We hope 2021 finds you well, in spite of the continuing challenge of the global pandemic, January’s somewhat disagreeable weather, and of course, Brexit.
As the UK’s rollout of vaccinations injects some positivity into an economy that has all but ground to a halt, we’re taking a look at some exciting developments for both Elite Wine and Whisky and malt whisky investment in general.
What WOWGR means to us
WOWGR stands for Warehousekeepers and Owners of Warehouse Goods Regulations – essentially this is a register that registered traders like ourselves must be accepted into. Having announced last year that we had been certified, this has since enabled our talented buying team to gain access to the best whisky stocks that our competitors can’t get. This means we now have names like Macallan, Springbank, Highland Park, Talisker and Ardbeg among others, so the year ahead looks very exciting for our whisky collectors.
Gōng xǐ fā cái!
Chinese New Year was on February 12th this year and we welcome the year of the Ox, known in Chinese culture for its resilience, reliability, steadiness and determination. The new year in China is one of the peak times for beverage sales in the country. We’ve long observed the emergence of China as a fine wine buying country, but there is also a recent diversification into spirits, and Scotch whisky is increasingly becoming the drink of choice for China’s wealthy, and there are substantial markets emerging in Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia.
Bloomberg Wealth touts Cask Whisky as a ‘hot’ alternative investment to watch
We know that whisky is a fantastic alternative investment, but it was encouraging to see Bloomberg Wealth focus on cask whisky specifically in a recent article. Highlighting that ‘savvy collectors don’t mess around with bottles: they buy whisky by the barrel’, the Bloomberg piece outlines that with Asian demand for Scotch surging, there is a ‘bullish’ case for buying now. Why? Because the value of rare whisky ‘has soared 564% in the last decade’, outperforming all other luxury assets (according to Knight Frank 2020 Wealth Report.) Read the full article here.
Is whisky investment ‘pandemic proof’?
This is a bold claim of course, but in spite of global uncertainty over the last 12 months, The Whisky Auctioneer site boasted a record year, with 17 auctions being held and a remarkable £30million achieved. There are many reasons for this – Isabel Graham-Yooll of the Whisky Auction site credits the move to online auctions as an influencing factor, as historically rare whisky was traded between a much smaller community of specialists. Other factors include pandemic lockdowns during which many people have opened and consumed bottles that they were intending to save. Those of us that have been buying have turned to the internet, as online auctions have been easily accessible from our homes. Ultimately though, it is the nature of whisky itself that makes it such a great asset – it doesn’t go off, but ultimately does get consumed, so as supply decreases, the remaining stock will improve in value. Read Graham-Yooll and others’ comments here.
18-litre bottle of ‘World’s most expensive wine’ sold
You can be forgiven if you’ve never heard of Liber Pater, the Graves-based estate that is one of the rarest and most sought-after wines in the world. That’s largely because in Bordeaux terms, the estate is minuscule, totalling just 2.5 hectares, and makes an output of around 1200 bottles per year. The wine is intriguing for many reasons. Winemaker Loic Pasquet is committed to making wine the old-fashioned way, working the vines by mule and plough, vinifying in amphorae and using ungrafted vines. This article doesn’t disclose how much the 18-litre bottle sold for, but as Liber Pater’s 2015 sold for £30,000 per standard bottle, we expect it was a tidy sum!
We wish you all the best for the year ahead, as usual please feel free to contact us if you would like to talk to one of our team members about your portfolio.
The Elite Wine & Whisky Team