If The Whiskey Bubble Pops, At Least It’ll Be Delicious

Make it Suntory Time

Today, in Unusual Places To Put Your Money: whiskey.

Whiskey isn’t just a good for consumption or a means toward intoxication: it’s a collector’s item, an investment portfolio, and an incredibly valuable commodity. “Whiskey as an investment is being driven by an escalating international demand, combined with an ever-decreasing supply of rare and aged single malt,” the Whisky Corporation’s Stephen Notman told CNN last year. This international demand and decreasing supply has driven serious returns: according to materials provided by the Platinum Whisky Investment Fund, the world’s first whisky fund, the top whiskeys have appreciated in value anywhere from 130% to, among the 100 best, a staggering 230% from 2011–2013. Interested? The buy-in for the Platinum Whisky Investment Fund’s only a cool quarter-million.

Likely your first question is, are we spelling whiskey with or without the “e”? Because it matters!

According to TheKitchn.com:

Within the broad category of whisky/ey are many sub-categories, including bourbon, rye, Tennessee, Scotch, Irish, and Canadian style whiskies. The manufacture of each of these types of whisky/ey is guided and regulated by the government of the spirit’s country of origin. As a result, Canadian whisky, for example, is a whole different animal from Scotch whisky, Irish whiskey, and American-style whiskeys such as Tennessee, bourbon, and straight rye. …

American and Irish liquor producers (and copy editors) tend to favor the spelling WHISKEY, while Canadian, Scottish, and Japanese producers (and copy editors) tend to favor (or should I say, favour) WHISKY.

Okay, so now that that’s settled, how good an investment is collectible whisk(e)y?

thirsty collectors and investors have seen decent returns from whisky in recent years.

Data from whisky brokers Rare Whisky 101 shows values of the top 100 collectible bottles have increased by 20 per cent in the past year and 178 per cent since 2008, as shown in the chart below. …

However, while certain brands are doing well, there is also a risk of steep declines if you back the wrong bottle, so this isn’t an area for cautious investors or those with not much cash to spare. RW101 has a negative index, below, which shows how badly some collectibles are doing,

Its index of the worst 100 bottles is down 62 per cent since 2005. This shows how hard it can be to find a decent bottle and it may just be worth enjoying a drink rather than hoping for an increase in value.

Makes sense to me! *pours a Scotch and soda, guzzles*

Speaking of wacky/dangerous investment funds, though, I wonder how CityShares is doing. It caused quite a stir when it launched, targeting the historically black neighborhood of Bed-Stuy for gentrification by and profit from outsiders. Gawker, with typical restraint, titled its piece about the news “White Devil Has Great Investment Idea To Ruin Brooklyn Faster.” If I’m not too drunk later, maybe I’ll try to reach out to the white devil in question and see if he’ll talk to me about how things look, now that six months have passed. Real reporting!!

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