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The Macallan made a massive leap up Sotheby’s list of most valuable booze brands.

Mike Pomranz
May 04, 2018

The U.S. stock market had a hell of a year in 2017, but this past February, things cooled off significantly, and the Dow Jones has been in a bit of a holding pattern ever since. So where should investors turn? Booze might be the answer. Not drinking it to calm your nerves, though. Some coveted bottles of whisky from brands like The Macallan have dramatically increased their collector’s value recently.

Sadly, if you simply have a taste for Johnny Walker Red, your liquor cabinet is likely worth no more today than the day you stocked it. But when it comes to auction-worthy Scotch, Sotheby’s just released some striking figures. The value of sales of The Macallan whisky jumped 4,000 percent from 2016 to 2017—a dollar value increase of $2.8 million. As a result, the Scotch producer skyrocketed from Sotheby’s 100th most valuable wine and spirits brand to the auction house’s seventh most valuable brand. The Drinks Business called the move “an absolute sign of the surging popularity and value of Scotch whisky.”

Driving the increase was the fact that the two most valuable individual lots sold by Sotheby’s last year were both from The Macallan. A lot featuring 18 bottles of The Macallan Lalique Legacy collection sold for $987,994, and six bottles of The Macallan Assortment sold for $474,359.

Keep in mind, that’s just looking at Sotheby’s. Last October, a cask of The Macallan 1987 Single Malt Scotch sold by the Spink China auction house broke two records in one sale for the most expensive whisky cask and the most expensive per-bottle cask ever sold at auction. And the run on The Macallan is continuing: Earlier this year, a man set a record by buying two bottles of The Macallan 1926 Scotch for $1.2 million via a shop at the Dubai Airport.

Meanwhile, though The Macallan appears to be the record-toppler du jour, that’s not the only whisky brand with bigtime numbers. Sotheby’s third most valuable lot was a complete 58-bottle “Card Player Series” collection from the Japanese whisky brand Ichiro Hanyu that sold for $454,791. The auction house also highlighted a single bottle of The Dalmore ‘The 12 Pointer’ Aged 62 Years that sold for $123,911.

So, admittedly, though your personal whisky collection may not be worth a fortune, if you can afford to be in the collector’s market, there are probably worse places to put your money. The fact is, if the stock market crashes, you can’t pour your stocks over ice and drink them yourself.

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