£16m of rare scotch sold in bottles at auction in H1 2018

More than £16m of rare Scotch whisky has been sold in bottles at UK auction during the first six months of the year.

This is according to new figures published by whisky analyst, broker and investment experts Rare Whisky 101.

The company’s 2018 half year report showed that the value of rare Scotch whisky in bottle sold at auction has exceeded £16m during a six month period for the very first time, reaching £16,335,635, a year on year increase of 46% on the £11,176,000 transacted during the same period last year.

The number of bottles of Single Malt Scotch whisky sold at auction in the UK increased by 27.29% to 49,719 (H1 2016 39,061).

Based on year to date and projected growth during the second half of the year, RW101 has forecasted the market to exceed 100,000 bottles for the full year, at a value of more than £36m.

The Macallan has further cemented its credentials as the secondary market brand leader, increasing its share of the total amount spent on rare whisky to 34.41%, which is larger than the next nine brands combined at 31.27%.

Despite its significant increase in share of value, its share of volume (the number of bottles sold) has remained static at 12.73% (a marginal increase from its share of 12.71% in H1 2017).

Co-founder of Rare Whisky 101, Andy Simpson commented: “Scotch whisky as an asset has continued to perform extremely well within a volatile global economy. However, while we’re seeing an impressive increase in the number of bottles traded at auction, the increase in value is nothing short of phenomenal. The Macallan is the clear winner within this market. Some of the prices being paid for the distillery’s rarest and most iconic releases underline its star quality among investors, collectors and connoisseurs across the world.

“Macallan stablemate, Highland Park from Orkney, has enjoyed an incredible half year with volume share growing from 3.55% to 5.86% at the detriment of Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Bowmore and Bruichladdich. Finally, the holy trinity of silent stills (Brora, Port Ellen
and Rosebank) continue to experience strong connoisseur, investor and collector demand, despite all three of the distilleries announcing plans to recommence production.

“Looking to the future, it’s difficult to predict demand for today’s premium releases once they reach the secondary market. Given the growing global thirst for premium whisky, sector investment from the large single malt brand owners and the proliferation
of new distilleries commencing production, we see a sector in rude health. We are, therefore, confident that the right bottles from the right distilleries will continue to offer a strong investment proposition.”

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