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Issue 24 - Inside track

Whisky Magazine Issue 24
July 2002

 

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Inside track

Keir Sword of Royal Mile Whiskies is in the chair

Investing in whisky is a complicated business. A couple of years ago everybody was searching for a bottle of Ladyburn to enhance their collection. Then Gordon & MacPhail brought out a bottling labelled as ‘Ayrshire Malt', which was soon followed by an official release of 3000 bottles and the demand was satisfied. The attention of the avid collector then shifted to Kinclaith and Ben Wyvis. This however did not preclude a vatted malt, labelled as ‘Ladyburn' for the European market, fetching up to £200 at auction. Presumably such sums were from unsuspecting collectors mistaking it for an old bottling of Ladyburn single malt. A clear lesson not to buy anything without first checking its provenance.

Distillers tend to save their special bottlings until the run up to Christmas, consequently January to June bring very few releases to raise the collector's blood pressure. Springbank's Rum Cask was one exception, all of our allocation pre-sold before making it onto the shelves. As always, Springbank had set a reasonable price, meaning that we could retail at around £35. Some web-based dealers were offering it at more than double this, proving that some new releases are capable of generating a short term return (although these are increasingly rare). Older Springbanks are worth snapping up just now if you can find any. The oldest casks at the distillery date back only as far as 1986, so look out for the very limited 15-year-old, released in June.

Another speculative option i...

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