The Whiskystats Price Update for May 2022
We observed the most significant setback since March 2020. Islay stands out as all distillery indices were in the reds while the price consolidation for Springbank continued. Here is the Whiskystats Price Update for May 2022.
With more than 19 thousand whisky bottles changing hands, the May 2022 round of auctions was the biggest in terms of quantity this year so far. The trading volume amounted to almost 10 Million Euros, with around 500 Euros paid per bottle on average. However, the average price per bottle is not an adequate measure for the overall price performance, and that is where our Whiskystats Whisky Index (WWI) comes into play. The historically 500 most traded whiskies lost -3,8% in value last month. These -3,8% loss of the WWI is the biggest monthly setback since March 2020. In the whole history of the WWI, there were only three months with worse performance.
From December 2019 to April 2022, our Islay index more than doubled as it moved from 200 to 400 points. This month though, the historically 100 most traded Islay whiskies lost -6,2% in value. We observed a similar setback last August and September when the index gave way by -6%. The difference this time is that all our Islay distillery indices lost simultaneously. In the chart below, we compare these indices side by side. Each distillery index represents the monthly value changes of the 100 most traded whiskies at the respective point in time.
From this index comparison, we can conclude that the main drivers behind the above-mentioned strong performance of the Islay index over the past two years were Bruichladdich, Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Ardbeg and Port Ellen. Prices for collectable Bowmore still bounce back and forth in quite an extensive range since the substantial gains before Summer 2018. Bunnahabhain and Kilchoman continue to struggle in terms of secondary market performance. Something that was true for Bruichladdich too. However, since October 2019, our Bruichladdich index has gained more than 70%.
The worst performing whisky region of this latest round of auctions was again Campbeltown with a minus of -7,5%. It looks like the Springbank “price explosion” was an “explosion” indeed, as it may disappear as quickly as it emerged. Our Springbank index lost another -8,3% since prices of many releases fell back to their level of autumn 2021. This market movement also affected the Springbank subbrands Longrow and Hazelburn, as demonstrated by the Hazelburn 14yo Oloroso Cask below.
In March 2022, this Hazelburn release peaked at 370 Euros buyer price. The May prices now averaged 207 Euros, with some lots going as low as 165 Euros. Over the past two years, we regularly observed prices at or slightly above 150 Euros. So in some sense, prices have “normalized” again. The same applies to the Longrow 11yo Red (Pinot Noir), for which the lowest winning bid came at 168 Euros. Other releases, like this Hazelburn 15yo Single Cask from 2002, did fall back but are not quite at the old price level yet. It looks like the aftereffects of this price explosion will stay around for the foreseeable future.
Against the Current
A notable exception among all those value losses is our Fabulous Fifty collection. The total value of these 50 secondary market legends increased by more than 5% as it now amounts to 192 thousand Euros. Since March 2020, this collection has gained almost 55%. A perfect representation of this overall performance is the below displayed Brora 30yo 2004 Release. It currently trades for more than 3.000 Euros at both UK and EU auctions.
Another significant value gainer in the Fab50 collection is the Karuizawa 42yo Single Cask 6426. This Japanese single malt fetched close to 30.000 Euros at WhiskyAuction.com last month. Not quite that expensive but not particularly cheap either is the Macallan Royal Marriage 1981. The average price came in at 8.200 Euros, but we see a pretty hefty variability as prices over the past three months ranged from 6.800 Euros to 8.900 Euros.
In our Monthly Price Updates, we highlight the big market movements, which may not reflect your personal whisky collection’s price changes. You can start tracking the value of your own collection by becoming a Whiskystats member.