Over the past few years, collectable whiskies have become one of the more lucrative exotic assets for investors looking to slake their thirst for profit.
Each bottle of a new The Glenlivet collection fetched an astounding £18 000 (about R333 100) in a recent London auction and smart prospectors have realised phenomenal returns in recent times. In 2013, the one thousand best performing investment-grade bottles of whisky increased 23,8% in value, according to the Apex 1000 index.
If this rate is maintained over 20 years, a R10 000 bottle would be worth R710 000 after the same period. However, whisky investment isn’t for the risk averse or impulsive. Not every bottle will give you a return – the art lies in picking the right one, usually limited editions, single casks, discontinued bottles and older rarities from iconic collector’s distilleries.
Ploughing your cash into a few bottles of bourbon at your local bottle store is bound to give you a hangover, both literally and figuratively. Of course, as a tangible asset that is made to be drunk and enjoyed, it can be tempting to crack open that bottle of Glenfiddich Snow Phoenix when, for example, you earn a long-awaited promotion or your cousin busts some moves on Jika Majika.
Here are a few tips to keep your whisky earning wonga and not eating away your liver:
• Build a cabinet. Not only will this allow you to showcase your collection, but fitting a lock and leaving the keys out of reach when partying will help prevent you from gulping it down. Whisky needs to be stored at room temperature and kept upright to avoid contact between the cork and the spirit inside.
• When your collection grows, you will want to consider an external storage site and insurance. Remember: they aren’t likely to pay out if you slug away a few bottles in a drunken haze.
• Feel free to share one of the bottles from your collection, but have other, cheaper ones on hand for the after party. After all, they all taste the same after the first bottle is drunk.
• Cocktails are your friends. Nobody will berate you for using cheaper whiskies in a Mac Daddy or Gentleman’s Julep and you’re bound to have a good time showing off your mixing skills.
• Keep the current value of your collection in mind, even if it means tagging the bottles with prices. You’re less likely to pour mugs of premium scotch when you see how much it is costing you.