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Issue 7 - Choice buys

Whisky Magazine Issue 7
December 1999


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Choice buys

Chrisitie's whisky consultant Martin Green takes us down the malt vault and advises on what to buy now and drink or sell later.

Whisky collectors tend to select from the following categories: limited edition single malts, by region, by distillery, by maturation, by their year of birth, very old and rare blended whiskies, and so on.

With limited edition malts the main thing to look for is the age of the spirit. Generally speaking, the longer the spirit matures, the more expensive it becomes. However, I do know a collector who only collects 21-year-old malts. The secret lies in selection, so examine the label and check how much information it gives. The important things to look for are:

Date and year of distillation and bottling
A clear statement of the age of the spirit when bottled
Bottle number
Quantity of bottles in the release or single cask selection
Cask number
Strength of the spirit

These are all important factors in determining the value and potential future value of the spirit. In 1989 for example, Glenmorangie selected eight casks of malt from the vintage years 1976 and 1979. The spirit was traditionally matured in American white oak barrels then transferred to first growth claret casks from Pauillac, Bordeaux to finish. The result was a very pleasing drinking malt. Each bottle was numbered and presented in a well-made case.

Bottles are now very difficult to find and although often come up at auction will command over £130 each. Many people purchased more than one bottle at an affordable price of around £50, drank some and saved the rest thus combining the opportunity...

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