Pro IQRA News Updates.
Mark Littler Back with our monthly look at the world of whiskey auctions.
Welcome back, and welcome to September. This month we bring you stories from Elchez as we talk about the fragmentation that is appearing in the whiskey bottle market.
As we head into the fall season, all areas of the market are showing signs of softening, with differences between different market segments as to how much. This trend is not surprising given the current economic climate and the strong growth we saw earlier in the year.
Throughout the summer, we saw significant growth in many series, especially modern bottlings, but also other vintage series. This has a predictable effect on the market: collectors flood the market in response to the rapid growth, hoping to invest, which means there are more sellers than buyers, causing prices to soften. are done That’s probably what we’re seeing with the likes of the Macallan Folio one, which hit £16,000 earlier in the year and is now steady at around £11,000 to £12,000.
In addition, people are becoming more aware of the changing global economic situation in response to the war in Ukraine and the resulting energy crisis. While many people will still be looking for alternative assets such as whiskey bottles, many buyers will simply choose to hold off on their collection while cash flow is uncertain. However there may also be collectors who are liquidating their collections for the sake of liquidation. This means the number of bottles reaching the market is likely to increase, but there are likely fewer buyers than at the start of the year. It is the imbalance between the bottlers and the buyers that can cause the prices to soften.
A good example from the modern side of the market is the Easter Elchez Black 2020 release. Bottling reached a high of £2,150 in June. Then, as the August auction ended, prices were as low as £950 and not above £1,200.
Another Elchez in our story is the Macallan Easter Elchez 2012 Ribbon Bottling. This bottling has performed strongly over the past 12 months, with prices reaching £4,750 in August, up from just £3,800 at the end of 2021 and just £2,100 at the start of 2021. That being said, the most recent auction price dropped back to £3,800 and, over the last month in the Macallan Ribbon Series, we’ve seen £600 to £800 drops or bottles not meeting their reserve. are doing
At the super-premium end of the market, we’ve seen more consolidation for higher-priced bottles that have the age statement, vintage and presentation to back up their prices. The final Elchez for this month is The Tales of The Macallan Volume 1, 1950 in 71 year old Lalique. This is a stunning 71-year-old whiskey in stunning presentation, with a name that hints at the potential of the series. Prices have been fairly steady through 2022 and importantly, the recent sell-off in September has bucked the slight softening trend seen in other segments.
Of course there are other variations in the market. Jubilee-themed bottles available from various bottlers are showing serious growth this year in response to Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee being celebrated earlier this summer. The Queen’s death in early September marks the end of an era for Britain and the distilleries that have spent the past 70 years releasing limited-edition bottles to mark various important anniversaries.
The knock-on effect of year-round means that royal-themed bottles are a part of the secondary market that doesn’t seem to be softening. The Macallan Diamond Jubilee bottling reached an all-time high of £12,500 in the latest sale, up from £6,200 in January.
Of course, it’s important to emphasize that the softness is relatively mild and not uniform across the market. The secondary market is global and thus relatively flexible. We saw similar trends in prices during 2019 after sharp peaks in value in 2018. Thus we expect the long-term outlook to remain positive.
If you have bottles of whiskey that you would like to help sell please contact me and I will be happy to help you.
Mark Littler is an independent whiskey broker, market analyst, and consultant, with over a decade of experience in the industry. Each week, he posts videos on his YouTube channel about cask investment fraud (and how to avoid it), the history of distilleries and bottlings, debunking whiskey investment myths, and more. For more information, visit www.marklittler.com.
Also, read more news and reviews on Scottish fieldThe Whiskey Pages.