Mark Twain said: "Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough."
With its rich cultural history, rarity, popularity in classic cocktails or simply on the rocks by 2025 the global whisky market is forecast to reach £84 billion. There is no difference between whisky and whiskey apart from the spelling. Whisky is used in Scotland, England and Japan whereas whiskey is used in Ireland and the United States.
Your dram may be American or Irish but Scotland is internationally regarded as the home of quality whisky. The Japanese market, however, has seen impressive growth with bottles from the silent distillery Karuizawa as well as Yamazaki and Hanyu gaining serious followers.
In October 2019 a world record was set when Sotheby's sold a bottle of The Macallan Fine and Rare 60 Year Old for almost $1.9 million in London. No other distillery has the history, reputation, and accolades of Macallan. Founded in 1824 it uses some of the smallest stills in Scotland, their unique size and shape gives the spirit maximum contact with the copper together with the exceptional quality of its oak casks cements its reputation.
Whisky enthusiasts can build a collection focused on specific distilleries or bottle releases, known as expressions. Limited and special releases typically perform better in second-hand markets as buyers are aware of the scarcity of the product. Devotees keep a careful eye on well-known distilleries such as Bowmore, Brora, Springbank, Glenugie, Laphroaig, Ben Wyvis, Killyloch, Clynelish, Port Ellen, Rosebank, Ardbeg and Dalmore.
Oak is always the vessel in which whisky is aged. Scottish distilleries use second-hand bourbon casks crafted from American oak which give the liquor sweet, fruity, vanilla and spicy overtones. European oak is also used primarily in the form of sherry butts from Spain - thanks to the finer grained, slower growing wood together with the tannins the whisky is darker in colour. Japanese whiskies are often matured in Mizunara oak which is more porous with higher levels of vanillins giving floral and fragrant tones.
Established in 1991 ILS World's private client team provide advice on trust and specialist company formation as tools to safeguard passion assets for owners and future successors. We have a great deal of experience working with clients who include collectibles as part of their investment portfolios. We are used to partnering with external accredited experts and acknowledged industry professionals such as storage experts. While the quality of unopened whisky generally stays the same for a long time, it is still important to properly store bottles to maintain peak quality. Bottles bought solely for investment purposes should not be opened and stored upright to avoid contact between the cork and spirit inside.
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