PORTRAITS

Elements of Islay

21. January 2018 | 1.9K Views
Please note that this article is based on the old Whiskystats database.
Some numbers and figures may not match what you find in the Whiskystats 2.0 database.

Today we take a closer look at the “Elements of Islay” range by Speciality Drinks. Packaged and labeled like they come straight from a chemistry laboratory, some of these bottlings experienced quite a price change. 

At the time of writing these lines we find 53 Elements of Islay whiskies in our whisky database (simply type in “elements of islay” in the live-search field). All of them are of course bottled in the characteristic 500ml chemical-style bottle. Each “element´s” name of this range is a two letter distillery code followed by a release counter. So “Ar6” describes the sixth Elements of Islay release from Ardbeg, while “Pe3” stands for the third Port Ellen release of this range. There are also blends in this range (called “Peat”), but for now we solely focus on the single malt bottlings.
 
Although the packaging may suggest otherwise, the Elements of Islay range is bottled without chill-filtration or colouring at original strength. So no chemistry in this laboratory bottles. Naturally, not all of the bottlings reached the whisky auction market yet. In total there exist 68 (by January 2018) from which 53 can be already found in our database.

Elements of Islay Distilleries

The distilleries covered by this range are of course the well-known Islay distilleries and their various subbrands like Octomore or Port Charlotte. With nine bottlings (all of which already in our database), Ardbeg accounts for the most followed by Laphroaig and Caol Ila with each eight. On the places follow Bruichladdich, Bowmore and Lagavulin with each seven bottlings.
Elements of Islay Number of Trades by November 2017 Above we plotted the number of price observation we find by distillery. Clearly the Port Ellen bottlings are the most traded of the Elements of Islay range. The five Port Ellen bottlings were traded more than 200 times. Behind is Lagavulin with 144 price observations for the six bottlings in our database.

Elements of Islay Indices

For getting a better understanding of how the auction prices for this range evolved we of course use our indices. First we created a Elements of Islay index which describes the value development of all those 50 bottlings for which we have more than 3 price observations. The index starts with a value of 100 in December 2010.
Elements of Islay Index by November 2017 We see that it was in late 2013 where the index started to climb. In the years ever since we see a steady increase of around 10% per calendar year. We now further brake this index down into the three major distilleries of the Elements of Islay range which are Port Ellen, Lagavulin and Ardbeg. So we created another index for each of this distilleries which only contains the price observations from the respective bottlings.
Elements of Islay Number Distillery Indices by November 2017 Clearly it is the Port Ellen bottlings which experienced the highest price increase. In total the five Port Ellen bottlings gained almost 80% in value over the past six years. The nine Ardbeg bottlings experienced an almost 20% steady increase. Far more volatile is the price development of the six included Lagavulin bottlings. In total they lost more than 20% from 2011 to mid 2013 only to close-out in late 2017 with a overal +20% too.

Worth Mentioning

We noticed that the Elements of Islay range is particularly popular at german based WhiskyAuction.com (WA). Out of the 870 price observation we find, 732 come from WA and only 138 from ScotchWhiskyAuction.com. At last we want to point out two remarkable Elements of Islay bottlings.
Elements of Islay Lg3 by November 2017 The Lagavulin Lg3 bottling is the most traded Elements of Islay release we find in our database. All of the 71 price observations come from WA. Prices started at a level of around 200 but quickly dropped. The latest price observation are slightly below 100 Euros.
Elements of Islay Lp2 by November 2017 The Laphroaig Lp2 is currently the most expensive Elements of Islay release. In May 2016 it traded for 782 Euros. Compared to its initial price level of below 200 Euros this equals an almost 400% incraese in value. All of its 25 price observation also come from WA solely.

Found in Shops:
Ardbeg 1998 / Still Young / Gift Box Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
70cl / 56.2% / Distillery Bottling - The second release in Ardbeg's journey to the new 10yo, Still Young was released in 2006 and continued the successful 'path to peaty maturity' as the marketing types called it. A refreshing dram with great intensity.
Fair Prized
250 GBP Shop Price at The Whisky Exchange
245 GBP Estimated Market Value
Ardbeg Kelpie Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
70cl / 46% / Distillery Bottling - The 2017 release for Ardbeg Day is Kelpie. A combination whiskies aged in virgin Black-Sea oak casks and bourbon barrels, this is rich and intense with notes of pepper, treacle toffee, Turkish coffee, dark chocolate and smoky bacon.
Heavily Underprized
175 GBP Shop Price at The Whisky Exchange
270 GBP Estimated Market Value
Lagavulin 12 Year Old / Special Releases 2019 Islay Whisky
70cl / 56.5% / Distillery Bottling - 2019's Diageo Special Releases bring us a 12-year-old Lagavulin matured in refill American oak casks. Sweeter and more mineral than previous releases, it has aromas of sweet green peat, green apples, lemon oil, wood smoke, warm tar and brine. The palate offers notes of salty sea breeze, fresh green veg, young oak, saucy barbecue sauce, cinnamon, lemon lockets and earthy, damp peat.
Fair Prized
110 GBP Shop Price at The Whisky Exchange
105 GBP Estimated Market Value