The Whiskystats Price Update for September 2016
Some numbers and figures may not match what you find in the Whiskystats 2.0 database.
Summertime is officially over as the latest auction results come in. Our overall whisky index performed a stunt which we need to explain and some Highland whiskies significantly lost in value. Here is the price update for September 2016.
We added a total of 4.005 price observations this month. These prices affected 2.266 whiskies in our database. Thereby, the big market patterns remained the same. Ardbeg and Macallan are the most traded distilleries and Islay and Speyside are the most traded single malt whisky regions. Hence we go straight to our whiskystats whisky index and its above-mentioned stunt.
Strange Index Behaviour
In our price update for August 2016 we wondered if our whiskystats whisky index (WWI) will soon jump above the 300 points threshold. Well, it did jump to 302,79 points, but it did so in August and now dropped to 296,13 points again. So how is this possible?
The reason is of course the methodology of our index calculation. Each month we determine the overall 300 most traded whiskies. The WWI simply represents the development of the value of these 300 bottles starting with a value of 100 index points. Now, it is possible that the set of the 300 most traded whiskies changes from one month to another. Since we recalculate the whole index its history will change, and that is what we observed now.
The pro of our method is that whenever you see this index, it is straight forward to interpret it. A current index value of 300 and an index value of 200 from one year ago simply means that the value of the 300 currently contained whiskies climbed by 300/200-1=50% over the last 12 months.
We will dedicate this issue our next article where we will present some alternative methods but also point out why we intentionally chose our current methodology.
The Delme-Evans Mystery
The Jura 19yo (1988) Delme-Evans Select used to be a pretty standard whisky in our database. Prices varied between 100 and 200 Euros over the last five years but did not show any particular pattern. In August 2016 though this whisky suddenly sold for an unbelievable 1.080 Euros on ScotchWhiskyAuctions.com. Since now, in September 2016, prices are back 220 Euros we wonder what the reason for this observation could be. An error? Just someone who got confused over all this different whiskies and prices? We don’t know. Maybe we miss out something which makes this one particular bottle special?
Comebacker and Newcomer
It is always fun to keep one eye open for some bottles that haven’t been traded for a very long time. This is especially true if there is only a very limited number of issued bottles. From the 444 bottles that once existed of the Ardbeg 26yo (1974) bottled by Silver Seal Whisky, one was traded on auctions in January 2006 and another one now in September 2016. The price climbed from 210 Euros to 620 Euros and we wonder how much bottles there survived to be drank or traded again.
In addition we added 246 new whiskies to our database. One of these newcomer is the Macallan 24.113 bottled by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Prices climbed from 85 Euros in October 2011 to 437 Euros in September 2016.
The Highland Park Effect
Another newcomer of this month is the Highland Park 12yo Hobbister. Last month, in August 2016, 463 and 476 Euros were paid for this recently issued expression. One month later, the 13 observed auction results vary from 240 to 258 Euros. So prices dropped by almost 50% within one month!
But the Hobbister is not the only Highland Park release for which we observe this pattern. There is the Highland Park Ingvar for which prices dropped from 250 to 150 Euros since it first came on auctions in February 2016. And there is of course the Highland Park Ice Edition. The first auction result comes from March 2016 and was around 560 Euros. In this month the prices were just above 200 Euros. But there are not only bottlings from 2016 which showed this behaviour. There is for example the Highland Park 18yo (1993) Earl Haakon. We observed 550 Euros for the Earl Haakon at its inaugural auction in August 2011 and only 280 Euros one year later in August 2012.
Maybe the reason for this is that Highland Park generates a lot of hype around its new releases. Maybe somewhere around the globe there are some true Highland Park fans for which auctions are the only source to get this new releases. Or maybe it is a different reason we don’t know.
The Highland Set-Back
We now move from Highland Park to the Highland region but kind of stay in the same topic. The 100 bottles which are (currently) included in our Highland index lost almost 7% in value within a single month.
Wondering how this is possible we digged deeper and tracked down those whiskies responsible for this massive loss. And the list of guilty is a pretty illustrious one.
There is the Glenury Royal 29yo (1970) Rare Malts Selection which experienced a price peak in August 2016 with around 860 Euros. Now the prices are back at 413 Euros. There is the Brora 30yo 2002 Release which likewise experienced a price peak in August (1.929 Euros) and is now back at 1.300 Euros. In addition there is the Millburn 25yo (1975) Rare Malts Selection for which prices dropped to only 270 Euros. And last but not least there is another Brora, the Brora 21yo (1977) Rare Malts Selection for which prices dropped by 200 Euros to now 850 Euros.
All of these whiskies are included in our Highland index. Of course there are also other Highland whiskies which lost value, but these are the major ones. And since they not exactly belong to the cheap whiskies, their weighting in this index is considerable.
Since we added new prices do not forget to check if they affected any of the bottles in your personal collection.