Market for rare Scotch skyrockets

The market for rare bottled Scotch skyrocketed at whisky auctions in the first 6 months of 2018, according to whisky brokerage company Rare Whisky 101.

RW101 writes in their Half Year Review H1 2018, that the value of rare Scotch whisky reached £16.3m – up year-on-year by 46%. The number of bottles of single malt sold at auction increased by more than 27%, to 49.719 bottles and the average price per bottle rose to a record £328.56, up by 14.8% on the same period last year (£286.12 in H1 2017) .

RW101 has forecast that the market will exceed 105,000 bottles for the full year, at a value of more than £36m. RW101 co-founder Andy Simpson said: “Scotch whisky as an asset has continued to perform extremely well within a volatile global economy.”

The Macallan continued to be the secondary market brand leader, increasing its share of the total amount spent on rare whisky to 34.4% – more than the next 9 brands combined (31.2%).

Bowmore has had a stellar first half in 2018 and strong results were seen for the 1964 Black Bowmore (4th Release) and the 1966 Samaroli Bouquet. At Whisky Auctioneer in Perth, 50 bids were received for the Samaroli resulting in a winning bid of £51,611 from Hong Kong in June. The Samaroli, is regarded by many as one of the best, if not the best, whiskies ever bottled. The 1966 Samaroli was bottled in 1984 and only 720 bottled were produced.  The 1964 Black Bowmore fetched £22,222 at the same auction. And yes, that is the current price for a single bottle!

A number of the iconic Islay whiskies have lost share in volume and value – does this suggest a softening of demand for these challenging taste profiles form an ever growing base of international buyers who use the UK secondary market to treasure hunt?

Top 10 Market Share – Value

Brand H1 2017 H1 2018 % Change
H1 2018 vs H1 2017
Macallan 28.90% 34.4% 19.05%
Bowmare 6.08% 6.70% 10.23%
Ardbeg 6.03% 4.73% -21.53%
Highland Park 3.49% 3.85% 10.33%
Port Ellen 4.43% 3.40% -23.31%
Springbank 2.88% 2.62% -9.06%
Glendronach 2.44% 2.61% 6.94%
Laphroaig 3.29% 2.53% -23.09%
Balvenie 3.02% 2.51% -16.87%
Glenfarclas 2.40% 2.32% -3.39%

The full Half Year Review H1 2018 report can be downloaded here.

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