Corporate finance Noble & Co has revealed that the value of fine and rare whiskies has declined for the first time in over a decade.
After analysing year on year data that looked at 160,200 transactions, the company released its Intelligence Report that revealed sales of bottles over £1,000 have declined by 7%, which marks the first time this has occurred since 2012.
Although the sale of rare whiskies declined, it’s worth pointing out that overall sales were still up, indicating there’s still a growing demand for whisky. However, some investors appear to be deterred from splashing on the most expensive bottles.
Duncan McFadzean, head of food and drink at Noble & Co, said: “It has been a difficult year for fine and rare whisky investors.
“While general interest in the category continues to drive overall volume growth in secondary whisky sales, at the top end investors are more cautious about price and value.
“While the rarest bottles are still breaking records, our analysis shows that even lower-value transactions are susceptible to price sensitivity. We expect this trend to continue into 2024 as weak global economic conditions prevail.”
The report is in stark contrast to this month’s news that the world record for the most expensive bottle of spirit or wine ever sold was smashed. The bottle of The Macallan 1926 which is adorned with italian pop artist Valerio Adami sold for a whopping £2,187,500 (US$2,714,250) during a Sotheby’s auction in London, smashing the previous record.
However, McFadzean sai these one-off sales aren’t representative of the market as a whole:
“While there will always be stand-out moments, such as the recent 1926 The Macallan sale, the broad picture suggests the market is softening.
“Fine and rare whiskies have enjoyed an almost unblemished reputation for being one of the best-performing alternative investments available. What we now see is a mixed picture, where a growing volume of transactions is accompanied by weakening value per transaction.”
Speaking about where he sees the market going next, McFadzean was less than bullish, although he believes the £10,000 bottle market was more about confidence than affordability. “It’s maybe not so much that [investors] can’t afford it – they’re just feeling maybe now is not the time to buy it.
“While the macro climate remains challenging, it is hard to see the auction markets changing significantly from current trends.”
Time To Invest?
Are you someone who buys whisky for investment? With the market cooling and some buyers unwilling to invest while the macro economic environment is uncertain, now could be a great time to land yourself a bargain.
As ever, your investments should be made with a long-term approach. So while the value of any whisky you invest in may dip in the short-term, over time you can usually expect to make some sizable returns. And with prices lower than usual, now might be the time to bag a real steal!