We do Blends

22. February 2019 | 2.2K Views

Blended whiskies like Hibiki, Compass Box and Johnnie Walker are now tracked by Whiskystats. The secondary market for these brands is growing strongly too. Here is our introduction of blends! 

The addition of blends marks the next milestone for the Whiskystats project. We now track prices of around 35.000 different whiskies in our database. For these whiskies we observed 485.000 trades. The unique thing about Whiskystats is that we do not only collect the raw price information, but we map them to the respective whiskies too. This is what enables you to track the value of your personal collections. And this is what enables us to analyze the movements of the market.

The Market

But first let’s have a look at the sheer number of trades. On the three auction platforms we currently track we see that the number of sold blends is on a constant rise. About three years ago we observed around 500 bottles per month. Since October 2018 the number of blends traded per round of auctions averaged to more than 1.000 bottles!
Blends: Number of Trades
This growth perfectly aligns with the overall growth of the whisky auction market. The relative share of blends traded each month is pretty constant and lies somewhere between 7% to 10%. About the same is true for the observed trading volume, i.e. the summed prices of all the registered trades. Here the relative share of blends roughly lies between 3% and 6%. Consequently, the traded blends are cheaper on average than their single malt and bourbon counterparts.
Blends: Trading Volume
It was back in 2015 when the total worth of all traded blends on the auction houses we track jumped above 50.000 Euros per month for the first time. In 2016 we reached 100.000 Euros quite regularly. Less than a year ago this figure touched the 200.000 Euros threshold and only in November 2018 we almost reached 300.000 Euros in a single round of auctions.

The Brands

We added no less than 171 different brands of blended whiskies. Thereby we differ the most different bottlings for Johnnie Walker and Suntory. To find out which are the most traded brands, we of course simply count the number of price observations. The Top 10 of the most traded blended whisky brands are displayed below.
Major Blend Brands When it comes to the number of traded bottles Johnnie Walker is the major brand for blended whisky. Since 2011 we observed almost 7.000 Johnnie Walker bottles changing their owner. The second most traded blend brand is Hibiki with little less than 4.000 price observations. On the places follow BallantineĀ“s and Compass Box with each around 1.600 trades. The Top 5 is completed by the Famous Grouse.

Outstanding Blends

We now have a look at the most outstanding bottlings on the market. For this, there are of course many different criteria to apply. So at first we take a look at those expressions of blended whisky which have been traded the most so far. With more than 750 trades the Hibiki 17yo is the single most traded blend in our database. Prices climbed from below 100 Euros back in the year of 2014 to a decent 400 Euros per bottle nowadays. Interestingly, it seems like in May 2018 bidders on all markets agreed simultaneously that this whisky should trade for twice the price it did before.
Hibiki 17yo
Also its little brother, the Hibiki 12yo, is highly sought after. Almost 500 trades saw the prices for this twelve year-old expression rise from 60 Euros to now more than 250 Euros. Other blends with around 450 trades are the Nikka Gold & Gold (Samurai), the Taketsuru 17yo Pure Malt and yet another Hibiki, the Hibiki 21yo.
We now turn our attention to the most expensive blends. Surprise, surprise, we stumble upon the next Hibiki releases. Both the Hibiki Arita Decanter and the Hibiki Kutani Decanter currently trade for around 16.000 to 17.000 Euros.
Johnnie Walker Signature Blend (Jenson Button)
Also not the best bargain, but with a hefty decrease in hammer prices, we find the Johnnie Walker Jenson Button Signature Blend. The first price observation we made was back in May 2016 when 17.000 Euros have been paid for this whisky. In 2017 and 2018 we observed this whisky for three more times. Those trades ranged from 10.000 Euros to 11.000 Euros.
This leads us to the question of which blends experienced the highest increase in value. The list of the top performing blended whiskies is completely dominated by Compass Box. Bronze, Silver and Gold all go to releases of this infamous scotch whisky blender. There is the Compass Box Hedonism (1st Edition). Prior to August 2015 this first Hedonism release traded for less than 200 Euros. Then this whisky disappeared from the auctions we observed only to reappear two months ago, in December 2018. But then it sold for more than 1.100 Euros leaving its owners with a 660% increase in value within three years.
Compass Box Hedonism (1st Edition)
Then there is the Compass Box Canto Cask 50. Once traded for less than 100 Euros, now selling for almost twenty times that price. In November 2018 a bidder at was willing to pay almost 2.000 Euros. We observed a similar price development for the Compass Box Eleuthera (Single Marrying Cask). 50 Euros in July 2011 and 720 Euros in October 2017 equal a 1.340% increase in value within seven years.
You can now search our database for these blends and track their value by adding them to one of your personal collections!