Investing In Whisky, Continued...

We've recently completed one of the most in-depth evaluations of the secondary whisky market that we've ever undertaken.

We have looked at approximately 310,000 confirmed sales of single malt scotch whisky bottles through dedicated UK based online whisky auction websites between mid-2011 to mid-2019.

The data we have looked at shows that the number of bottles coming to auction has consistently risen over the years, with the secondary whisky market worth over £20 Million in 2018.

However, this increase in supply combined with the probable uncertainty around Brexit and a weakening pound has led the average price per bottle to fall in 2018 for the first time in 6 years.

Average bottle prices in 2017 were at £276.57 per bottle, with 59,633 bottles recorded as sold, giving 2017 a market value of just under £16.5 million.

2018 saw an increase in the number of bottles recorded as sold by 67% to 99,774, however as the pound has weakened and consumer confidence has dropped average bottle prices were left at just £207.96 for the year. Only just above the average price recorded in 2015 and valuing the 2018 market at £20.7million.

2019 has so far followed the trend started in 2018 with bottle numbers continuing to increase and average prices continuing to fall. As of May 2019, we have seen just over 43 thousand bottles recorded as sold, up 20% on this time last year, leaving the average bottle price in 2019 at just £143.40 per bottle.

With the value of the pound continuing to drop and the uncertainty around Brexit set to continue. It is impossible to predict when we might see a reverse in this trend and if the number of bottles sold at auction continues to rise we can only assume that for the foreseeable future the average bottle price will continue to drop.

It’s not all doom and gloom however, looking at specific bottles gives us a much less negative perspective. Bringing us to the conclusion that the dramatic fall in the overall average bottle price for the year could be in part to a greater number of lower value bottles arriving on the market.

When looking at higher value bottles from more sought-after distilleries we see that prices have held strong and even increased while the market average has dropped. When looking at bottles such as the Black Bowmore, Macallan 1961, Laphroiag 40 years old, Ardbeg 1815, The Macallan Masters of Photography Rankin Edition and the Dalmore Astrum. They have all increased in value since the start of 2018 when average bottle prices across the market began to weaken.

Black Bowmore – The Last Cask Nov 2017 – Jan 2019 ^ 63.5%
Macallan 1961 Dec 2017 – Feb 2019 ^ 37.1%
Laphroaig 40 Years Old Dec 2017 – Mar 2019 ^ 26.0%
Ardbeg 1815 Feb 2017 – Jan 2019 ^ 1.3%
Macallan Rankin Jul 2017 – Apr 2019 ^ 140.7%
Dalmore Astrum Jan 2018 – Feb 2019 ^ 15.3%

The average bottle price can be a deceiving measure of how the secondary market is performing. If we look closer at individual bottles, we still see prices continuing to rise, going against the trend of the broader market. Take, for example,


As the examples above show prices for the right bottles are still climbing, leading us to the conclusion that the average bottle price is decreasing due to a higher amount of lower value bottles entering the market.

This does illustrate though the importance of knowing which bottles to buy and which ones to leave. For more information on the Fah Mai Holdings Rare Whisky Collection or to make an investment in our collection please contact us.