The Single Malt Fund Trading Company

31 October, 2021

2021 - Q3 Whisky Investment and Market Report

Welcome to the Q3 2021 Single Malt Fund Trading Ltd report, where we comment on the latest developments in the rare whisky as well as broader industry markets and give an update on our trading operations. 

“Rare Whisky makes a strong “V” shaped recovery as demand remains robust”

Our friends at RW 101 published an 18-month report in September covering the period Dec 19 to June 2021 and the news was good for rare whisky investors. The main takeaways from the report were as follows;

Q3 Highlights

Rare Whisky 101 publish their
18-month report to June 2021
Diageo release their year-end
report to end June 2021
The Johnnie Walker Experience
opens in Edinburgh
Pernod Ricard announce the purchase of The Whisky Exchange

i) Apex 1000 in good health. 

The Apex 1000 has recovered to + 9% to end June 2021 and is expected to end the year at + 17.5%. In the 18-months since December 2019, the Apex 1000 has performed very well v other alternative and traditional investment categories, as the growth data below clearly shows:
Apex 1000 + 16%
Gold + 16%
Brent Crude +12%

Live-ex FW 1000 +8%
Diageo +8%
FTSE 100 –7%

ii) Higher pric e points soften while mid-range prices appeal more. 

The number of bottles sold at auction which were priced at over GBP 10,000 dropped from 530 in 2019 to 384 in 2020. Meanwhile, the GBP 250 to GBP 1000, and, more specifically, the GBP 250 to GBP 500 price points grew in share.

iii) The Macallan dominates volumes but not the investors favourite

The Macallan increased its market share of the volume of bottles sold at auction in the UK in the 18 months to end June 2021, with 43% share. However, The Macallan is ranked only 28th in the ranking of brands most favoured by investors. The top three ranked brands for investors were:
#1 – Springbank
#2 – Rosebank
#3 – Dalmore 

Dalmore rose to the top 3 for the first time in a long time due to limited edition and a sizeable backlog of aged releases. Other brands showing a significant growth in demand from investors are Glenury Royal, Port Ellen, Convalmore, Caol Ila, Glenfarclas, Glen Elgin, Oban. 

iv) New Distilleries enter the top 30 collectors’ rankings

For the first time ever, new distilleries entered the top 30 rankings for collectors. And not one, but two, made the list; Daftmill and Ardnamurchan. 

v) Other trends and forecasts for coming months

According to Andy and David at RW101, we are encouraged to look out for the following trends:
A return of higher priced items as whisky as an asset class gains more support.
Demand for silent distilleries continuing to grow as liquidbecomes rarer and rarer.
Full collections becoming more valuable that the sum of the constituent parts.

Diageo recovery under way

Diageo published its annual report at the end of July / early august and the news was positive. After a decline in 2019, the company announced net sales growth of +8% (organic +16%), with North America leading the way with an organic YOY increase of 20%. 

As well as some signs of hope for the beleaguered on-trade, Diageo highlighted a couple of things that are of particular interest to us. Firstly, that Scotch in China is “positioned for premiumisation” and, secondly, that e commerce is now a top priority. 

Johnnie Walker Experience caps a record GBP 185 million investment in whisky tourism in Scotland.

The much-anticipated Johnnie Walker Experience, final opened its doors on Princes Street in Edinburgh in early September. Previously an eight-storey department store, the Experience is the culmination of a record GBP 185 million investment in whisky tourism, that has also encompassed the reopening of Brora distillery and the revamping of Glenkinchie, Cardhu, Clynelish visitor centres. With spectacular views over Edinburgh castle, we can say from personal experience that The Johnnie Walker Experience is sensational and is rightly the talk of the town and across the Scotch whisky industry right now. 

Pernod Ricard surprise everyone with purchase of The Whisky Exchange 

September also brought the sensational news that Pernod Ricard had bought The Whisky Exchange , a leading spirits online retailer. The amount paid for the business, which turned over c GBP 80 million in 2020, was not disclosed, although Jefferies investment bank estimated the value of the sale at GBP 500 million.  

The Single Malt Fund Trading Activities in Q3 2021

www.thesinglemaltshop.com starting to gain momentum
September was the first month when we had a full range of whiskies on the site, having finally got over some Brexit related logistics challenges, most notably a much wider selection of Scotch. As a result, sales doubled in Sep v Aug! 

Coming out of hibernation
After 18 months without travel, we finally got over to Scotland and London in September to visit suppliers and were very encouraged by the positive feedback on our site. We are now preparing a next round of orders to stock up for the festive period. 

Slainte!

Ed Forrest
MD, The Single Malt Fund Trading Ltd.

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9 August, 2021

Brora Triptych

Brora Triptych is a truly special one – assembling a set of the three eras that epitomise Brora. Each liquid a celebration of restoration and an ode to the rare characteristics that define Brora whisky; waxy, peated and earthy. A collection of three vintages that define Brora never before released at once, this is a true collector’s piece.

9 August, 2021

Suntory Hibiki 30 Years Old

Suntory shines again! Of all the Hibiki bottles, the Hibiki 30 Years Old is the cream of the crop. It was awarded at the International Spirits Challenge in 2004, 2006, and 2008, and received the coveted title of “World’s Best Blended Whisky” at the World Whiskies Award in 2007 and 2008. Comprising of grain and malt whiskies aged for 30 years and over, a dram doesn’t get much better than this.

9 August, 2021

Midleton Silent Distillery 46 Year Old

The second release in the Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection is a 46-year-old single pot still Irish whiskey distilled in 1973 and matured in a single third-fill bourbon barrel. Aromas of apples, pears, lemon, oak spice, hazelnuts and worn leather fill the nose, complemented by notes of sweet red berries, star anise, ginger, malt and grapefruit throughout the palate and lingering in the finish.

30 April, 2021

Littlemill 29YO

Littlemill 29-year-old is the third release from the Private Cellar Collection, each crafted by Master Blender Michael Henry in Littlemill’s traditional Lowland ‘floral’ style. This latest release places emphasis on developing the wood character and only 600 bottles will be released across the world.

30 April, 2021

Karuizawa Noh 1981

Karuizawa is the gold standard of rare Japanese whisky. The distillery closed its doors in 2011, although it had not been producing whisky for over a decade. This bottle from the Noh series is from a single cask, distilled in 1981 and bottled 31 years later from single sherry butt #348. A very rare Karuizawa, with only 207 bottles ever released.

30 April, 2021

Glen Scotia 30 Year Old

Glen Scotia has gone and released another well-matured Campbeltown single malt – this time, they’ve bottled up an excellent 30 year old expression! It was drawn from European oak casks and bottled up at cask strength, with only 500 bottles produced. Incredible stuff from a marvellous distillery.

30 April, 2021

1988 Middleton Very Rare

The Midleton Very Rare series is incredibly popular with collectors and many are seeking to complete an entire range with every year spanning 1984 to the present day. Some vintages are harder to find than other. None more so than 1988, which is the real unicorn amongst Midleton Very Rares.

31 January, 2021

Black Bowmore 1964

The third of the three extraordinary Oloroso cask 1964 Bowmores released in the mid-1990s, this final batch was of 1812 bottles. With an almost unfathomable concentration and intensity of flavour, and with the perfect balance of fruit, peat and power, this whisky deserves the frequently overused ‘legendary’ tag and has assumed almost mythic status amongst whisky collectors and aficionados.

31 January, 2021

The Macallan 1984 18 YO Sherry Oak

An old, classic presentation of the 18-year-old Macallan, distilled in 1984 and exclusively matured in sherry oak casks from Jerez de la Frontera, this one’s a beaut. Bottled at 43%, the desirable vintage showcases plenty of sherry influence, as expected, as well as signature Speyside notes.

31 January, 2021

Port Ellen 1978 2nd release

The second in Diageo’s series of annual Port Ellen bottlings, using the remaining stocks of this closed distillery. 12000 bottles were released in 2002 as a 24 year old whisky. Clean, sweet, powerful and smoky, this another classic Port Ellen expression that has a delicacy and less oaky style than other contemporary Islays.

31 January, 2021

The Dalmore Constellation Collection

A series of 21 vintage Single Cask Whiskies created in the Highland distillery between the years 1964 and 1992, and bottled at natural cask strengh.

31 January, 2021

Mortlach 35 Year Old 1936 – Connoisseurs Choice

A rare 35 year old Mortlach that was distilled in 1936 and bottled by Gordon & MacPhail as part of their Connoisseurs Choice range in the early 1970’s and this was an Italian import bottling.

31 January, 2021

Old Rip Van Winkle 25-Year-Old Bourbon

Distilled in the spring and fall of 1989 and stored on lower levels of a metal warehouse built in 1935 at the Van Winkle family distillery. In 2002 the barrels found a new home at Buffalo Trace and in 2014 the juice was dumped into stainless steel tanks to halt the aging process. And now, it’s ready for release. But only 11 barrels made the full trip, resulting in a mere 710 bottles.

31 January, 2021

The Glenfarclas Family cask collection

A custom-made cabinet in the form of a travel trunk, this extremely-limited collection contains fifty 200ml bottles, sampling every single Glenfarclas Family Cask vintage from 1954 until 2003.

31 January, 2021

Yamazaki 50 Year Old

Matured in the finest Japanese mizunara oak casks, the 50 year old is thought to be the oldest expression available from the distillery, which was established in 1923 by Shinjiro Torii.

16 November, 2020

Midleton Dair Ghaelach Bluebell Forest Tree 6

Composed of Single Pot Still whiskey between 12-23 years old and matured initially in American oak barrels. This gorgeous whiskey is finished in native virgin Irish oak casks. These casks have been sourced from Bluebell Forest, Castle Blunden Estate in County Kilkenny. Every bottle can be traced back to one of six different 130 year old Irish oak trees that were sustainably felled.

16 November, 2020

Midleton Very Rare 2018

The 2018 edition of the Midleton Very Rare vintages is a luscious whiskey and it comes in the new and suitably lavish packaging and bottle. Smooth, with notes of vanilla and fruit, it has a rich spicy pot still finish. Yet another fine example of the stunning quality coming out of Irelands leading distillery.

16 November, 2020

Midleton Very Rare 2017

From the most sought after collection in Irish whiskey comes this 2017 edition of the Midleton Very Rare Vintages. It comes in the last of the old- style packaging. It is a complex fruity whiskey, that culminates with a long spicy finish, a true pot still character.

16 November, 2020

Redbreast 27

After nearly 3 decades resting in casks that once held bourbon, sherry and ruby port comes the oldest ever release from Redbreast whiskey. The brand that continues to win the most prestigious awards for Irish whiskey has now created a stunningly rich and intense pot still whiskey. One of the pinnacles of whiskey from the island of Ireland.

16 November, 2020

Midleton Very Rare 1973 30 Year Old

Released in 2003 as a limited edition aged in three types of barrels- American oak, oloroso sherry butts, and port pipes. This special edition was carefully assembled by former master distiller Barry Crockett from some of the last remaining pot still whiskys from the Old Midleton Distillery. Only 800 bottles were made available.

We have secured the last remaining bottles from Irish Distillers, of this Midleton release.

16 November, 2020

Midleton 20th Anniversary Bottling

This is a commemorative edition issued on the 20th anniversary of the launch of the flagship Midleton Very Rare whisky. It is bottled at cask strength. The bottle comes with two crystal glasses with which to enjoy your whisky. Only 400 bottles were produced.

We have secured the last remaining bottles from Irish Distillers, of this Midleton release.

16 November, 2020

Dalmore 35 Year Old and Dalmore 40 Year Old

Thanks to our friends at Whyte & Mackay, we have taken up their offer of a few of these rare bottlings of this iconic distillery. 

Released in 2016 and bottled at 40% abv, Dalmore 35 has aged in a Bourbon barrel, a Matusalem Sherry butt, and a colheita Port pipe.  

Dalmore 40, released in 2017 from the Highland distillery has matured in American white oak ex-bourbon barrels, before aging further in 30-year-old Gonzalez Byass Matusalem Oloroso Sherry butts. The whisky was then finished in first-fill Bourbon barrels.

French crystal house Baccarat was enlisted to design the hand-blown decanters, each decorated with The Dalmore’s 12-point stag emblem, which was created by Royal Warrant holders Hamilton & Inches.

These bottles are highly sought after by collectors world-wide. 

16 November, 2020

Glenfiddich Rare Collection Cask 20050

A 30 YO single cask commemorative bottling, celebrating 50 years of The Glenfiddich Distillery Visitor Centre. 

We have acquired some bottles of this limited release of just 200 exceptional bottles. 

The very rare Glenfiddich single cask no. 20050 was laid down on Christmas Day in the centenary year of the brand, 1987. Matured for over 30 years in American Oak Hogsheads this is a sublime, genuinely sophisticated malt. Considering the limited amount ever released of this exceptional malt, we are enthusiastic about this investment. 

16 November, 2020

Bowmore 26-Year-Old

Limited to just 565 bottles, this is another fine example of a rare independent bottling from a distillery whose bottles are consistently sought out by collectors.

16 November, 2020

Bowmore XOP 30-Year-Old

This XOP Black from independent bottler Douglas Laing is one of just 276 bottles made.
Islay’s oldest distillery is the 3rd most collectible brand according to a recent report
from Rare Whisky 101. 

16 November, 2020

Cragganmore 15-Year-Old

1869 bottles harks back to the founding of this distillery in the year 1869 This bottling is only sold at the distillery in Speyside. A unique bottling from a famous distillery and a sought-after brand due it its rare appearances in the collectible Special Releases from Diageo.

16 November, 2020

Glenfarclas Chancellors Cask – 25-Year-Old

Available exclusively at the Glenfarclas distillery, where there are only 275 bottles from this single cask bottling in existence. Filled into a single sherry hogshead by the Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time in 1994.

16 November, 2020

Glenmorangie Grand Vintage 1989

Part of the exclusive vintage collection. The limited release of the Grand Vintages have ensured they have become hard to find. Its prominence amongst collectors is shown in Glenmorangie’s continued appearance in the list of collectible whiskies on Rare Whisky 101 reports.

16 November, 2020

Talisker Bodega 2 – 41 Year Old

With only 2000 bottles created for each of the new Bodega Series, Diageo has showcased this island whisky’s sherry cask heritage. This is the oldest ever whisky from the Isle of Skye. 

16 November, 2020

Mortlach 30-Year-Old

Another single cask bottling from the exclusive Hunter Laing Old & Rare Platinum range.
Only 317 bottles of this sherry matured Mortlach are available. A brand whose bottles
continue to prove highly collectible and a good investment. This sherry monster is worthy
of any collection.

thesinglemaltfund.com

The Single Malt Fund AB (publ)

Business ID: 559118-4949

ISIN: SE0010547299

AIF-Trustee: Finserve Nordic AB

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