Whiskies to invest in

Earlier in the year, a selection of Scotch single malts aged between 50 and 65 years went up for auction. The Macallan Lalique Legacy Collection fetched a jaw-dropping R13.1 million. The sale begs the question: can one actually drink these whiskies?

Well, technically you could, but should you? Lalique chief executive Silvio Denz said: ‘The unprecedented price achieved … reflects the exceptional nature of the piece – a complete one-off and highly collectable work of art.’ The truth, however, is that there are whiskies that are so rare that they are bought and stored for their investment rather than entertainment value, though I dare say some purchasers might regale their friends gleefully of their expensive acquisitions.

The whiskies that came up for auction consisted of the Macallan 50YO exceptional Oak Cask, 50YO Natural Colour, 57YO Finest Cut, 60YO Curiously Small Stills, 62YO Spiritual Home and 65YO Peerless Spirit. The collection fetched nearly double the high-end estimate of auctioneers Sothebys.

The top-grade investment whiskies are generally single malts from Scotland and collectors have fetched significant returns by focusing on age, limited-edition bottling runs, purchases from distilleries that have since closed their doors and limited number of
bottles produced.

And the most expensive bottles of whisky in the world?

Top of the pile is the Balvenie 50YO that sells on average at around R490 000 a bottle but has fetched
as much as R660 000, followed by the aforementioned Macallan Lalique 62YO that has commanded a premium of R626 000 (average R403 000) and Gordon & MacPhail Generations Mortlach 75YO (R441 000 and R334 000 respectively).

At these prices, the bottles belong in a bank vault and not a liquor cabinet where thirsty teenagers can get at them!

Original article by Jim Freeman shortened for online publication

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