If you are a frequent traveller to India, China or Brazil you’ll be well aware that the whisky companies are very keen to advertise in these emerging markets.
The worldwide popularity of whisky ensures that rare and collectible single malt whiskies command serious prices at auction.
Whisky is savoured everywhere... from Russian boardrooms to Chinese factories, where it is a custom to invite your boss home for dinner and show off a fine malt.
The year’s biggest whisky sale takes place in Glasgow, Scotland on Wednesday. Aside from the room bidders the auction is expected to receive telephone bids from Japan, USA, Sweden, France and Russia.
Of the 585 lots the star attraction is a 50 year old Macallan expected to fetch £10,000.
The auction is expected to raise over £100,000, with the rare bottling of the big five – Macallan, Bowmore, Highland Park, Springbank and Ardbeg – expected to attract the most attention.
The sale features 60 lots of Macallan, the largest selection to appear on the market in recent years. Other lots include a limited edition Royal Brackla bottled in 1924 expected to fetch up to £3,500.
Ardbeg fans will be battling for a limited edition 1965 Ardbeg at £5,000. The price also includes a glass museum case, cleaning kit, and a set of white gloves for handling the bottle.
The growing popularity of whisky around the world is fuelling prices for the rarest bottles at auction. Single malts in particular have seen a jump in sales from emerging markets. In 1999 54m bottles were sold, rising to 83.6m bottles globally in 2008. That represents a 55% increase in a decade.
One advantage that whisky holds as an alternative investment is that unlike wine it ‘doesn’t live and die in the bottle’. Whisky is aged in the cask prior to bottling, and provided it is stored correctly it shouldn’t lose its taste.
Andrew Bell of McTears auction house in Glasgow commented ‘There doesn’t seem to be any let up in the number of people looking to invest in whisky”