From lifestyle pages to sale rooms, rare whisky continues to make the headlines. A liquid asset that was once criminally undervalued now routinely fetches six-figure sums when the rarest bottles come to auction.
Distillers have not been shy about their ambition to cash in on this increasingly global demand, as collectors from Shanghai to San Francisco vie to get hold of the latest long-aged, highly limited release. When only a few hundred bottles are released onto the market, eye-watering price tags are no longer any obstacle to making the sale. Buyers have to move fast – or risk being disappointed.
Such is the turnover of rare whisky releases that it’s almost impossible to keep up. Just about every distillery in Scotland is raiding its warehouses to seek out decades-old casks to bottle, often tweaking the whisky’s character with an unusual finish to catch the eye of potential purchasers.