Are you planning on gifting a bottle to a whisky collector/investor? Here’s some tips to consider:
A big part of being a collector, is having bottles which are limited. Many distilleries offer some limited releases apart from their core range. So if you know some of the favourite distilleries of the person you’re gifting to, it’s pretty easy to find something worthwhile. Some are just great to gift for drinking, others might be a good investment for the future, because they’re increasing in value. If the latter is what you’re looking for, you can’t go wrong with:
- Islay festival (Feis Ile) releases, the ones from Ardbeg are always very sought after
- Small batches from popular distilleries like Macallan, Highland Park and GlenDronach
- Unusual and limited maturations, like Palo Cortado casks
- Vintages which are known for their high demand, like 1993 GlenDronach
Hard to find, but luckily hard to go wrong with. Closed distilleries like Littlemill, Port Ellen, Brora and Rosebank have a legendary status, but far from unobtainable. You can find them on auction sites, or even better: go to the better whisky specialist stores. Chances are high that they have some dusty bottles waiting to be bought by collectors. Sometimes there are modern official releases of old warehouse stock, like Port Ellen and Rosebank (who fall under the Diageo umbrella) tend to do. But it’s less costly to look for independent bottlings.
Discontinued bottles or bottles with old labels
Brands periodically renew their ranges and labels. Bottles with older labels are instantly worth (a little) more, and they’re not so hard to find. With patience a collector is able to make some money down the line. If the recipient of your gift doesn’t have that much patience, a discontinued bottle will be a slightly better gift. Especially when fans of that particular release consider it a huge loss. For example: the pre-2015 GlenDronach 15yo Revival.
With that many newly founded distilleries lately, it’s pretty easy to find their first releases, often named Inaugural Release or Edition. It’s part of the history of that distillery, it’s like a little monument, so a great gift to give. Be on the lookout for new distilleries and be sure that they’re at least 3 years old, because they can’t release any whisky younger than three years. Some examples: Raasay, Bimber, Brora (reopening soon), Ardnahoe, Lagg.