My August Whisky Wishlist

2016-08-01

Bristol Food&Drink Tour: InstaSummary

2016-08-04

Whisky Collecting: simple hobby or financial investment?

2016-08-03
Cover Pic from wsj.com
 .
I always see bidders going crazy over some specific bottlings on whisky auction website Catawiki for which I am currently working as an auctioneer – and getting to witness all those liquid gems changing hands each week made me wonder about their future… Are they going to get opened for a special occasion or completely randomly on a week night while watching Netflix? Or are those people planning on saving them for years in their cellar before they put it back on the market – hoping for the best profit?
.
What better way to answer my questions than asking a whisky collector himself? I then got in touch with die-hard whisky collector Mahesh Patel, who has managed to gather a collection of more than 5000 bottles those past 30 years….(Try not to die of jealousy…)
 .
collectionnn
 .
Hi Mahesh, first of all, could you please tell us a bit more about yourself: where do you come from, career background etc. And how did you end up starting your whisky collection? How many whiskies do you have today in your collection? Are they all closed or do you also keep some open bottles to enjoy? 
 .
I grew up in the UK and moved to the US about 25 years ago as a structural engineer. I have a real estate/construction company in Atlanta, where I live. My passion for whisky began on a family trip to Scotland when I was a teenager, however I have been a serious connoisseur/collector for over 3 decades. My collection is not about quantity, it’s about quality, I believe in buying two of everything I can afford, one to drink/enjoy and the other to collect. My unopened collection in over 5000 bottles as well as several thousand opened bottles.
Afficher l'image d'origine
What is your personal relationship with whisky: first sipped, notable milestones on your malted journey, some favourite expressions/brands/distilleries? 
 .
My first taste of whisky was when I raided my dad’s cabinet as I teenager. I acquired a tastes for whisky then. I really enjoyed the malts. I have many memorable moments on my whisky journey, but I have to say that sipping rare old Glenfiddich single malt (including the 50year old) with the Malt Master at the base of the Grand Canyon amazing experience. Some favourite whiskies would be: Royal Salute 21yo, Balvenie Port Wood 21yo, Highlandland Park 18yo, 1964 Black Bowmore, Ardbeg Provenance, Midletons rare cask, Brora, Yamazaki 18yo and last but not least Dalmore king Alexander.
Afficher l'image d'origine
Whisky collection and investment have been increasingly popular nowadays (just reading the press, I’ve come accross so many articles on those topics since a few months/years…), how do you explain this trend and how do you think it will evolve in the future? 
 .
Let me make one point very clear first. I am a whisky connoisseur and collector, I encourage people to first enjoy and appreciate the liquid and it’s makers first. In so doing you will become a collector at whatever level you can afford.  I am totally opposed to people who purely buy whisky as a paper investment without ever appreciating the liquid. Regarding how do I explain this trend. As you can see Whisky has become a very popular drink of choice and particularly with the younger generation. There is also a lot of new products and expressions on the market. People are trying, tasting and enjoy more and more whisky. As such collections are being built. I see more people buying and collecting whisky to enjoy. There is small percentage buying for investment, but remember not all whisky will appreciate. Anything that is rare, limited and from an established brand will automatically appreciate in value due to it’s rarity.
Afficher l'image d'origine
As a whisky collector, what is your personal secret to find the best deals or put your hands on highly-collectible nectars? 
 .
Whisky as a whole category has been going up in price. Find a deal is getting harder, but I recommend searching all the on-line specialty retailer regularly as there can be great deals due to the national competition amongst these guys. Secondly don’t forgot to go into liquor stores that don’t appear to be good on the outside. You can find gems in there, which they have been sitting on.
Afficher l'image d'origine
Many people believe that whisky collection and/or investment is killing the industry and its first purpose (producing a fine product to drink) especially resulting in a huge increase in prices – what would you say to them? 
 .
I disagree on this. Whisky has become such a popular drink of choice that prices have increased due to this. Simple law of supply and demand. The percentage of people collecting to invest is so small that this is not impacting the mass volume sales. Yes, when it comes to some rare and limited expressions then there can be a price hike.
Afficher l'image d'origine
Some whisky collector tips for those who’d like to start their own collection: what bottles should they be looking for at the moment? How to start a whisky collection? What are your 10 must-have expressions? 
 .
First and foremost look for limited expressions of well-known brands as these will always increase in value. All the major companies annually are putting out limited offering, so look out for this. Buy whiskies that are getting good rating too. Don’t buy anything you would not drink. Here are some great brands to consider: Damore, Macallan, Port Ellen, Brora, Ardbeg, Midletons, Bowmore, Springbank, Old bourbons and Japanese whisky
Afficher l'image d'origine
How do you see the future for whisky collectors – how do you picture your collection in 10 years time? 
 .
I see the future for collecting to be excellent, because annually all companies are putting out new expressions and there are more new distilleries coming onto the market. Some have really good products. The only pitfall is that prices are going up, but the plus side is all prices will go up. Remember one thing thow. You must enjoy the product too.
llllll