The Single Malt Fund Trading Company

31 January, 2023

2022 – Q4 Whisky Investment and Market Report

Welcome to the Q4 2022 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. 

Industry news

In November, Diageo announced that it had agreed to buy Balcones, the “super-premium and above” American single malt distiller. American single malt is driving the whiskey market in the US with an average of + 18% growth from 2016 to 2021. This compares to the total super premium and others market which still delivered a healthy growth of + 13%. This is a big statement in terms of premiumisation as well as the future of American whiskey.

In our last report, we shared news of Diageo’s trading commentary announcement made in October, ahead of its AGM. To add to this, we would like to share the key comments from their CEO as follows; 

“We expect the operating environment to remain challenging with ongoing volatility due to geopolitical uncertainty, a weakening of consumer spending power, inflationary pressures and disruption related to Covid-19. However, I am confident in the resilience of our business and our ability to navigate these headwinds while executing our strategic priorities, including our ambitious 2030 sustainability plan.

We remain well-positioned to deliver our medium-term guidance for fiscal 23 to fiscal 25 of organic net sales growth consistently in the range of 5% to 7% and organic operating profit growth sustainably in the range of 6% to 9%.”

It will be interesting to see how strong the headwinds are and how major players like Diageo navigate through them. 

Pernod Ricard released its 2021 / 2022 annual report in Nov. Net sales +17% to exceed €10 billion for first time.

Conviviality, sustainability, data and technologically driven change were all at the heart of the Chairman’s message. The key drivers of growth in the coming years are expected to be; 

  • “More from the core”, ie, driving the core prestige pillar brands
  • Scale up innovation
  • Broaden coverage of route to consumer / consumer insights
  • People and sourcing

As well as the strategic guidance, it should be noted that Jameson exceeded 10 million cases for the first time in 2021 / 2022. 

Q4 Highlights

• Industry news
• Rare Whisky 101 report
• Auction update
• Trading update

Karuizawa and Dekanta join forces to revive Karuizawa name.

As reported in Whisky magazine in December, “two Japanese companies are joining forces to revive the Karuizawa name in whisky with the opening of a brand-new distillery, plus private cask sales and independent bottlings.

The newly formed Karuizawa Whisky Co. and Japanese spirits specialist dekantā have signed a 10-year partnership to bring the legendary whisky brand back to life – with permission granted to use the Karuizawa name on their spirits.

At the heart of the partnership is a new Karuizawa Distillery – in the mountain resort from which the original distillery took its name – which was built by Karuizawa Whisky Co. and started production in December 2022. The new facility will only produce sherry cask-matured whisky (a nod the original distillery), filling 250 casks each year, and does not plan to bottle any spirit under 10 years old. All casks will be stored at the distillery and bottling will take place on-site.”

Icons of Whisky and World Whisky awards.

The Icons of Whisky Scotland awards were held on 8th Dec 2022 at Balmoral, hosted by whisky Magazine, with the following key winners; 

  • Glenfarclas; distiller of the year
  • Whyte & Mackay;s Greg Glass Master Distiller / Blender of the year.

Prior to this, the magazine held their Icons of Whiskey Ireland awards on Nov 24th in Dublin. The main winners were: 

  • Irish Distillers; Distiller of the year
  • Waterford: highly commended
  • Master Distiller: Paul Corbert, Powerscourt Distillery

Irish Whiskey Association published its second annual International Trade Report; overall sales up 21%.

Challenges with supply chain and headwinds ahead but, according to Bushmill’s master distiller, Colum Egan, premiumization and sustainability are the keys to success.

Rare Whisky Q4 results

The Rare Whisky 101 Apex 1000, the barometer of the UK auction market for rare whisky bottles, declined by 1.7% in Q4, the second quarter of decline in a row. The Icon 100 and the Japan 100 were the indices that suffered the most. From a brand perspective, despite some positives, most notably from Balvenie, almost all brand indices dropped in Q4. The Macallan at -11% should attract the most attention given it’s importance to the UK auction market, as will the first quarterly drop in the Yamazaki and Karuizawa indices for quite some time. Is the bubble bursting or is this a temporary blip?

The fundamentals of high demand and low availability of rare and collectible whiskies shows no sign of abating. The industry simply does not have enough old whisky to go around and the rare bottles get rarer with age. These results seem to reflect a combination of the impact of the increased cost of living being felt across the globe as well as (and probably more importantly) a season of big news coming out of China, including the re-coronation of President Xi Jinping and the new spread of Covid across the country. 

The year ended on a positive note, however, with news of the opening up of international travel as well as a new focus on growing the Chinese economy. It will remain to be seen if that results in a pickup in the sales of premium whiskies to Chinese collectors and investors. 

Auction Update

Index Q1 Q2 Q3 YTD
RW Apex 100 5.2% 3.9% -0.6% 8.7%
RW Icon 100 11.5% 3.4% -3.2% 11.7%
Japan 100 9.0% 3.9% 3.0% 16.6%
Single Grain 2.2% 4.2% 0.2% 6.7%
Ardbeg 1.2% 8.4% 0.9% 10.7%
Balvenie -0.3% -2.0% 19.3% 16.5%
Bowmore 5.4% -2.7% 1.3% 3.8%
Brora 12.2% -0.6% -11.0% -1.0%
Bruichladdich -7.7% 17.7% -8.6% -0.8%
Bunnahabhain 2.0% 10.7% -2.8% 9.7%
Caol Ila 10.1% 1.1% -7.0% 3.5%
Clynelish 1.3% -2.6% -1.9% -3.1%
Dalmore 0.6% -4.9% -0.9% -5.2%
Karuizawa 10.9% 6.9% 5.5% 25.0%
Glendronach 3.4% 8.0% 12.4% 25.4%
Glenfarclas 0.3% -0.3% 6.2% 6.3%
Glenfiddich 1.9% -0.5% 2.6% 4.0%
Glenlivet 4.2% -3.6% 0.9% 1.3%
Glenmorangie -1.1% 4.5% -5.1% -1.9%
Highland Park 4.8% 1.0% -0.2% 5.7%
Lagavulin -2.0% 3.9% -1.1% 0.7%
Laphroaig 3.3% 6.6% -6.6% 2.8%
Macallan 12.6% 4.3% 5.9% 24.3%
Port Ellen 5.2% 2.7% 2.5% 10.7%
Rosebank 6.5% -6.5% -5.5% -5.9%
Springbank 5.8% 0.8% 2.1% 8.8%
Talisker 11.8% 10.0% 2.6% 26.2%
Yamazaki 10.9% 35.9% 6.8% 61.0%

Sotheby’s had a busy final quarter with 6 whisky auctions held across the globe.
Some impressive prices were reached across the usual main players; 

Oct 5 in London: World’s oldest whisky, The Macallan The Reach 81 YO; GBP 300,00
Oct 4 in HK: Karuizawa full set of Views of Mt Fuji: HKD 1.375 million. Yamazaki 35: HKD 1 million
Oct 21 in London: The Macallan Sherry butt cask: GBP 937,500. 
Nov 16 in London: The Dalmore 48 year old Luminary number 1: GBP 118,750
Dec 10 NYC: Yamazaki 55 year old: US$425,000

Bonhams were less active but one event in Hong Kong in November did stand out. A set of Karuizawa 36 views of Mt Fuji reached HKD 1.5 million, while a Macallan Lalique 55 YO sold for HKD 750,000.

The Single Malt Fund Trading Activities in Q4 2022

The highlight of Q4 was the launch another exclusive single cask bottling, this time a 10-year-old from Green Spot, part of the Irish Distillers stable. Selling for €380 and bottled at a whopping 58% ABV, this is a true winter warmer. Only 192 bottles were released most of which sold during the festive period. 

On top of the Green Spot, Q4 marked the sale of an exceptionally old and rare single cask for an undisclosed but significant fee. To top off a solid quarter,
we received our first order of The Macallan direct from Edrington and look forward to building a solid partnership with this key supplier as we go into 2023. 

Our first year for the e shop, ended with the follow key numbers:

  • €1.2 million in net sales
  • 3,342 orders
  • 5,658 units sold across 408 skus
  • 2,503 customers in 34 countries
  • Ave order of 1.7 units / €357 
  • 46,300 Facebook fans.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our suppliers and partners for all their support throughout 2022. 


Ed Forrest
Managing Director – The Single Malt Fund Trading Ltd.

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27 July, 2022

Yellow Spot single cask

The first ever Yellow Spot Single Cask. Harking back to the golden age of Irish Whiskey bonding, with 13 years in bourbon and re-casked into a Malaga cask. A nose of sweet cherries, vanilla and honeycomb, that leads into a silky palate of orchard fruits, treacle and delicate chocolate. A long warming finish. Simply wonderful.

27 July, 2022

Glenallachie Billie Walker 50th anniversary release

In celebration of Master Distiller Billy Walker’s half-century long career in the whisky industry, we are delighted to unveil the first in The Past, Present and Future Series: The GlenAllachie 50th Anniversary Past Edition.

27 July, 2022

Talisker 25-year-old

Shaped by ancient terrain, our volcanic nature reveals a new facet, every time the elements hit. Talisker 25 Year Old invites you to taste the earthy richness over and over as an enduring power echoes. A limited edition offering which makes the perfect gift or toast to a special occasion.

27 July, 2022

The Macallan Sherry Oak 25 years old

The Macallan Sherry Oak 25 years old forms part of our Sherry Oak range which features a series of single malt whiskies matured in hand-picked sherry seasoned oak casks from Jerez for richness and complexity. This special single malt delivers an intensely rich and full flavour character, citrus, dried fruits and wood smoke.

27 July, 2022

Glen Scotia 46 Year Old

The 46 year old marks our oldest release to date, with only 150 individually numbered bottles available worldwide. Originally laid down in refill bourbon casks. The finest have been carefully selected and re-casked in first-fill bourbon, before being finished in a single first-fill oloroso hogshead.

29 April, 2022

The GlenDronach 18YO Allardice

Named after the distillery founder this Highland whisky was matured in Oloroso casks and is another fine example of the sherry complexity that GlenDronach excels in.

Check availability at

29 April, 2022

Midleton Very Rare 2022

Combining whiskey aged between 12 and 33 years this Midleton Very Rare 2022 is the latest release from the pinnacle collection in Irish Whiskey. With delicate floral notes and vanilla on the nose, the palate releases caramelised apples and orange zest. The soft oak finish leaves you wanting more.

Check availability at

29 April, 2022

Caol Ila 24 YO 175th Anniversary

To celebrate the 175th anniversary of the opening of the distillery, this limited edition 24 year old Caol Ila has aromas that remind you of a campfire along with subtle spice notes. The palate is honied with light smoke.

Check availability at

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.

The Single Malt Fund AB (publ)

Business ID: 559118-4949

ISIN: SE0010547299

AIF-Trustee: Finserve Nordic AB

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