MARKET ANALYSIS

The 10 Most Wanted Scotch Distilleries

12. November 2015 | 6.4K Views
Please note that this article is based on the old Whiskystats database.
Some numbers and figures may not match what you find in the Whiskystats 2.0 database.

In this article we count down the 10 highest ranking scotch distilleries according to our whiskystats distillery indices. While some placings surprise, many of the well-known scotch market leaders appear where they belong. 

Our whiskystats distillery indices represent the price evolution of the most traded bottles for each distillery. As our price observations result from the supply and demand on the secondary whisky market, we interpret an increase in value as an increase in the wanted level. Therefore, we can use our distillery indices to determine and rank the most wanted scotch distilleries.
 
Please note that the following list is based on the data of October 2015. As we observe new prices, this ordering is subject to change.
 
Place 10: Bowmore
 
Founded in 1779 by David Simpson, Bowmore is the oldest distillery on the isle of islay. With the October 2015 index value of 210 the 100 included bottles more than doubled in value over the past 10 years. This ensures a place under the whiskystats top 10 distilleries.
 
Place 9: Ardbeg
 
Another cult distillery from islay. The Ardbeg distillery is famous for its heavily peated whiskies and belongs to the most traded distilleries on the secondary whisky market. In the last three months though, the index dropped by more than 10 points. Just a short setback or are these bottles overpriced in general? We are curious to find out in the next couple of months.
 
Place 8: Convalmore
 
Closed in 1985, the bottles left of this speyside distillery remain popular. For the 18 bottles included in our index we observed 260 trades in the last decade. In our analysis of the October 2015 Price Changes we just recently figured out that these bottles lost almost 5% of value in one month.
 
Place 7: Tobermory
 
The only distillery on the isle of mull represents the first little surprise on this list. With an index value of more than 230 points in October 2015, the 20 included bottles are valuable as never before. Worth noticing is that we list Tobermory and Ledaig as separate distilleries although they are technically the same. The reason for this is their “difficult to get your head around” history which saw them parted, closed, sold or reopened separately or together.
 
Place 6: Millburn
 
The second silent distillery on our list is Millburn. This northern highland distillery is said to be founded in 1807. The by far most traded bottles of this distillery belong to the Rare Malts Selection series. With only 16 bottles included in our index, millburn whiskies belong to the rarities on the secondary whisky market.
 
Place 5: Speyburn
 
The recently upgraded Speyburn distillery opens the top half of our list. At the moment, only 14 bottles are included in its index. But since more than half a million bottles were sold on the primary market back in 2013, we expect this number to rise in the upcoming years.
 
Place 4: Rosebank
 
Since our index values measure the price increase over the last decade, it is of no surprise that yet another silent distillery ranks under the top ten. The Rosebank distillery was closed in 1993 leaving us a wide range of triple-distilled scotch whiskies. 42 of these bottles are covered by our index indicating that their value increased for more than 150%.
 
Place 3: Port Ellen
 
The alpha animal under the lost distilleries makes it to the podium of our distillery ranking. Port Ellen closed, as many other distilleries, in 1983. The most traded bottles all matured for at least 18 years which meant that they hit the primary market in the first decade of this millennium. From there they went straight on the secondary market, which is the reason why we observed 2300 trades of this closed scotch distillery in the last decade.
 
Place 2: Macallan
 
According to our database, Macallan has the highest relative market share on the secondary whisky market. By October 2015, more than 4.5% of our recorded bottles were distilled in this speyside distillery. One reason for this is that Macallan is also the third biggest single malt producer in the world. The 100 bottles included in the index almost tripled in value over the last decade. In 2017 Macallan will open their new distillery complex which then makes it the biggest malt distillery in Scotland.
 
Place 1: Brora
 
Top of the list ist Brora. Founded in 1819 as Clynelish, closed as so many other scotch distilleries in 1983. According to Serge Valentine, the first bottling of a Brora single malt was done in 1989 and many followed. In our database we list 130 different bottles from which 69 met the criteria to be included in the distillery’s index. The most traded bottles again all belong to the Rare Malts Selection series. Like the Macallan bottles, the Brora whiskies almost tripled in value but haven’t crossed the ominous value of 300 yet.
 
As one could have expected, this listing is dominated by silent distilleries. Out of the top four, Macallan is the only distillery which is still producing. We will revisit (and update) this list in a couple of months. If you have any suggestions or questions let us all know and leave a comment!