Whisky Magazine Issue 94
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Jonny McCormickputs the year that was under the hammer.
There's no two ways about it, 2010 was a thrilling year for the whisky auction market.
A new record price was set for a single bottle and more whisky auctions took place, selling more bottles than ever before.
Since the Whisky Magazine Index (WMI) was launched, we've tracked the steady growth of the market while curious whisky collectors reviewed their liquid hoard and dabbled with selling and acquiring rarities. The remarkable upward trend through 2010 was inescapable as each auction outperformed its 2009 counterpoint, in itself a year crowned by Bonham's colossal Fulsom collection sale in three continents.
Unlike other indices of financial performance that are based on value alone, the WMI combines the volume and value of sales, which adds a second dimension to the whisky secondary market. Not every whisky will attract a buyer at auction, and many still sell for the same or below their original retail prices and if too much of a particular brand or bottling appears at any one given time, prices tend to drop as the perceived scarcity is diminished in the minds of the buyers. The dominant player in 2010 was Europe where 76 per cent of the WMI eligible bottlings representing 65 per cent of total sales were made (with the U. S.
selling 21 per cent of the bottles for 32 per cent of the total market and Asia selling the remaining three per cent).
Last year, a notable rise in the number of bottles sold at auction without a universal rise in prices meant analytically the volum...