Liquid gold: three tips for investing in whisky

As has been reported in great depth in the media, certain bottles of whisky have drastically increased in value over the last decade. The most desirable bottles continue to creep up in value (or in some cases, surge) month-by-month and have now reached unprecedented levels. Laurie Black of McTear’s Auctioneers suggests three key points to remember for those looking to ‘cash in’ on whisky’s success.

  1. Enjoy yourself – never end up in a situation where you need a bottle to increase in value to pay your bills. Whisky investment should be seen as a hobby; limit yourself to buying bottles that you would also be happy to open up and drink if the whole industry goes belly-up!
  2. Timing is everything – huge demand for specific bottles can occur very quickly, but can also disappear pretty quick too. Examples include award-winning whiskies (such as winners at the World Whiskies Awards, or Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible) or limited bottlings sold via ballot (such as Karuizawa Golden/Emerald Geisha, or Macallan 40 Year Old) which can be successfully ‘flipped’ at auction if you manage to get your hands on a bottle beforehand for a good price, then sold whilst demand is at its peak.
  3. Think outside the box – many limited edition whiskies are marketed as collectable and as having investment potential, but this rarely becomes a reality. The best (or worst?) examples include Bell’s decanters and Arran Founder’s Reserve, of which there are thousands of in circulation due to the fact that nobody ever drank them. When Black Bowmore was released for under £100 per bottle in the mid-1990s, a large proportion were opened and enjoyed. The few that are left now sell for thousands at auction.


McTear’s are now accepting entries for the 13 April Rare & Collectable Whisky Auction >>


McTear’s sells more whisky than any other traditional auction house in the dedicated whisky auctions that take place monthly, run concurrently live online on a platform that attracts six million visitors annually from over 120 countries worldwide.

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