Last year, the world stayed home, so the alcohol market was fiercely strong. But now that the blockade is almost above normal, shouldn’t it be prioritized? It doesn’t seem to be the case for the rich.
Gerry Tosh, Rare Whiskey Director at the Dalmore Distillery in Scotland, said:
The premium market starts at $ 100 a bottle and $ 1,000 a prestige. This will give you a rough idea of the people who are currently buying Spirits. But many of today’s buyers go even further.
For example, in June, Sotheby’s broke the spiritual record by selling 24 bottles of Guizhou Kayashu, which is popular in China, for $ 1.4 million. This “completely and completely changed the market,” says Tosh.
Records are set entirely, but most are in Asia. China is a fast-growing market for all spirits, with Scotch whiskey being the mainstream. France and Taiwan are Scotch’s largest markets, “but China and the United States are just behind them,” says Tosh. And the whiskey distillery is watching carefully the Chinese.
“There is a change of generations. The younger generation is beginning to learn about whiskey,” says Thorsten Hartmann, director of IWSR, which tracks the global beverage industry. “These are emerging consumers who are starting to fall in love with whiskey. They may not have been exposed in the past, but they are definitely exposed now.”
At a recent Sotheby’s whiskey and rare spirits auction, 80% of buyers were Asian and 60% were under the age of 40.
“There are people in Asia who have really raised the bar when it comes to whiskey tasting. Tickets for these tastings are sometimes tens of thousands of dollars and open bottles of all kinds,” said Johnny Fowl, senior spirits specialist at Sotheby’s. increase. .. “In people’s homes, it’s normal to open up to $ 50,000 or more per bottle.”
Like the wine tasting parties in front of them, expensive whiskey is required to both drink and brag. “Conspicuous consumption definitely has an element, showing off your wealth,” says Hartmann.
This is the exact opposite of what happened in the western market over the past year. Lockdown has devastated the whiskey market in the United Kingdom and the United States as wealthy enthusiasts either comfort themselves or get bored at home and start drinking the rarest whiskey collection ever. Of course, then they had to replenish them.
Its sudden consumption may have slowed, but the market is not. Investors are aware that if wealthier young Asians discover their love for whiskey, the market will only grow further.
“We are still in the early stages of the single malt renaissance,” says Tosh, referring to the single-origin market rather than blended whiskey. Whether this is a hint of your choice, the market is open to external investors as well.
For about £ 3,000 ($ 4,122), you can buy a barrel of Scotch whiskey as an investment. “Given the current growth rate, we should be able to make a profit quickly,” says Jonathan Hook, founder of whiskey investment firm MacInnes Whiskey. “But after 15 years, profits will rise significantly.”
The idea of buying barrels instead of bottles is becoming more and more common. “Bottling wine is a pleasure. For whiskey, transferring it from a barrel to a bottle does not improve the overall flavor,” says Hook.
However, when it’s time to bottling, you can sell the entire barrel or bottling it.
That doesn’t mean that bottles don’t go up in price either. Whiskey House recently asked artists and architects to decorate a limited edition bottle.
Architect Sir David Ajay designed the oldest bottled single malt Scotch whiskey ever, a decanter and case for the 80-year-old Glenrivet. These bottles will be auctioned at Sotheby’s in London next month.
But the only biggest reason behind the expansion of the whiskey market is that people continue to drink whiskey. As long as this continues, there will be a growing market, Hartman says. “Consumption is a very important factor in whiskey collection that we must spread in order to develop the market.”