Planet Whiskies :: Scottish Single Malt Whisky, Scotch, Distilleries, American Bourbon, Japanese, Irish

World-Wide Whisky News by Planet Whiskies | Buy your whisky online

To advertise on Planet Whiskies visit our contact us page

Investing in Whisky - A Guide by Martin Green | Head of Whisky at
Bonhams | Part of The Glenlivet Winchester Collection | Vintage 1964 Investing in Whisky – A Guide by Martin Green Head of Whisky at

The launch of The Glenlivet Winchester Collection, Vintage 1964 this October is set to fuel the growing trend in whisky collecting around the globe.

The first auctions for rare whiskies were held in the late 1980s and since then sales have become more and more popular as an increasing number recognise not just the investment potential of single malts but also the joy of collecting the world’s finest objects. New markets with new buyers are also emerging, particularly in the Far East.

Here Martin Green, Head of Whisky for Bonhams* – the internationally renowned auctioneers – shares his top tips for collecting whiskies such as The Glenlivet Winchester Collection, Vintage 1964.

Q: What do buyers look for in an exceptionally collectable batch of whisky?

A: As with most products, reputation, scarcity and exclusivity are very important.  Ultimately a point of difference from the expressions that are more readily available all year round, perhaps a unique maturation story or limited productions run.

Q: Do whisky collectors tend to be investors with excellent wine cellars already or is it a different type of investor entirely?

A: There’s bound to be some overlap. The appeal of investing in a bottle of something highly revered, limited and of the highest quality applies to both categories.  It is worth remembering that collecting whisky is a relatively recent phenomenon.  The first stand alone whisky auctions, for example, were held in the late 1980s. Until then, whisky was routinely lumped in with other spirits and often included in wine sales.  Since then, interest has soared.

Q: What tips do you have for first time whisky collectors looking to start a portfolio?

A: This depends to some extent on your motivation.  If it’s to drink, then buy what you like drinking and gradually refine your palette as you become more experienced.   If it’s to collect, the usual advice is to buy the best you can afford but, of course, some collectors will be buying to plug gaps in their collections.

If it’s an investment, do your homework as you would with any purchase.  Start with the main range, available in any good whisky specialist. Then progress on to a Distillery exclusive bottling - this is a great place to start as by their very nature they are limited. These are available at a range of price points to suit any budget.

And, of course, exercise the normal precautions.  Forgeries, for example, are not common but if you are in any doubt consult the relevant distillery.  They are usually happy to provide information on authenticity to anyone who asks.

Q: How should a collector store their whisky safely?

A: Whisky should be stored out of direct heat or sunlight, so as not to undergo evaporation. Corked bottles should be stored upright, avoiding contact between the cork and the spirit inside. 

Q: How long should collectors hold onto their rare whisky before they could sell and see a return on their investment?

A: This is a difficult question to answer because it totally depends on the bottle in question.  As with anything bought specifically as an investment, it is sensible for the investor to keep a close eye on the performance of his or her portfolio.  There are now many magazines and blogs devoted to whisky and whisky collecting which offer statistics and advice.  Whisky auctions provide another source of information.  By studying the movement of prices over a period and talking to the specialists collectors can gain some idea of how their portfolio may perform if brought to market.  It’s worth adding that auction houses are usually careful to stick to the facts and not to make specific investment recommendations – that has to be for the judgement of the collector.

Q: With international brands now able to command impressive premiums, is the home of whisky still Scotland?

A: Absolutely! Japanese, Irish, American, Canadian whiskies are great but whisky is synonymous with Scotland and Scotland with whisky!  The romance and history of whisky is entirely bound up with Scotland (it’s called Scotch – sometimes - for a reason) and it’s difficult to see how that will ever lose its appeal.  

Q: What has made whisky so collectable in recent times?

A: A whole variety of reasons.  A greater appreciation and understanding of how much love, time and craft goes into creating this wonderful spirit.  A broadening of its appeal - consumers are increasingly willing to try new spirits - particularly spirits with genuine heritage and provenance and most importantly a robust and complex taste.  It is also, of course, the case that some buyers, especially at the high end of the market, see whisky as an investment rather than as something to drink and the seemingly inexorable rise in prices is fuelling demand among this group.   

Q: What is the future of the whisky investment market?

A: Cast iron predictions are never sensible in any walk of life but over the past 10 years the upward trajectory has remained remarkably smooth with new markets opening especially in the Far East. Prices in Hong Kong have continued to rise with collectable single malts in particular of greater demand. In Edinburgh and New York, prices have been driven up by competition from buyers located in the Far East and USA in addition to the continued interest from European buyers.  The fact that Bonhams and other auction houses are registering 90% sold across the range of prices suggest continued demand – but nothing in life is certain and investing in whisky requires the same level of common sense as anything else.  

Martin Green
Head of Whisky
*Bonhams in an internationally renowned auction house with offices in London, Hong Kong, New York, Los Angeles, Paris, San Francisco and Sydney

Read about the The Glenlivet WInchester Collection

Read Alan Winchester Q&A about The Glenlivet Winchester Collection

Read about Planet Whiskies tour of The Glenlivet Distillery


Share Planet Whiskies on social media

Planet Whiskies on Twitter
Planet Whiskies on Facebook
Planet Whiskies on Google Plus
Planet Whiskies on Pinterest

Antiquary 12 Years Old Blended Scotch WhiskyAntiquary 12 Years Old Blended Scotch Whisky

Nose: The fruitiness reveals the heavy use of Speyside malts, theres also hints of honey and a quite peppery, spicy undertone. Palate: Much the same as the nose, with the added flavor of moist grain. The finish is toffee-like and smooth.
Clicks to read more

Antiquary 12 Years Old for £31.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change

Yamazaki 12 Year Old Single Malt Japanese WhiskyYamazaki 12 Year Old Single Malt Japanese Whisky

From Yamazaki was born the surprising, delicate yet profound experience of a Japanese single malt. Spiritual and deep, its signature multi-layered taste is highly praised by whisky connoisseurs all over the world... Read more

Yamazaki 12 Year Old - Only £84
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change

Subscribe to Planet Whiskies newsletter

* indicates required

Buy from Spirits By Post:: Excellent whisky selection available to buy online today:: Click for more details

Latest Whisky News

See all whisky press releases for 2017

Thank you Scotland: Glenfiddich launches first ever festival for Scottish on-trade:15th September, 2017

Scotch Whisky tourism more popular than ever - distillery visits and spend increasing: 9th September, 2017

New Speyside Distillery: Cabrach will celebrate Scotland’s illicit whisky history: 7th September, 2017

The Whisky Barrel releases its latest exclusive 10th Anniversary Whisky: 7th September, 2017

New Peated Single Malt Showcases The Balvenie In Entirely Different Way: 5th September, 2017

Latest Gin News

Ian Macleod Distillers Acquires Edinburgh Gin :: 13th September, 2016

Crafted Upon Four Pillars :: The definitive Modern Australian Gin Debuts in the U.S :: 13th July, 2016

VisitScotland Interactive Whisky Guide

Visit Scotland Interactive Whisky Map

Found out about 105 whisky distilleries in Scotland's five whisky regions in this very exciting interactive whisky guide :: More information

Selection of Scottish Malts Whisky available from Spirits By Post

Glenfarclas 40 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch WhiskyGlenfarclas 40 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Distillery:  Glenfarclas

Nose: Chocolate, raisins, prunes, touches of mint, leather.
Palate: Flavourful oakyiness, liqueur filled chocolates, Christmas cake, chocolate flavoured prunes, dried fruits, cinnamon, black pepper.
Finish: Sweet, crisp, dry and lingering.

Buy Now for £672.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change

Glenmorangie Astar 2017 Release Highland Single Malt Scotch WhiskyGlenmorangie Astar 2017 Release Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Distillery:  Glenmorangie

Nose: Rich, sweet and fruity with fresh bright floral top notes. At full strength, the aroma is rich in butterscotch and honey, drizzled with fresh mint and a burst of coconut. The nose is full of citrus, freshly squeezed lemons fill the nose...
Clicks to read more

Buy Now for £74.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change

Ailsa Bay Single Malt Scotch WhiskyAilsa Bay Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Distillery:  Ailsa Bay

Nose: Strong notes of smoke balanced with a creamy sweetness and notes of smoky bacon.
Palate: A kick of peat followed by sweetness. Notes of crispy bacon continue with hints of maple syrup.
Clicks to read more

Buy Now for £54.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change

Convalmore 32 Year Old 2017 Release Single Malt WhiskyConvalmore 32 Year Old 2017 Release Single Malt Whisky

Distillery:  Convalmore

Only 3972 individually numbered bottles available worldwide! You can place your order on Spirits by Post and deliveries will start at the end of September 2017. Clicks to read more

Buy Now for £1,180
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change

Arran Malt Orkney Bere 2004 Vintage Single Malt Scotch WhiskyArran Malt Orkney Bere 2004 Vintage Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Distillery:  Arran

Nose: Malty and Herbal initially with hints of vanilla and freshly cut hay. A veritable hedgerow of aromas are at play whilst honey and sweet fruits emerge with a dash of water against a back-drop of rich, toasted oak. Clicks to read more

Buy Now for £89.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change

More details about Spirits By Post can be found on their website at

Planet Whiskies on Pinterest

Planet Whiskies on Twitter

Support us Google Plus