The Single Malt Fund Trading Company
31 januari, 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.
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.
Managing Director – The Single Malt Fund Trading Ltd.
The Single Malt Fund AB (publ)
AIF-Förvaltare: Finserve Nordic AB