The Whiskystats Price Update for March 2022
Japanese whisky continues to impress. Karuizawa leads the way, but Yoichi falls back. At the same time, we see consistent value gains for Glendronach, but the erratic price movements for the Cask Strength batches are still a thing. Here is the Whiskystats Price Update for March 2022!
This latest round of auctions brought almost 17 thousand new price observations to our database. Without any surprise, Macallan and Springbank are the most traded brands of the month. We recorded 1.720 and 1.432 bottles being exchanged, respectively. But while the most traded Springbank releases kept their momentum and gained yet another 5% in value, price increases for Macallan stalled this month. Our Macallan index lost 0,53% and remained at just above 500 index points.
If there is any continuity in the market, it is the fact that collectable Japanese whiskies gain in value. It’s now the 20th month in a row that our Japan index is in the plus. Since July 2020 this index, which captures the price changes of the most traded Japanese whiskies every month, has gained a staggering 75%! In the March 2022 round of auctions, prices climbed by 3,8% again. A look at the top three ranked Japanese distilleries unveils where these gains are coming from.
Over the past couple of months, we observed particular strong value gains for Karuizawa and Yamazaki. Our Yamazaki index thereby even overtook Hanyu and currently takes third place in our distillery ranking, ahead of Macallan. Leading this ranking is Karuizawa, and the most traded Karuizawa releases just gained another 5% in value, as represented by our Karuizawa index. But this month Hanyu is the best performing Japanese distillery. A plus of 6,28% saw Hanyu reclaiming the overall fifth place leaving behind Brora.
We want to back these abstract index movements with some actual price changes. The major force behind Karuizawa is again the Fugaku Sanjurokkei series. This month we observed massive price jumps for many of the releases, like the 4th Release displayed above but also for the 2nd, 3rd and 5th Release. For Hanyu, it is the Malt Card series that stands out. The Seven of Diamonds is now selling for 15.000 Euros, the Ace of Diamonds achieved more than 22.000 Euros and the Eight of Diamonds sold for almost 27.000 Euros.
A remarkable exception to the gaining streak of Japanese whisky is Yoichi. With a minus of close to -10%, our Yoichi index was the worst-performing distillery index overall. The Yoichi SMWS 116.17 sold for 4.600 Euros which is quite a significant loss compared to the 6.200 Euros from January. And the Yoichi 15yo fell back to around 620 Euros after it realized more than 900 Euros in February.
There is no question that Springbank is the hottest topic on the secondary market right now. Over the last four months, our Springbank index signals an unprecedented price explosion of more than 45%. Not quite as dramatic but still remarkable is what we’ve observed for Glendronach in 2022 so far. Over the first quarter, our Glendronach index moved from 231 to 281 points which equals a 22% gain. In this latest round of auctions alone, we noted a plus of 6,7% for the most traded Glendronach releases. Responsible for this are, among others, some of the Glendronach Single Casks.
The Glendronach 40yo (1972) Single Cask 710 displayed above is the most extreme example. Only in February, it was selling for 4.700 Euros. But this month the buyer’s price came in at almost 7.000 Euros. On a different scale but pointing in the same direction is the Glendronach 19yo (1995) Single Cask 3806. This whisky now fetched 420 Euros after it sold for 280 Euros last month. The story repeats for the Glendronach 21yo (1992) Single Cask 195 and the Glendronach 21yo (1991) Single Cask 145 as both achieved new record prices. But there are notable exceptions, like the Glendronach Cask Strength batches.
In our January 2022 Price Update, we highlighted the Glendronach Cask Strength Batch 4. Back then, we observed significant price differences between EU and UK auctions. While those differences settled in, price charts for many of these Cask Strength batches are far from telling a clear story. Batch 2 displayed above currently sees prices varying between 120 and 250 Euros. While most of that is probably due to the different audiences of the respective auction houses, Batch 5 is jumping from 140 Euros to 220 Euros back to 140 Euros at the same auction house.
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