Bank manager Roger Parfitt bought a pair of The Macallan casks back in 1994 and just sold them for over $300,000.

By Jelisa Castrodale
July 19, 2021
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Can you remember what you spent your cash on in 1994? Maybe you dropped $20 for a Green Day CD, spent an entire paycheck to get Jennifer Aniston's "Rachel" haircut, or paid too much to rent Pulp Fiction from Blockbuster (and then had to pay twice that much in late fees). Regardless of what you bought, it probably didn't turn out to be the kind of investment that Roger Parfitt made that year. 

The then-thirtysomething spent £3,200 to buy a cask of The Macallan single-malt Scotch whisky, and sunk another £1,500 into a second cask of Tobermory. "I bought it on a hunch at the time," Parfitt told The Telegraph. "I remember thinking, if it doesn't appreciate in value, the worst that could happen is that you would have to get it out of the warehouse, bottle it and drink it. It always had that fallback for me — you could drown your sorrows if it didn't work out financially."

Cellar With Wooden Barrels To Store Wine, Beer, Rum, Whiskey
Credit: Fernando Macías Romo / EyeEm/Getty Images

But those purchases did work out, in a big way. Parfitt just sold both casks for £225,000 ($313,200) and that 4,700-percent return on his investment will allow the now 59-year-old bank manager to retire three years earlier than he'd planned, to pay off his home mortgage, and to take a family trip to Florida. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, he's also going to reinvest in whisky, buying a cask for each of his two children. "I hope in 10 years time, they will receive a windfall to support buying a house or a car," he told Luxurious Magazine

Another perk for Parfitt is the fact that Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, the United Kingdom's tax authority, has declared cask whiskies as a "wasting asset," due to the gradual evaporation of water and alcohol. As a result, Parfitt doesn't have to pay taxes on the profits of his two-cask sale.

Whisky Investment Partners, the broker that purchased Parfitt's casks, said that was the "greatest benefit" of putting your money into this kind of (literally) liquid asset. "It has been incredible to help someone achieve early retirement and pay off their mortgage based on an investment they made some 27 years ago," Alexander Moncreiff, the managing partner at the company, said. 

"There aren't many investments in today's world that you make thinking 'Worst case scenario, we will throw one hell of a party!' As Roger's story highlights, we believe whisky should be treated as a serious contender against other commodities." 

If you didn't invest in whisky in the early 90s, don't worry: some people have successfully sold their near-mint copies of Green Day's Dookie for $8.99 on eBay. That's something, I guess!