Top 250 whiskies up 1.7% in value during Q1

The top performing investment-grade whiskies have grown in value during the first quarter, according to a recent report.

New figures from whisky valuation experts Whisky Highland reveal that the leading 250 investment-grade whisky bottles increased in value by 1.7% between January and March.

The top 250 whiskies are up 183% since 2008

The numbers continue the upward trend of the sector, with the top 250 having grown in value by 183% since 2008.

Andy Simpson, the founder of Whisky Highland, commented: "These results have exceeded forecasts. Following the impressive increases seen in Q4 2011, I was expecting to see a greater retraction in values in Q1 2012."

The current world record for a whisky bottle at auction is $94,000 (£59,350), set in March by a Glenfiddich Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve, a rise of 26.6% for the record in three months.

That record is set to be tested next month, when a 64-year-old Glenfiddich Rare Collection 1937 comes to auction at Christie's on June 7.

First quarter 2012 sales accrued £600,000 in all, with 2,818 bottles sold at auction, in contrast to 963 in the first quarter of 2009 - an indication of the global appetite among collectors for the water of life.

And whisky investors are set to enjoy further growth over the coming years.

The value of the auction market is set to soar to £17m by 2020, Highland Whisky says. It was worth £4m in 2011.

Whisky exports from Scotland were up 23% in 2011, according to the Scotch Whisky Association.

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