Please note items can not be offered for sale on this forum.
I bought some time ago (in 1999-2000) a few bottles of Longrow from Milroys, and have actually managed to keep them unopened.
Similarly I purchased from Tallinn whisky store in 1998 a 1 litre bottle of Edradour, in the older bottle & whisky style.
I am wondering if these are worth keeping unopened (as indeed I am not in any hurry to open them), or should they perhaps be preserved as pieces of history, gone but not forgotten? I enjoy a good dram as much as the next man, but I also have an appreciation of history.
Some other less available bottlings I have include Arbeg 1975, Ardbeg 1977, Springbank 12yo & 21yo & 15yo rum cask, Bowmore claret limited ed., some Cadenhead's no longer available bottlings of Rosebank, some Brora's etc. etc.
In my recent enthusiasm, I made some studies as to what bottlings exactly I have and noticed I recalled some years incorrectly. Blame it on work & age..!
As said, I am in no hurry whatsoever to open them, and they always remind me of the occasion of when I got them, whether I bought them myself, or received them as gifts from distinguished colleagues or friends.
In some sense the bottles and their contents are to me multi-layered pieces of history, stored from consumption to represent in the future also how whisky was once, and on a personal level events & memories tied to my life and occasions surrounding it.
Here's but a few listed, with the correct year info. I am curious to hear other people's opinions of them, as I do not know any real collectors besides myself (most of my mates buy whisky - to drink it :
- Aberlour A’bunadh, 1st release 59.6% and 6th batch 59.9%,
- Ardbeg Lord of the Isles, 46%
- Ardbeg Limited 1975 Edition, Bottled in 2000, 43%
- Ardbeg Limited 1977 Edition, non chill-filtered, 46%
- Ardbeg 17yo, 40%, 0.7 litres, unopened
- Ardbeg 10yo, 1994 – 2004, Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice, 40%
- Bladnoch 18yo, Cadenhead’s individual cask, 300 bottles, dist. June 1980 – bottled Feb 1999, 57.5%
- Bladnoch 17yo, Cadenhead’s individual cask, dist. June 1980 – bottled April 1998, 57.2%
- Bowmore Claret Bordeaux Wine Casked Limited Edition, 56%
- Brora Rare Malts 1975, 20yo, 59.1%, bottles numbered
- Glenrothes 1987 – 1998, 43%
- Imperial Milroys Natural Cask Strength, Over 20 years old, dist. 1976 – bottled 1997, 59.9%,
- Lagavulin 12yo Special Release Bottled in 2002, Natural Cask Strength
- Laphroaig Quarter Cask double cask matured, 48%
- Longrow Sherrywood 10yo, 46%,(Bought from Milroys in 1999)
- Rosebank Milroys Lowland Reserve Natural Cask Strength, 7yo, dist. 1990 – bottled 1997, unchillfiltered, 60%
- Rosebank Flora & Fauna12yo, 43%
- Rosebank 9yo, Cadenhead’s individual cask, 306 bottles dist. 1989 – bottled 1998, 58.8%
- Rosebank Signatory Millenium edition 2000, Vintage 1990, cask no. 533, bottled 14th feb 2000, 43%
- Rosebank 8yo, Cadenhead’s, dist. April 1989 – bottled June 1997, 59.3%
- The Royal & Ancient Fine Old Blended Scotch Whisky, 28yo, A unique blend specially selected for the Millenium with over 50% malt whisky, Cockburn & Campbell ltd., 40%
- Springbank 21yo, 46%
- Springbank 12yo rum wood, Hogsheads / barrels, dist. 1989 – bottled April 2002, 5700 bottles, 54.6%
What would you like to know / hear about those bottles?
When I refer to bottles as "collectibles", I am also referring to their capacity for increasing in value over time, as an investment.
I do understand how many people have some difficulty with this concept, believing that whisky should be drunk. But, in the case of some bottles, I have to force myself to think of the bottles not as being whisky, but as being the equivalent of a bank account.
People invest in many different things, in my case, I have experienced that some whisky values increase much better than any bank account can offer over time. When I put a bottle away in my cellar, then I don't consider it as something to be drunk (by me).
However, I do always hope that should I come to sell it at a later date, it will be bought by someone wishing to enjoy it.
Anyway, my own comments on your little list:
OBs are always better than IBs when it comes to collecting for investment. Even though many are strictly limited editions, they rarely perform as well as an OB.
The ardbeg 1975 has long run out, there were various editions of this one; bottled 1998, 1999, 2000 & 2001 and they are all now increasing in value. The current price is anywhere from €180 to €230 and I believe it will continue to rise over the coming years.
The older G&M Ardbeg CCs with the white map label are also rising in price, with the 1974-1996 and 1974-1997 often fetching around or just over €200.
I still believe this 1974 CC Ardbeg is one of the finest I have tasted, although the Kildalton comes close, even though they are different as chalk and cheese.
I think it will be many years before the current range of CC shows any great price increases. They will probably need G&M to change the packaging again for this to happen.
Before the White map labels were the older brown labels, these are now quite hard to find, especially for the better distilleries and are also showing good prices. To give you an idea, these were mainly distilled in the late 1960's and bottled in the early 80's - that's 20 years ago. You will probably need a similar amount of time before seeing a good increase on the current range!
Bowmore Claret was a limited edition (as you say) and it is already quite expensive when offered for sale. Another good bottle which should do well over time.
The Rare Malts series were not so limited, but are good bottles and sought by many collectors and drinkers alike. Again, a reasonable prospect over time.
This is currently a standard bottle, unlimited and certainly not dated or numbered. You will need this to be changed (packaging) or discontinued to prove a worthy investment.
Springbank 21 y/o.
This is a little more limited than the Laphroaig QC and Springbank do have a history of subtle label changes so maybe this one will work out.
Rosebank is a current hot tip for collectors, but again I expect bottles like the F&F to perform better than the Cadenheads. Milroy bottlings have a good history for investors so I would watch this with interest.
The Aberlour "batches" are quite recent, but these are strictly limited and should all prove good investments over some years.
My final comment is that if you are looking at whisky as an investment, you should be looking at a time period of at least 10 years.
Yes, some bottles show spectacular price increases very quickly, often weeks rather than months, but these are exceptions.
If you buy carefully and store correctly, then so long as you look towards 10 years or more, you should reap much better rewards than any bank account.
If you want to discuss this topic further, please feel free to either post questions and comments on here, or even contact me privately.
My own collection currently numbers 350 bottles and has been growing steadily for the last 10-11 years. I hope to keep adding a few bottles and I still harbour the ambition to reach 500 bottles, although realistically, I believe this could still take another 3-4 years.
Thank you for the comments! Great to hear such information!!
Originally I have not purchased whiskies with the prospect of profit in mind; With some I simply got them as giftts, some I bought myself out of curiosity. Then there are a number of bottles which I purchased due to having tasted them, and finding them unusually tasty drams indeed. These would include the Cadenhead's lowlanders, for example, the Imperials as well as most of the Ardbegs actually. An additional factor with some has certainly been the knowledge that the vintages / bottling are disappearing, and never again will be available at all. Seems I have a problem with letting history depart
The Springbank's 12yo and 21yo I bought just after they were replaced by the much younger 10yo and 15yo's - which I tasted and found disappointing. Unfortunately at that point already most of the stock of the older releases was already gone, so I had to settle with just a few bottles.
Financial aspects have not been the driving force here, but certainly I admit, the possibility that one fine year, perhaps 15 years to the future from this moment, I might be in possession of a whisky bottle worth a few thousands of £'s is a tickling one!! Now that would be a nice one to leave to the grandchildren (provided the brats can appreciate such finer things) !!!
Alas, it is also pleasant occasionally to be able to show a bottle to the Mrs. (who doesn't quite appreciate my collection as much as I do) and be able to state 'see this bottle? Ah bought it for 30 odd quid just three years ago, and now its worth £ 350! How's your stock share investments doing then eh, last I heard they had dropped in value thirty per cent...'. Again, the finer things in life!!!
as with most collectors, I also started by 'saving' a bottle from each distillery that I tasted and liked.
As with your own bottles, many of my earlier ones have greater sentimental than financial value and many were also gifts.
I would estimate that my latest 150 purchases have the greatest value and best prospects for future appreciation.
I have been following your little discussion with great interest, so I hope you don't mind my post....
First of all, I totally agree with MRJ that not all whisky should be drunk!
But on the other hand, I'm trying to expand my collection gradually as well! For instance I have an Aberlour Malt from 1975 (numbered bottle) in wooden display case. Can any of you tell me anything about this one? Does this one fit in the "Aberlour batches" mentioned by MT?
And I'm thinking of bying either a bottle of 32yr. Springbank or Highland Park when I'm up in Scotland in a few weeks time.... Recommendable??
Would really appreciate your opinion....
I suspect your Aberlour is the 1975 Cask 4577 with 164 individually numbered bottles.
There is one for sale at the moment from TWE with a price of around 140 GBP.
The "batches" that I referred to are as mentioned by MRJ in his list, the A'Bunadh releases which are labelled as "Batch 1" ... etc.
Highland Park do have some good collectibles around just now, but these are primarily the single cask offerings which are fully detailed and numbered.
There is / was the first "Ambassador Cask" Cask No. 43.
I have just found another single cask, Cask No. 2277 which would also be a good prospect.
Just to inform you, I made a little mistake.... My Aberlour is the 1976 limited edition. So have you got any interesting facts about that one?
And I also have a Convalmore (24 yrs Rare Malt Series) un-opened.
All my other bottles are open, some fortunately some unfortunately. The 21yr Springbank for instance....
Hope to hear from you
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