Recently I had this light bulb of a moment… what if I became an investor in whisky… oh I know, I could be a whisky flipper! Wait a minute, does this title even really exist? Well, I am totally making it a thing as of right now. Let me preface this by saying, I. don’t. drink. Yep. You read that correctly. So what better investment than whisky because I won’t be drinking my profits, although I am for certain a few will end up as gifts!
Over the past year I have gathered a knowledge, passion, and appreciation of whisky (or whiskey depending on where you are at). I even visited Scotland recently and made it to 24 of the 40-ish distilleries that are in the Speyside region. They are absolutely beautiful buildings and if you get a chance to go to a distillery anywhere in the world, GO!
How did I get to this light bulb of a moment? A couple months ago a tweet came across in my feed about a whisky auction. A whisky auction? Wait, what?! I had no idea such a thing existed! I decided to look into it a little further and see what was being offered. I found the company Scotch Whisky Auctions first. On that site, the first bottle that was listed was already bid at oh, 8000 pounds. That is roughly $11,000. It wasn’t even that old. Just a rare bottle of 18 year old Japanese Whisky. When all was said and done, that bottle sold for $25,000. Yes. That is a very real number. The top 5 bottles in that auction sold between 10 and 25 thousand dollars. Well, I decided what a perfect investment opportunity! Yes, I came up with this idea on my very own. I bid on some bottles and dubbed myself a “whisky flipper.” You know, instead of flipping homes, I am buying and re-selling whisky. Ta-da!
I felt very secure in my decision when the following Monday after my first auction there were articles coming out in publications such as Business Insider that talked about how in 2015 whiskey was one of the only items that held its investment value, even over gold.
It is very interesting to watch what people are bidding on and what is selling and not to mention SO much to go through and research. There are a lot of bottles that you can currently buy online in places like the Whisky Exchange or Master of Malt that people are bidding more than what they are selling for. I just don’t understand that, but to each their own. Personally, I have decided to take the buying “discontinued items” approach. The only exception I will make is if a bottle is still for sale and it is incredibly pricey and I can get it cheaper at the auction and it has some type of special story or age behind it. I am a great researcher so this is a perfect hobby for me.
Let’s get on to my first items won.
This is a special item and a great find. A Glenfarclas 1999 casked and 2012 bottled single malt called “Last of the Millennium.” (Not to be confused with the bottling “Spirit of the Millennium”) It was named that because it was the last cask of 1999 that was. filled The cask was filled on December 31, 1999 by three generations of the Grant family: George S. Grant, who passed away three years later, John L.S. Grant, the current chairman of the company, and George S. Grant, the sixth-generation member of the family currently serving as Brand Ambassador for Glenfarclas. In 2012 it was bottled and it was only sold in the distillery visitor shop. As far as I can tell, it is only sold at auction now if you want to buy it.
The next are some of my favorites I’ve come across. I am pretty sure I could make my whole entire auction career out of hunting these down, and trust they do not come cheap, nor should they! Master of Malt (who happens to be one of the best companies I have EVER done business with) has their own bottling company called “That Boutique-y Whisky Co.” It is absolutely amazing. Their labels are so unique with a graphic-novel style highlighting the distillery that is in the bottle or the town that the distillery is in. They are all non-age statement bottling’s, which basically means there could be any age mixed together in the bottle. The majority of their bottling’s are discontinued if you look through the list on Master of Malts Boutique-y page. I had bid on all three batches of Tobermory, but sadly I was outbid on batch #1. I feel fortunate to have scored #2 ,bottle 54 of 73, and batch #3 ,bottle 20 of 208. The wax seal on the top of #3 had to be wrapped because of a slight crack, but that is ok.
Last part of the auction, I found this treasure. A very limited, from what I can find, Monkey Shoulder bottle stopper. When bidding on something like this you never know what the actual condition, weight, etc. will be. This is absolutely beautiful in person. It is a heavy metal. It has the three monkeys from the Monkey Shoulder bottle and has the Monkey Shoulder name on the edge. The only information I’ve been able to find is its appearance in past auctions, one even going for $120. As soon as I have more information I will update
I found two other sites in the last month that are absolutely fantastic as well. With great search features, the ability to create watch lists, and great variety the three I’ve listed are simply easy. Not to mention the delivery of the items from Scotch Whisky Auctions was amazing and well wrapped. There are others out there, I’ve just found these are my favorites so far.
Today another auction ended and I will update as soon as I get that box of treasure!