17 Aug Whisky: a singular liquid investment, but don’t drink the profits
van Myers, co-owner of World of Whisky in Sydney — the only dedicated whisky shop in Australia — says: “Whisky is not dissimilar to other investments; you need to do your research, understand the risks and balance this against the potential gains.”
For the investor starting out, Myers recommends going to a tasting session to “get an understanding on why whisky tastes the way it does. At minimum, most gain a greater appreciation of the amber liquid. For others, they connect and it starts to become a part of their life”.
Similar to traditional investments, the price of whisky is driven by the supply and demand tension in the market. Alex Chlebnikowski, manager at Nicks in Melbourne, says: “Whisky is unique. Unlike vodka or beer, fine whisky takes 20 years from production to when it’s ready to sell”. This means gluts and shortages occur as supply cannot be easily adjusted from year to year given the long production process. Chlebnikowski says “today there is a renewed demand for fine single malt whisky from the younger demographic. We’re seeing 25-year-olds buying fine whisky — not just elderly gentlemen as you might traditionally think.”
As such, the prices of premium whisky brands such as Yamazaki from Japan have increased from $300 up to $800 for their trademark 18-year-old product as demand has far outstripped supply.