Is whisky now a better investment than a Chanel handbag?

There has been no hangover for whisky collectors during the pandemic, with casks of the spirit proving a better bet than investing in a Chanel handbag or coloured diamonds.

The pandemic created turbulent conditions for collectors to navigate, with a fall in the worth of fine wine and designer handbags, from brands such as Chanel and Hermés, which were recently regarded to be one of the most coveted purchases for a fairly fast return of investment.

2021 was a year of recovery for the whisky industry and a return to more normal trading conditions. Meanwhile, rare whisky casks remained an enticing prospect for collectors, with the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index showing 483% price growth for the decade up to 2021.

In comparison, fine wine has returned 119% over the past decade, classic cars 180% and watches 87%. Cask whisky has also performed well, with Braeburn Whisky’s BC20 index showing an annual growth of 12.84% for 2021. Interest in cask whisky ownership is expected to grow amongst a younger generation of whisky lovers in 2022. Research by Braeburn Whisky revealed that 28% of Millennials, those currently aged between 25 and 40, would be more likely to invest in whisky than in gold, art or cryptocurrency. 36% of respondents cited stability and return as the most important factors in their choice of investment.

While people invest for different reasons, those with an interest in the fashion or art industry often buy designer handbags. The harder a bag is to purchase — whether that’s because it is part of a limited release or simply is a more luxurious leather, such as crocodile skin —the more in demand it becomes to invest in and ultimately re-sell.

Similarly to designer bags, alternative assets such as paintings and classic cars appeal to deep-pocketed collectors who are able to turn private passions and hobbies into potentially lucrative investments. However, they can also be risky as they are harder to sell than shares in stock market-listed companies.

In 2021, the Chanel Medium Classic Flap bag had a drastic rise increasing from $1,150 in 1990 to $7,800 in July 2021. During the last five years, Chanel has consistently increased prices on its most popular handbag styles, from the Classic Flap and Boy Bag to the recently debuted Chanel 19 and is well-known to be a timeless investment that will continue to grow.

Nick Green, Managing Partner said, “Rare whisky remains an attractive prospect for collectors, showing 483% price growth for the decade up to 2021.

Sales of super-premium whiskies will be a key trend into 2022 and beyond, overtaking many other alternative investments such as a designer handbag or a classic car. It is a more stable option for investors, but still allows them to explore different industries and turn their hobbies into an investment”.

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