The Single Malt Fund Trading Company

31 January, 2022

2021 – Q4 Whisky Investment and Market Report

Welcome to the Q4 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. 

Icons and Japanese bottles drive the market

The Rare Whisky 101 Apex 1000 ended the year with a very solid +13%, although the second half did slow down to +4%. Many brands saw a nice jump at the beginning of the year, possibly due to Chinese New Year, then settled down to more steady growth thereafter. Still, a full year growth of 13% after 2020’s 7% increase was a welcome return to double digit growth for the rare whisky market.

In Q3, we reported on the prognosis from our friends at Rare Whisky 101 that prices at the top end of the market were set to return to strength. This does indeed seem to be the case. The following two trends highlight this trend:

The Land of Rising Whisky prices continues to shine: the Japanese 100 index rose by a very impressive 34% in 2021, with the big names, Yamazaki (+39%) and Karuizawa (+32%) continuing to shine. This is even more impressive after a record-breaking year in 2020, which saw a Yamazaki 55 YO sell for US$ 795,000. 

Icons drive the rest; the RW Icon 100 index, which tracks the crème de la crème of rare whisky bottlings, grew by 22% in 2021. The Macallan, despite a plethora of confusing releases, continues to dominate and impress. After a strong year in 2020 when The Macallan shone with double the growth of the market, the behemoth of the rare whisky world showed in 2021 that demand remains strong, with another powerful performance. A 25% YOY increase for The Macallan bears this out. 

Diageo recovery continues apace

Hot off the press, Diageo has just published its interim report for the six months ending December 2021. The return to health is evident in a 20% increase in organic net sales and, more importantly and impressively, a 25% growth in organic operating profit. All categories performed well, although Scotch was mentioned as one of the key drivers. Also notable was the news that Diageo opened its first carbon-neutral whiskey distillery in the US in 2021 as well as breaking ground on a carbon-neutral distillery in China. 

Sotheby’s announce record results

The sale of the 80-year-old Glenlivet was one of many auctions that allowed Sotheby’s to announce record sales for wines and spirits in its year-end report. In fact, the highlight of the year was, undoubtedly, the “Distiller’s One of One” charity auction, which was held in December and comprised lots of never-to-be-repeated releases by the contributing houses. Also of note was a separate sale of the Dalmore, Decades No. 6 Collection. Highlights from Sotheby’s were as follows, all of which were records in some way:

  • Glenfiddich, The 1950s Collection: US$ 1.4 million
  • The Dalmore, Decades No. 6 Collection: US$ 1.1 million
  • Talisker, Cask of Distinction, 1978: US$ 831,780
  • Black Bowmore, Archive cabinet: US$ 563,000

What was also very interesting from Sotheby’s report was that 40% of wines and spirits buyers were new and one third were under the age of 40. That certainly bodes well for the rare whisky market.

Q4 Highlights

Icons and Japanese bottles drive the market
Diageo releases interim report
Gordon & MacPhail release worlds oldest single malt Scotch whisky
Sotheby’s announce record results
Pat’s Collection sale ends

Gordon and MacPhail release oldest ever single malt Scotch whisky

In October, Gordon and MacPhail released an 80-year-old from Glenlivet Distillery, the oldest single malt Scotch whisky ever to be sold. As expected, there was considerable buzz around this launch, with only 250 bottles, priced at Eur 80,000 apiece made available. Decanter number 1, put up for auction at Sotheby’s fetched a whopping US$ 193,000. 

Pat’s Collection ends

After over a year, December saw the culmination of the sale by Whisky Auctioneer of “Pat’s collection”, one of the biggest every seen. Over 9,000 bottles of some extremely rare and collectible whiskies were eventually sold. Quite an achievement!

The Single Malt Fund Trading Activities in Q4 2021

www.thesinglemaltshop.com celebrates the festive season

In Q4 we continued with another series of firsts as we went through our first ever festive season.
It was interesting to see how big Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become, to the point where it now matches the traditional December Christmas period for consumer interest.

The highlight of Q4 was the arrival of our second exclusive single cask bottling. Following on from our amazing Redbreast 22-year-old, in November, we collaborated with our friends from Irish Distillers on the launch of a Midleton 24-year-old single cask offering. 89 bottles were put up for sale for Eur 990 a bottle, and they all sold out in three weeks. 

We also sold our bottle of Midleton Silent Distillery in December, a 46-year-old highly limited edition of the oldest Irish whiskey on the market. 

After seven months of trade, we are starting to paint a picture of our early clientele and it is very exciting indeed. We have shipped to 18 different markets and sold a variety of amazing whiskies, from no-age statements to over 40-year-olds, and from Euros 50 a bottle to Euros 40,000 a bottle. Most encouraging of all was the positive feedback we received from our customers on Trust Pilot as well as the fact that a good number of people returned to the site to shop on more than one occasion.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our suppliers and partners for all their support in 2021 and look forward to making 2022 an exciting and successful year for The Single Malt Fund.

Slainte!

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

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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 thesinglemaltshop.com

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 thesinglemaltshop.com

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 thesinglemaltshop.com

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.

thesinglemaltfund.com

The Single Malt Fund AB (publ)

Business ID: 559118-4949

ISIN: SE0010547299

AIF-Trustee: Finserve Nordic AB

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