The Whiskystats Price Update for November 2018

18. December 2018 | 3.4K Views

For the first time in Whiskystats history we observed more than 12.000 bottles of whisky traded within a single month! Seems like the prices suffered from this vast quantity of offerings though. Especially our Macallan index continues to lose ground. 

To be very precise we observed 12.888 trades of scotch, japanese and united states whisky in November 2018. Only 600 of those were made for Bourbon and Rye whisky. So this new record figure is no child of the fact that we recently started to track U.S. whiskeys too! In below chart we visualize the number of trades we made during the last twelve months. For each month we divided the different auctioneers we currently track.
Number of Trades November 2018
It was only in September this year when we observed more than 10.000 bottles for the first time. In October this figure jumped above 10.500 and now the new record breaking November round of auctions with almost thirteen hundred trades. And of course also the total trading volume is as high as it never was before. For all the trades we observed in last month the paid prices sum-up to a staggering 5,86 million Euros!

WWI Drop

So what happens to the prices when the number of offered bottles rises? According to our Whiskystats Whisky Index (WWI) they drop, and they drop quite significantly. In this round of auctions, the historically 500 most traded whiskies lost 6,2% in value. This sent our WWI from 210,7 to 197,64 index points. The sudden drop is very comparable to what we have seen in March this year when the WWI also lost around 6% within a single month. So what happened?
WWI November 2018
For this we first take a look at the top five distilleries in our monthly updated distillery ranking. There we see that the most traded Karuizawa bottlings even gained value by around 2,5%. The indices of Rosebank and Hanyu moved slightly and the most traded Yamazaki bottlings lost 1,8% in value. And then there is Macallan. In October 2018 the most traded Macallan bottlings lost 2,4% in value. Now, in the latest round of auctions, the most traded Macallans even lost more than 5% in value.
Top 5 Distillery Indices November 2018
But actually it is not only Macallan bottlings that experienced a decrease in price. Also our Bowmore (-3,8%), Brora (-5,2%) and Port Ellen (-2,4%) indices lost quite a bit. And there are many more which you all find in our distillery ranking. We even have a new taillight of our ranking. Our Wolfburn index dropped from 47 to now only 42,2 index points meaning that Kilchoman, which dropped from 45,4 to 43,5, now takes the 77th place in our ranking. Last but not least also our Fabulous Fifty selection of whiskies lost 3,3% in value. This hand selected collection of fifty secondary whisky market legends is now worth 114.438 Euros.

Value Losers

Instead of looking at our summarizing indices we now want to point out some of those bottles that caused the above mentioned index movements. FIrst-off is the Macallan Archival Series. In this series we find three expressions. Price observations for the Macallan Archival Folio 1 are displayed below. We see that in September 2018 prices at almost reached 3.000 Euros. Similar to our Macallan index however, in the months following the average prices dropped to 2.400 Euros in November 2018.
Macallan Archival Series Folio 1 by November 2018
Also the Macallan Archival Folio 2 experienced a comparable development. The average monthly prices dropped from 1.500 Euros to 1.300 Euros in November 2018. Same is true for the Macallan Archival Folio 3. Here the prices dropped from 2.300 Euros in September to 1.880 Euros in November 2018.
Another bottling that contributed to our Macallan index is the Macallan 15yo (1990) Easter Elchies Seasonal Selection. During the Macallan Price Rally of 2017 prices for one of these once existing 585 bottles climbed from 800 Euros to almost 3.400 Euros within fifteen months. Then, in spring of 2018, they dropped back to around 2.000 Euros where they level in ever since.
Macallan Easter Elchies Seasonal Selection by November 2018
So it seems like what we are currently observing for Macallan is the aftermath of the dramatic price increases during the last years. Many of the very collectable Macallan bottlings experienced drastic gains in value. The two major drops in our Macallan index happened in February/March and October/November 2018 and the two examples stated above perfectly depict what was going on. Prices for Macallan start to consolidate, at least for the time being.
As stated above, Macallan was not the only distillery index that lost ground in November 2018. Our Laphroaig index for example went down by 1,92%. One example for the whiskies that drove this index movement is the Laphroaig 12yo (1994) Feis Ile 2006 bottling.
Laphroaig 12yo (1994) Feis Ile 2006 by November 2018
In September 2017 prices for this Islay single malt reached 1.000 Euros at From September 2017 to September 2018 this whisky was traded at all the auctioneers we track and all of the prices fell in the range of 850 to 1.000 Euros. And then the November round of auctions came along and we observed some truly stunning trades. At some bidder was willing to pay almost 1.200 Euros. At the same time, at two price observations averaged to around 600 Euros. This equals a solid 100% difference in prices between the two different marketplaces!
As always, do not forget to recheck on the latest price movements of your personal whisky collections.