Nick Brown wrote:The other day, I bought a bottle of very old Port Ellen. I mixed it up in a big bucket with some left-over ends and a fair few bottles of grain whisky.
Because that's what it was made for!
I'm stockpiling petrol at the moment. It will be worth a fortune in a few years' time. I only use the cheap stuff in my car.
My quest is not to have a secret hoard of expensive Whisky to gloat over but to drink the best that an ordinary working man can afford.
So far, this includes :-
There are many others but these are my favourites so far...
The majority of posters on here do seem to be whisky drinkers - which is perfectly fine, this is a whisky forum and many jolly fine drams are to be found and savoured.
In some respects I can partly agree with 'Scotched', I personally cannot afford to be buying bottles of €200 (and above) whisky and drinking them, fine drams that they are.
I enjoy a good malt and tend to limit my individual purchases FOR DRINKING to below the €200 mark, often below €100. In fact, one of my favourite drams of the moment carries a price of around €46 (Laddie WMDII)
However, I do buy quite a few of the more expensive bottles, but to add to my collection as a future investment.
The rarer and more limited special editions do have a history of increasing in price over time. This is a proven 'track record' over many years and I see no reason to doubt its continuation.
At the moment, here in Germany if I were to put money into a bank savings account, the best return I could hope for would be around 3% to 4% per year - MAXIMUM!
If I were in the UK, this may be slightly better at somewhere just under 5% pa.
Past performance shows me that if I manage to select the 'right' bottles, the investment potential is far greater than anything available from the banks and even greater than most stock-market based savings schemes.
Therefore, yes, I am a collector with a view to investment for my future with what I refer to as my "Whisky Pension", or in Germany "Whisky Rente"!
'Scotched' has said that he is an ordinary working man - exactly as I classify myself. However, instead of using a bank account for some of my investment, I choose to invest in bottles which I believe will offer a good return in years to come.
I will also add that yes, I know there is a possibility that the market could fail, but I doubt it will. This is one market which is growing steadily but constantly, not in the massive boom-bust way of things like Exotic Sports Cars of the 1980's 1990's in the UK.
Whisky as an investment should also be considered as a mid to long term one, certainly 5-10 years, or longer.
Therefore, I for one classify myself as a "Collector", but also a whisky-drinking one!
that is an interesting thought, but I am also not too sure that the difference, certainly between collector and investor, is so clear cut.
The answer lies within the question: "Why are you collecting?"
In my case, I started like many collectors. I wanted to keep one example of each malt that I enjoyed drinking. This took my collection up to around the 40-60 bottles. Then people started adding to the collection by buying me Christmas / Birthday gifts of bottles. Basically, it grew from there.
After a while I began to see trends in whisky re-sale values and moved my collection more into that direction. From there, the real passion grew.
I don't think anyone just 'collects' for collecting's sake. In this case, I think the 'collection' would be more of a 'drinking collection' - like many on this forum who have a fine collection of malts which are held for opening sometime later.
All the dedicated collectors that I know, specifically collect the limited editions and specific bottlings with a view to investment for their future, or for their children's futures. But they are still whisky lovers and all enjoy a good dram too.
As yet, apart from a few people who have invested with friends in full casks, I haven't come across any collectors of bottles who only buy purely for investment and never drink. But I think this is because one needs a certain basic knowledge before knowing just what to buy as a good investment. The general public tend not to have this knowledge because they are not in to whisky deep enough.
Also, this type of investment is most definitely one for longer terms and this tends to keep it away from the "fad investors" looking for a quick return and often ruining markets with what I previously called the "boom and bust" syndrome.
Anyway, I'll end my rambling for now as I know that this is only my opinion and although I could talk on this subject for hours on end, I should try to keep some of my posts shorter.
Regards to all,
WhiskyHammer wrote:Anyway, I'll end my rambling for now as I know that this is only my opinion and although I could talk on this subject for hours on end, I should try to keep some of my posts shorter.
Regards to all,
On the contrary, I find your posts well thought out WH. And I think I understand your need (preferance) to explain why you invest in whisky as some here on the forum seem to have mixed feelings regarding speculators/collecters.
I totally get your point of view. I have about 15 bottles of whisky as well as 10 of mezcal/tequila. I'll probably be saving the Port Ellens for a later time, but if I can get $600-800/bottle for them in 3-4 yrs time, I'll sell faster than you can say "hello blended whisky".
MrTattieHeid wrote:I'm not so sure, Harry. I think the various impulses can be found in the same human, so that one may be seriously conflicted, for example, about whether to open that 1990/2002 Valinch, or save it for posterity, or cash it in. I consider myself a drinker, not a collector or investor, but I can feel a bit of the other points of view. And I can easily see someone being all three without any conflict.
If that is your only bottle of that Valinch, the only bottle you've ever bought, and you sell it before even opening it (whether or not you tasted it at the distillery prior to purchase) then in my mind you are not a pure drinker. I accept that most collectors and investors drink some as well but in my mind a pure drinker would never sell something of which he'd never drank a full bottle.
I also accept that some collectors may sell some of their collection but in my mind those who don't do it to further their collection are not pure collectors. A collector is one who does not sell their whisky for profit outright but who trades up their collection by selling some bottles and buying others. My point is that a pure investor is in it to make cash which will not all return to the whisky cellar, hence my distinction between them and one who just collects.
I consider myself a pure drinker. I sell on some when I must buy a minimum order of a case but I often regret it later when I've drunk the last bottle that I kept (then why do I sell any? I'm beginning to ask myself that same question). For me, keeping a bottle unopened for six months is unheard of so I'm not a collector. I try to make myself able to save one bottle for a long period but then pop goes the cork...
In my mind, these differences in mentailty are just more examples of the wonderful world of Sctland's great gift to the world.
Long may it and we, continue.
Put it this way--if I sell it for big bucks, I will regret not drinking it. And if I drink it, I will regret not selling it for big bucks. I agree with you ultimately, but it's just not as black and white for everybody as it is for you.
To be a collector you'd have to have deep pockets, the discipline of a Monk and a forgiving wife. As I can claim none of these attributes, its easy for me to carp from the sidelines.
Besides, I've only recently been converted so who knows what lays in my future...
Having the great fortune of living in Japan for 4 years I was able to easily get my hands on some Japan only bottlings (e.g. Springbank Saxplayer), cheap Macallan Gran Reservas (1980s sold for $105 at a popular convenience store), some cheap Ardbegs.... Many collectable Springbank, Ardbeg and Laphroaig usually sell for less than current "market" rates outside of Japan, while Lagavulin, Bowmore and Macallan (with exception of the Gran Reservas) usually go for higher rates.
So what I did was start off with a small collection of drinking and collecting whiskies and gradually accummulated then either sold some to finance other purchases or traded up for other other whiskies I was interested in drinking/collecting. The result was that I now have approximately 200 bottles in my collection that are typically deemed as collectables and the vast majority are also considered great drinking whiskies. Through this buy/sell/trade approach the monetary benefit is that the estimated value of my collection is almost 50% of what I have actually spent in cash.
Being a realist I know I will probably not be able to drink all of these (although I will give it a good shot) and when the time comes to sell off some of these I should be able to fully recoup the money I have invested.
So the net effect to me is:
1. I will either recoup my full investment or maybe make some money off of the bottles
2. I can finance the purchase of and then drink bottles that I could not otherwise afford to buy/drink (I have earmarked for future drinking some vintage Macallans, Springbank Local Barleys, a bottle each of the Manager's Drams, Ardbeg Committee bottlings (and other Ardbegs), Laphroaig Feis Ile bottlings and a Black Bowmore). This would not have been possible if I was doing a straight buy and drink approach as I simply couldn't afford it.
3. I am able to entertain myself with a great hobby that allows me to make many new friends
Not a bad deal in the end
Great question. As far as the bottles you mentioned in your message I already have them in my collection with a few duplicates set aside for drinking, with the exception of about 8 bottles.
I very rarely paid full price for any of the more expensive bottles as I sold bottles I obtained for a fairly cheap price at a considerable mark up to finance the purchase of these. For example I bought quite a few Springbank Saxplayers for around 20,000 yen each (approx. $190) and sold them to some European collectors or whisky stores for around 350-400 euro each or traded for the bottles I wanted that were around the 400 euro equivalent. So, I was able to get many vintage Macallans and other bottles at a relatively low out of pocket expense to me.
I have fortunately maintained some good relationships in Japan and will continue to do this to finance the purchase of the remaining bottles on my wish list and any other newer releases I may want to get. The margins may get a bit tighter but should still allow me to obtain bottles in a cheaper fashion than buying outright (just means I may have to acquire and sell more to make up the difference).
Does that make me a collector/investor? No, I don't think so -- certainly, though, an opportunist!
I have a number of unopened bottles in my cabinet, but it is because I haven't gotten to them yet - and I try to avoid having too many bottles open at once.
I've never bought something I had no intention of drinking, but it has nothing to do with cost.
The most expensive unopened bottle I have right now is a Glenmorangie 18 - not really that expensive, I'm just saving it for the "right time"
The only things I am consciously collecting are Compass Box Limited Editions. I have one of the Inaugural bottlings of the Spice Tree; A "Double Single" available only at the Craigellachie; and a Limited Edition "Monster" the cask strength edition of the Peat Monster, available only through Park Avenue Liquors. And I'll very likely drink those as well one day - unless someone offers me big bucks .
The closest I've ever come to keeping one sealed was a very recent gift from my wife, which I agonized over for what seemed like hours. It was likely only a few minutes, though, and my wife demanded to know when I was opening it. I revealed my dilemma and she told me if she wanted me to look at it she would have bought a picture. Actually threatened me with bodily harm if I didn't drink it. I'm keeping her, by the way.
PuckJunkie wrote:...my wife demanded to know when I was opening it. I revealed my dilemma and she told me if she wanted me to look at it she would have bought a picture. Actually threatened me with bodily harm if I didn't drink it. I'm keeping her, by the way. Puck
Sounds hauntingly familiar, mine's comment was "If you don't drink it, I won't buy you another one". (She'd brought me a RM 23 yo Royal Lochnagar back from Glasgow in 2000) Definitely a keeper.
My limit still hasn't changed, if I can buy it, I'll drink it someday. But it'll be shared with friends. Musky
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