When a bottle of Karuizawa 52-year-old Zodiac Rat sold for a whopping £363,000 (about ¥47 million) at auction in London to an Asian private collector on March 18 — a record for a Japanese whisky — the eye-watering price capped a long-building trend: Japan’s take on the liquor is serious business. Cask Trade will arrange for clients to receive samples of their whiskies and visit their barrels(s), upon request – wherever possible. Knight Frank’s Rare Whisky Index: https://www.knightfrank.com/wealthreport/article/2020-04-16-how-valuable-is-whiskey-as-an-investable-asset-class. Included in its extensive list of customer services, Cask Trade’s rigorous processes means that the company will guarantee to buy back from its clients the casks they buy from and have had managed by Cask Trade. ), I’m a London-based whisky writer and co-founder of The Rhythm and Booze Project, a duo fusing live music and whisky through gigs, tasting events, and multimedia. Tomorrow, Pat’s collection of over 600 bourbon and American whiskey bottles will go under the hammer. “This, in turn, drives the prices up. Follow me at @schriebergfr, or at www.therhythmandboozeproject.com. In the official auction announcement, top bourbon expert (and fellow Forbes contributor) Fred Minnick notes how special this collection is: “Pat’s American Whiskey collection is a contemporary gold mine of ridiculously hard-to-find rare bourbons and ryes, ranging from nearly every bottle of the Buffalo Trace Experimental series to the coveted 1974 Van Winkle exports. On the other side of the economic equation is demand, which has shot up just as availability of age-statement whisky has slumped. This is how I’m able to come to terms with letting it all go! Auctionyourcask.com allows private owners and investors to sell their cask to independent bottlers and other investors all around the world. I’m very happy with the approach Whisky Auctioneer is taking, so I’m at peace.”. “Japanese whisky offers three important things for collectors: rarity, quality and beauty,” says Jonny Fowle, spirits specialist at the auction house Sotheby’s, noting that “the bottle design and packaging of Japanese whisky make it perfect for a collector to proudly host (it) on their shelves before the time comes to sell or drink.”. According to Knight Frank’s Rare Whisky Index – which tracks auction results of rate Scottish single malts, whisky auctions have proved popular during the pandemic and sales are up more than 3% this year (2020). The exorbitant prices that bottles are fetching naturally invites the question of who is forking out such vast sums of money for them. https://www.auctionyourcask.com/request-a-valuation. It also offers…. Split across separate auctions organised by Whisky Auctioneer, a few hundred bottles of the overall collection were first sold off last month, but there’s plenty more on the way. The auction, hosted by Cask Trade via its online auction website auctionyourcask.com, will go live on 25th November and run for 10 days until 5th December 2020. 4)        Complete transparency – Cask Trade own every cask it sells and hold all the essential paperwork. Sorry, but your browser needs Javascript to use this site. Further underlining Japanese whisky’s resilience, on May 16, the Ghost Series whisky collection, also from Karuizawa Distillery, sold at Bonhams for 967,200 Hong Kong dollars (¥13.36 million). All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. The more mature it gets, the more valuable it becomes. All casks will need to have had a recent re-gauge ready for auction and a full 70cl sample will be drawn so that bidders have the opportunity, wherever possible, to try the whisky before they buy. A rare recent example of an age-statement whisky, the Yamazaki 55, went on sale earlier this year for a cool ¥3 million per bottle before tax, with only 100 made available. We do have a very good archive based on the bottle shape, the capsule and the label and the quality of the paper, all this kind of archive in Bonhams, so we can mostly tell the differences.”, Elusive: Karuizawa Distillery’s rare Ghost Series whisky collection has labels displaying ukiyo-e prints from Tsukioka Yoshitoshi’s ‘New Forms of 36 Ghosts’ series. “I think that makes this category more accessible in terms of collecting,” says Lam. 2)        Each cask is unique and only a limited number are available. Bonded warehouses check-in each cask and perform a ‘dip’ test to measure the level of alcohol. By comparison cars have seen an increase of 194%, art by 141% and wine by 120%. It is that first point — rarity — in conjunction with the global appreciation of Japanese whisky, a relatively recent development, that has been the main driver behind the rise in prices. “While there is uncertainty across the globe, the fine wine and spirits markets are continuing to perform well.”, Republicans urge Trump to allow Biden briefings as vote challenges sputter, Tokyo’s tiny ramen bars close up shop rather than raise prices, Actors connect in 'subconscious' to play young and old Hokusai in new film, Hope rises for Tokyo Games after gymnastics event sticks the landing, Pacific isles and secretive states among last pandemic-free places, Episode 72: Preserving the endangered Ainu language, Directory of who’s who in the world of business in Japan. Whether you are a first-time or seasoned buyer, a collector, an investor, or an independent bottler, there is something for you! It is one of the strongest collections I’ve seen in my 15-year career; near every bottle is allocated and impossible to find.”. The auction will run from 30 October - 9 November. Estimates of bottles and strength in cask (effects of angels’ share 0ver years of maturations), Financial modelling for each cask based on age and rarity with estimated % returns, Costings for bottling, labelling and shipping (duty & tax), Regularly updated whisky investment guide which includes statistics from two authoritative third parties (independent of Cask Trade). HMRC-issued WOWGR (warehouse keepers, warehouse premises, owner of goods and registered consigners): a fully regulated and closely monitored license requiring due diligence on suppliers as well as customers. |. EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-4656670, on WHISKY AUCTIONS PROVE POPULAR IN A PANDEMIC – Whisky Auction News, https://www.auctionyourcask.com/members/login, https://www.auctionyourcask.com/request-a-valuation, https://www.knightfrank.com/wealthreport/article/2020-04-16-how-valuable-is-whiskey-as-an-investable-asset-class, Benriach, Clynelish and Ardbeg and Glenkinchie, The Strath Spirit Merchants – Victoria, BC, Delivery orders from supplier to Cask Trade, Invoices for transfer of ownership, storage insurance, re-gauging, sampling or movement. “Once a bottle fetches $100,000 (about ¥10.7 million), then people will start doing something dodgy,” says Lam. The auction will end on Monday 9 November from 7pm (GMT) Existing Customer? “For example, a Yamazaki 18 now, compared to last year, the price has gone up by 20 percent and roughly we would say that’s about $7,000 (about ¥755,000) a bottle now in Japan, compared to the normal retail price in 2012 of about $100.”. The Japan Times LTD. All rights reserved. To sign up to bid in the live auction, register here: https://www.auctionyourcask.com/members/login, Auctionyourcask.com is inviting people to register their casks for auction by 5th November 2020. Cask Trade has started the first live auction website dedicated to exceptional whisky casks: auctionyourcask.com. Casks to go under the virtual hammer are priced between £2,500 and £45,000 and include 2015 Glen Ord casks, a 2015 Glenrothes and a 2009 Glentuachers. Past Auctions: STANDFAST CHARITY AUCTION 2020 - Online auctioneer for buying & selling Scotch whisky, world whiskey, spirits & other alcoholic beverages. The common thread is Pat, an anonymous whisky collector who after falling in love with the water of life 15 years ago is now auctioning 9,000 bottles of whisky from around the world, the largest private collection ever put on offer. All casks will be re-gauged ready for auction and a full 70cl sample will be drawn so that bidders have the opportunity to try the whisky before they buy. The collection features a few bottles of Pappy Van Winkle. Estimated accumulative short-term returns of 40%, medium term of 80%, and long term 140%. Founded in 2018 by Simon Aron in partnership with several of the world’s foremost whisky masters, including Keeper of the Quaich Sir Colin Hampden-White, Cask Trade buys and sells exceptional cask whiskies. Those looking to register their cask for sale should complete an online form to request a valuation. I’m a London-based whisky writer and co-founder of The Rhythm and Booze Project, a duo fusing live music and whisky through gigs, tasting events, and multimedia. Our low buyers’ fee of 15% + VAT will offer the opportunity to buyers, trade or private, to buy rare casks. “The whisky and wine markets are still strong, as evidenced by the record we set very recently for the highest value ever achieved for a bottle of Japanese whisky,” says Fowle. We’ve seen this group of people coming up, appearing very rapidly.”. The report out in February 2020, says Rare Whisky has grown in value the most over the last 10 years at +564% and increased by +5% in the past 12 months; and states casks remained in huge demand. The company is unique because it only sells casks it owns outright, and it only sells whole casks: it is not a whisky cask broker and it does not offer fractional sales. WHISKY AUCTIONS PROVE POPULAR IN A PANDEMIC. I bought the bottle and I tasted it, a 19 year old Olde St. Nick, and I fell in love. It is still one of the best bourbons I’ve ever tasted.”. Thanks to a visit to an obscure shop located under a Japanese train station, the auction for the world’s largest private collection of bourbon and American whiskey will take place starting tomorrow. The Grand Whisky Auction are online whisky auctioneers specialising in limited edition, rare whiskies. When a bottle of Karuizawa 52-year-old Zodiac Rat sold for a record price at auction in March 2020, the sale proved Japan’s whisky is serious business. I am also a judge for the World Whisky Awards and The Independent Bottlers Challenge. The same report by Rare Whisky 101 claimed via the BBC that they had performed a controlled test of 55 rare bottles, of which over a third were fakes. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Whisky Auctioneer Head of Content Joe Wilson examines one of Pat's most valuable bourbons. The collection on offer features a near complete set of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, many sought-after Pappy Van Winkle bottlings the legendary 1974 A.H. Hirsch Reserve, and almost 100 bottles of Jack Daniel’s including the Sinatra Century, the Old No.7 Inaugural Bottle and the Gold Medal series. The location and health of the cask is verified before it makes it onto the stock list. Given the ongoing supply issues, the sky-high prices look unassailable, at least for the time being. Hosted four times a year and helping private owners/investors sell their cask to independent bottlers and other investors all around the world.