The price for a particular bottle may be determined based on the quality or desirability of the contents or the bottle itself.
In determining the value of a bottle of whisky, the factors to be considered are the material, the aesthetic appeal, age, marking, colour and so forth. The physical condition of the bottles is also a huge determining factor with pristine bottles attracting much higher prices.
As to the contents, there is a huge variety of preferences with malt whisky considered to be the top among the collectors’ choices. For the avid drinker looking for personal experience, the flavour is a significant aspect. The flavour of the whisky depends upon the grain used in production and the casks used in the aging process, and can range from vanilla, peat, fruity, spiced, and so on depending upon oak cask used. The flavour also may vary according to the ‘terroir’ – to use wine terminology i.e. the natural environment where it is produced such as the difference between ‘whisky’ which is produced in Scotland and ‘whiskey’ which is produced in Ireland or America.
Limited editions of popular whiskies are also in high demand primarily because of their scarcity. This could be due to popular flavours or due to the unique bottling as limited editions are generally specially bottled in attractive glass ceramic or stone bottles. Some whiskies from distilleries that have closed down may fetch a very good price in the market as it is out of production.
The value of whisky largely depends on what a buyer is willing to pay, however a good and reasonable estimate can be arrived at on the basis of what value it has commanded at recent sales. It is important to know that the value of the whisky may not equal the price that a seller may be able to get. The value of a whisky may also fluctuate a good deal based on demand and the general popularity of the distillery.
Case in point is the Royal Wedding limited edition Macallan Whisky which marked the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011. The price of the whisky rose to as much as GBP 1650 however subsequently fell a good deal owing to the fall in popularity of the distillery.
Though investing in whisky is a real thing now, whether or not it makes sense for you may depend on whether your are able to find buyers. Unlike investing in stocks which can be easily liquidated, investing in whisky would mean that your must find a buyer to realise your objective.
This begs the question how does a buyer find such collectors or investors wiling to sell or how does one ascertain what is available in the market? Or if you are an investor, how do you find genuine buyers?
Big auction houses like Sotheby’s conduct auctions for the rarest and most exclusive bottles. But these are not for the average buyer or seller as the commissions may go up to 25%. This is where The Whisky Way steps in as a portal where you can buy or sell whisky with professional partners located right in the heart of England and offer our platform at very reasonable commissions.
The number of bottles of whisky being sold at auctions the world over is constantly on the rise as it is a relatively hassle-free process of buying the whisky of your choice. As with everything online, you have access to better information and buying whisky at online auctions is generally a good idea provided you are using a reliable auction portal such as The Whisky Way.
With us you can find and buy the whisky of your choice with minimum effort or anxiety. We do all the work… find sellers, establish authenticity, notify you about the date and time of the auction and deliver the lot to your doorstep.