After a down year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the rare whisky market in the United Kingdom is expected to rise by almost 30% in value in 2021, according to Rare Whisky 101. If it does, that’ll surpass all previous record.
Whisky analyst and broker Rare Whisky 101 found that the first six months of 2021 saw nearly 85,000 bottles of single malt Scotch sold on the secondary market, with a value of more than £36 million ($50m USD). If the trend continues, the analyst expects the market to reach 172,500 bottles this year, a rise of 19.88% on 2019’s record. In value, it’s expected to reach £75m ($104m USD), a rise of 30% over 2019’s previous record of £57.7 million ($79.5m USD).
Last year, COVID-19 impacted the secondary market for spirits, resulting in a slight decrease in the number of recorded bottles of single malt sold and their value at auction in the UK last year.
Rare Whisky 101 noted a V-shaped recover after the initial lockdown was lifted in the UK. November and December 2020 set new records in terms of volume with more than 16,000 bottles of single malt sold at auction. May 2021 recorded 16,858 bottles sold.
The average price of a bottle is also on its way up again. After peaking at £401.04 ($553 USD) in 2019, the average price of a bottle set a new record at the end of June 2021, £426.58 ($588 USD).
“After an inevitable dip in volume supply following the double impact of Covid-19 and Brexit, the secondary market for rare whisky is, once again, set to smash all records,” said Andy Simpson, co-founder of RW101. “In our view, the pandemic has shown us that physical assets, such as whisky, have become ever more popular. When combined with a growing global consumer thirst for single malt which shows no signs of slowing, we see no reason why prices will not continue to rise for the right bottles.”
Simpson added, “We’re also seeing stress in the high-value (>£5,000) segment of the market and have seen bottles selling recently for around 50% of their 2018/2019 high points.”
Springbank retained its number one position as the Scotch most in demand for investors, followed by Rosebank and The Dalmore. The Macallan, meanwhile, tumbled 17 places to the 28th spot.