Over the years, the global whisky market has advanced massively with records being set and broken regularly. There are numerous reports in the media of the £1,000,000 plus paid for a bottle of the Macallan 1926 with the current record at £1,452,00 (set in October 2019 by Sotheby’s London). What does this mean for valuers or clients who collect whisky or find they have a small group in a sideboard, cellar or cupboard?
In the late 1980’s to early 2000’s, bottling’s of the popular Macallan 10-year-old was a staple on the supermarket shelves. However, it then stopped being issued for many years due to stocks running dry when the high-quality sherry casks were largely diminished during the mid 1990’s. When it was rereleased it was a very different drink all together.
The bottles sold from the supermarket shelves at £30-40 each has now become a fashionable product by collectors and connoisseur drinkers. Several varieties like this exist but these cheap bottles now sell for more than £250 at auction and can be found being retailed at £800+.
There have also been various releases from the Brora and prices have increased rapidly in recent years. In 2014, you could buy a bottle for £400, but by 2016 the price rose to £750 and by 2018 they started to sell for around £1,000. Now in 2020 you can find some of the rarest bottles being sold for over £4,500!
You don’t have to be highly knowledgeable in the industry to buy interesting and valuable bottles. Some high street off license stores such as Oddbins sold some remarkable bottles back in the day; some even included various 1960’s and 1970’s vintages of Bowmore’s which are now considered among the peak of its production.
From the history of these bottles of whisky, it is safe to say that what you have stored at the back of your cupboards, cellar or wine racks may be something special and should be looked at by a specialist valuer.