A whisky investment club has opened in New York, further confirming the steady growth of this most exciting of markets into the mainstream.
The 1494 club offers members the opportunity to purchase whiskies hand picked for them by the club's experts.
It hopes to tap into the booming whisky market, which has seen the world auction record price for a bottle climb 26.6% between December and March. A 55-year-old bottle of Glenfiddich Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve currently holds the $94,000 top figure.
"While the value of gold rose 146% in the four-year period from 2008 to 2011, an investment in the top 10 performing whiskies would have achieved a gain of more than 400%," the club asserts, quoting figures from valuation experts Whisky Highland.
"An investment in one of the top 100 would have returned a gain of 245% over the same period."
Insiders believe the whisky market could be worth $27m (£17m) by 2020, a potential rise of 325%.
David Clelland, the whisky expert behind the new venture, commented: "During my years working in the Whisky industry, I became aware of the growing need for a service to foster connections and initiate communication between the distilleries producing the rare, limited release bottles and the potential collector or investor looking to acquire them."
The idea of whisky investment funds and clubs is not a new one, with several existing in Scotland. However, this new presence in New York is a sure sign of the growing global appeal of the sector.
Figures from the Scotch Whisky Association show that whisky exports from Scotland were up 23% in 2011.