Over the past year, high-end whiskey outperformed all other “luxury assets” as an investment, according a recent, non-sobering report.
As Scottish firewater becomes more popular in markets across the globe, the value of high-end bottles of whiskey is rising even faster than their owners’ blood alcohol levels.
Bougie booze-buyers have some serious appreciation to appreciate: According to the impossibly pretentious-sounding “Knight Frank Rare Whisky 100 Index,” rare whiskey bottles appreciated 40% in value over the past year.
Other similarly snobby luxury assets, on the other hand, appreciated far less spectacularly: Rare coins appreciated 12% and both high art and fine wine appreciated 9%. Jewelry actually depreciated by 5%.
So, what led to this boom in high-quality hooch?
An intoxicating status symbol
Sales of traditional Scotch whiskey are booming in popularity across Asia: In 2018, sales of whiskey increased 44% in India, 35% in China, and 24% in Singapore.
Driven by Chinese drinkers’ demand for Scotch, an airline created the first direct flights from Beijing to Edinburgh last year. Now, deep-pocketed Chinese investors are regularly flying straight to Scotland to invest in the premium whisky motherland.
Where the whiskey flows like wine
Inspired by the increased global demand, Scottish distillers are building out new facilities to cater to whiskey tourists.
Diageo, the British multinational booze conglomerate, recently announced plans to invest $240m on whiskey-themed tourist attractions and visitor centers. Last year, 10 new Scottish distilleries announced plans to open.
But where there’s a booze boom, there’s sure to be Scotch scandal: Last year, a Chinese millionaire paid $10k for a single glass of whiskey that turned out to be counterfeit. Researchers who recently tested a sample of 55 “rare” whiskeys found that 21 of them were fake.