Question to our readers: Is this bottle an investment?

The other night, I was invited to a tasting at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) by my Uncle. It was a tasting with the Police club, who are an excellent and knowledgeable bunch of guys. The stories they have about being in the Police over the last 20 years are hilarious.

We tasted 5 different single cask whiskies. A Springbank, an Ardbeg, an Auchentoshan, a Mortlach and the Whisky that inspired  my interest: A Dailuaine. The reason I am interested, I am ashamed to say, is personal gain. Is this bottle an investment? I wonder….

A taste of the past
Cask No. 41.48 (For those who don’t know the SMWS: Distillery 41 is the 41st distillery they bought from, which is Dailuaine, and this is the 48th cask from them)
Age: 29 years Outturn:93 bottles
Colour: Dull gold, old gold Date distilled: December 1980
Cask: Second fill ex-sherry butt Alcohol: 52.5%

To nose this is to open a drawer in an ancient, well-polisheddark oak dresser, with some Harrogate toffees lurking in a
corner. Lively for its age, but the nose prickle soon wears off,revealing both meaty (honey-glazed pork, leather satchel) and
floral notes (faint attar of roses). The latter become dried rosepetals, or pot-pourri in a brass bowl, when water is added; theformer a roasting tin, glazed with treacle.
At natural strength,the taste is peppery, with Hessian and polished leather; withwater the texture is waxy and tooth-coating; the taste sweet with a shake of salt, and a whiff of fireworks in the finish. Old
Drinking tip: A little gold for a rainy day with toffees

The Logic

Why would I think it is an investment?

Well there are a few reasons I think this Dailuaine may be an investment:

  • There are only 93 bottles of it in the World! This makes it rare and rare normally equals expensive
  • It is a bloody good dram
  • Dailuaine is a very hard whisky to get your hands on. I don’t even see many independent bottles of it.
  • It is 29 years old and it is only £79.30.

The problem is: I am no whisky speculator. I have never bought a whisky as an investment. Is SMWS whisky collectable? Do Society bottlings reach high prices on auction? I have heard that the 1st editions of SMWS bottlings (i.e the first time the society bottles from a distillery) are valuable, but that is as far as my knowledge goes.

Is this Whisky an investment?



  1. Hi Chris,
    It’s a fetching dilemma to have – and even in my short time dramming I have been guilty of trying to justify a purchase based on what it might repeal for me in the future.
    Whisky investments are a fascinating, subjective/objective facet of the industry and one I would love to know more about. Is this not a very artful double bluff on your part, though: tell us all its gorgeous so we go out, buy and consume them making yours one of, say, one?
    Seriously, though, unless there is a story behind the cask, or whether its provenance was from a particularly fruitful period in the life of Dailuaine my hunch would be No, not of much investment value. The distillery is one of the most prolific workhorses in the Diageo portfolio and isn’t going anywhere for a while. It isn’t in the WMI top 50 at auction and nor does it have a stellar reputation for excellence – not helped by the fact that there are so few expressions kicking around, of course.
    However, there’s nothing to stop you buying it now and, as you’re young, holding onto it for a while. If nothing much has happened after 5-10 years then you have a lovely dram to open. Win win win win, really.

  2. You saw through my plot. I planned to buy the bottle and then have you drive the price up (joke)

    I think though, that by you encouraging me to buy the bottle, you have your own plot. You want me to bring this bottle up to St Andrews and share it with you and all your friends. Probably a far better idea than buying a bottle of whisky that you enjoy and not drinking it. I’ll stick to my original policy of opening every bottle I have and tasting it.

  3. I wouldn’t say so. Can’t back it up though, it’s just my gut…

  4. Hidden agenda? Moi? You’re one shrewd customer, Chris! St Andrews would welcome you and your whisky with open arms, though.
    Estimating accrued value is a gamble – popping the cork and savouring a unique whisky guarantees a return.

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