The Whiskystats Fabulous Fifty
Thanks to the Whiskystats community we narrowed down the 50 most iconic and sought after bottles which are regularly traded on the secondary whisky market. These precious selection shall form our new Fab50 index which we hereby want to officially introduce to you!
The purpose of this index is to represent and track the value of some true collector´s favourites. We wanted these single malts to be rare and exclusive, but also to be still available on the market and comparably affordable. This is why the Fab50 is not just a listing of the 50 most expensive whiskies ever sold on auctions. Rather its a gathering of some truly nice bottles which at least have the potential to be drank at some point by some of us. In addition we also kept an eye on some nice diversification across the major regions and distilleries.
In its initial composition the Fab50 consists of 15 bottlings from Islay. This Islay faction is of course led by Ardbeg with four bottles, followed by Port Ellen, Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Bowmore with each two representatives. The second strongest regions in the Fab50 are the Highlands and Speyside, where of course the dominant distillery (in terms of number of bottles in the Fab50) is Macallan with three bottlings included. You find a full listing of the Fabulous Fifty in our index-collection of our Toolbox.
The oldest bottling in the Fab50 is the Glenfarclas 46yo (1954). Distilled more than sixty years ago, this whisky matured in casks for almost half a century. Only two years ago, in March 2015, this Glenfarclas was sold for around 600 Euros. Then the prices started to climb. The peak was observed in August 2016 where one of the 1.193 bottles was sold for more than 2.600 Euros at Bonhams Hong Kong.
The second oldest vintage among the Fabulous Fifty is the Laphroaig 40yo (1960). In total we find 89 price observations for this Laphroaig, the first ones coming from July 2008.
Back then the prices already had a pretty high level at 1.400 Euros. The latest trades from March 2017 all exceeded the 4.000 Euro threshold and even went as high as 6.300 Euros in September 2016 at ScotchWhiskyAuctions.com.
The Most Expensive
Speaking of high prices we of course also take a look at the currently most expensive member of the Fab50. Unsurprisingly it is a japanese single malt from the Karuizawa distillery. Also not too much of surprise is that it is one of the infamous single cask bottlings. The Karuizawa 42yo (1967) Single Cask 6426 is the single most expensive bottle in our Fab50 collection.
Since the midth of 2016 it seems like the prices for this whisky stabled at around 8.000 to 9.000 Euros. What is even more fascinating is a look at the historic prices. Early trades come from the years of 2010 and 2011. Back then, these bottles were sold for less than 1.000 Euros. Then the japanese whisky boom set in and prices climbed to an unbelievable height of more than 20.000 Euros, of course paid at Bonhams Hong Kong.
The Fab50 Index
At last we take a look at the actual Fab50 index. From now on you find this index and its major characteristics in our Toolbox and we will regularly monitor it in our Monthly Price Updates. The Fab50 index starts with an initial value of 100 index points in December 2011. The index describes the relative changes in value of the 50 included whiskies. The Fab50 graph (showed below) displays the six months moving average. In February 2015 the index broke through the 200 points line. This means, that from December 2011 to February 2015 the value of the included bottles doubled. The index then continued to climb until September 2015, where it stood at about 250 index points.
It staid at the level of 250 points until April 2016. From April to September 2016 it climbed again to reach 275 index points, i.e. the value of the Fab50 increased by 10%. Since then, the Fab50 index did not move much in any direction. The latest index-value is 273 index points from April 2017. The current value of the Fab50 is 82.700 Euros, hence we are looking at an average of 1.654 Euros per bottle. This is what we meant by expensive but comparably affordable.
We will regularly recheck on our Fab50 collection and inform you about possible changes. If you have suggestions for substituting single bottles or the like just use our Whiskystats Forum to drop a note.