16th March 2021

Liquid assets: what’s your whisky worth?

Before opening the bottle of whisky that’s been gathering dust in your drinks cabinet it could pay to carry out a bit of dram detective work because it’s no longer just the oldest and rarest malts that can fetch a healthy return.

The specialist whisky consultant, Doerr Dallas Valuation, has identified a rising trend for whiskies that were once off-license and supermarket trolley staples selling for a small fortune. So, before tasting a drop – all prices are based on the absolute guarantee that the bottle is still sealed – find out if you’ve made an unintentional investment.

Of the stellar brands, it’s the iconic Macallan 1926 that usually makes headlines. Bottles frequently retrieve a hammer price of over £1m – in October 2019 a record £1,452,000 was paid at a Sotheby’s London auction – but in recent years, the younger and previously more widely available Macallan 10-year-old has been proving its worth.

Bottles that would have had a supermarket value of £30-40 between the late 1980s and early 2000s, now sell for upwards of £250 at auction. Its status inflated when stocks ran dry in the mid 1990s, at a time when the supply of high-quality sherry casks was largely diminished, the 10-year-old can even be found retailed, optimistically, for more than £800.

Also achieving cult malt status, despite being sold at a discount price in staff shops during the 1990s, are bottles from Diageo’s The Rare Malts series. In the current market, they can carry a price tag that ranges from the low hundreds, to many thousands of pounds. This is also the case for single malts from the gone, but not forgotten, Brora distillery. In 2014, bottles were available for £400, and today, some of the rarest vintages sell in excess of £4,500. The record currently stands at £10,000.

The high street off-license Oddbins has also emerged as a surprise source of liquid assets – some of which were exclusive bottlings. This includes various 1960s and 1970s Bowmore vintages, which regularly achieve prices in excess of £2,000 – approximately 25 times more than their original selling price. If you’re really lucky, you’ll have picked up something from the Black Bowmore series. Released in the mid 1990s for £350 a bottle, at its peak it was selling for over £30,000.

To find out what your bottle might be worth, visit https://www.doerrvaluations.co.uk/, call 01883 722 736 or email enquiries@doerrvaluations.co.uk

Are you a whisky lover? Do you think you might a bottle that's turned into an investment? Let us know in the comments below.