The Whiskystats Price Update for August 2016
Some numbers and figures may not match what you find in the Whiskystats 2.0 database.
Summertime flies by as the latest round of auctions took place. It seems like the overall price level took a short break from its steady rise. While the Yamazaki index soared up, price observations for Port Ellen bear some surprises.
Since WhiskyAuction.com are back from their summer break, a lot more prices were added this month compared to July. The key figures for this month´s price update are 3.513 added price observations which affected 2.158 whiskies in our database. The average price per bottle was 336 Euros which is the highest value observed in this year so far. Furthermore it is the fourth consecutive month where our overall market index, the whiskystats whisky index, grew. Although this month it only did so by a humble 0,1%. It now resides at 293,17 index points. Nevertheless, we are wondering if this upwards trend will continue and the 300 points threshold is in real danger some when soon.
Macallan, what else?
Macallan alone accounts for 277 of the 3.513 trades which we observed. This makes it the most traded distillery of the month. Consequently, our list of the most traded whiskies is also dominated by Macallan. In total an incredible 86 bottles of the Macallan 18yo (1997) Sherry Oak, the Macallan 18yo (1996) Sherry Oak, the Macallan 18yo Fine Oak and the Macallan 15yo Fine Oak were traded.
But it is not only the number of trades that make this highland distillery´s secondary market performance so impressive. A quick look at our Macallan index (displayed above) reveals that the prices of its 100 most traded whiskies climbed by a mesmerizing 26% over the last twelve months! In this month it even jumped over the mark of 300 for the first time. It was only back in January 2013 where this index reached 150 points for the first time. This means that since then, the value of those 100 included bottles doubled!
Port Ellen Annual Releases
Port Ellen has all the ingredients a secondary whisky market favourite needs. Once located on the Isle of Islay, the whiskies of this now silent distillery belong to the most sought-after pieces you can find on this market. But does this prevents Port Ellen whiskies from price setbacks? Apparently it doesn’t. In this month the value of the 100 most traded Port Ellens fell by 5% which never happened before. The second biggest price slip was in September 2015 where these bottles lost almost 4%. Partly responsible for this are some of the famous annual releases.
In our database we find 14 different annual releases (for the standard 700ml bottle). These are the releases one to fifteen where release number fourteen is missing. In this month, nine of these releases lost in value, some very significantly. Prices for the 8th Annual Release for example dropped from 1.700 Euros to around 1.200 Euros. When we look at the price histories of these different releases we notice that many of them saw their peak in the last round of auctions (July 2016). To aggregate these data we calculated an index containing these 14 Port Ellen Annual Releases.
We see that our observations on a single bottle price bases are confirmed by the index. It is true that prices for the Annual Releases dropped by more than 15% in this month. But then it seems like the reason for this is that in the last month prices for these releases climbed by 16%. So actually what we observed was not a price drop in August, but a peak in July.
Oh, and by the way, prices for the Port Ellen 1st Annual Release climbed by 989% since November 2005. This equals a little less than 26% increase in value per year.
Yamazaki in the Hunt
The top spots of our distillery ranking are dominated by japanese distilleries. The reason for this is that the base of this ranking are the price changes observed at auctions. And on this relative scale japanese whiskies went from Zero to Hero over the last couple of years. So the podium is taken by Hanyu, Karuizawa and Yamazaki where the ordering was pretty clear since there were many index points in-between these distilleries. At least until now. While prices for Hanyu were pretty constant over the last twelve months and Karuizawa whiskies even lost 15% in value, it was the Yamazaki bottlings which continued to accumulate value ever since. Over the past two years prices climbed by 110% and they did so at a very constant pace.
Since we are aware that talking about whisky indices is a pretty abstract thing to do, we looked up some Yamazaki bottles from the last auctions which mirror the overall Yamazaki index´ behaviour. The Yamazaki Bourbon Barrel 2011 was traded for the first time back in July 2013 where it was sold for 76 Euros. While it is true that this whisky is not traded very often, prices climbed continuously without making any huge jumps. Since 2016 it seems that prices finally settled in above 250 Euros and the latest observations from July and August 2016 even exceeded 350 Euros.
The Yamazaki Sherry Cask probably needs no introduction. The recent annual releases of this NAS (No Age Statement) expressions were accompanied by a huge hype. For our purpose we picked out the Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013. On the price history of this whisky we can observe the beginning of the japanese whisky boom in 2014 when prices climbed by more than 1.000 Euros. After the peak of this boom this whisky pretty much retained its price level which is somewhere above 2.000 Euros. It is very likely that the latest price observation of 4.630 Euros is just an extreme outlier and hence also affects the Yamazaki index increase we observed.
In addition, these are two great examples for how good the prices from two different auction houses (red and yellow dots) can fit together. Even more so when considering that the two auction houses in question are located in different countries and hence it can be assumed that they mostly serve different customers/bidders. But this will be the topic of a separated analysis some when soon.
Since we added new prices do not forget to check if they affected any of the bottles in your personal collection.