Alt Investments - Anyone Invest in Whiskey Bottles?

I know the alt investments are popular right now and I want to diversify a little bit. Does anyone have any experience investing in whiskey?

I recently went to a whiskey pairings dinner and had a nice time. I wouldn't call myself an expert or anything, just something I paid for as a fun thing to do. There were some master distillers there from some big houses and one of them dropped a tip that one of their older whiskey was potentially going to be discontinued. The bottle currently retails for $900 and they think it can go to $1500.

I know, I know. The company rep was telling me to buy from their company. But they had it there for tasting and I enjoyed it. So, from my newbie perspective, the worst case scenario is that I'll be set for my Christmas drinks for the rest of my life. But what else should I know before buying say 3-4 bottles? Is there a strategy for obtaining them? I figure I'll buy 3-4 of these and keep one open for special occasions and store the others. What else should I know?

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Comments (30)

Oct 15, 2021 - 6:39pm

I forgot to add some details, which I think will help but I will still mask some:

  • Its a single malt speyside (again, I'm a newbie, but I think its a fair description)
  • 20 years
  • Made by a large house, not a boutique maker or anything like that
  • It was delicious. The initial tasting was blind, I loved it even before I knew what it was. 
  • Consultant in Consulting
Oct 17, 2021 - 9:25am

Probably not the opinion you're seeking but I think you want the bottles and are trying to justify it as an investment.

If a family friend of yours knew nothing about investing in the stock market, got a tip from a broker that company x will be experiencing event y soon and asked you what do you reckon about this stock tip, what would be your advice?

You state the bottles go for $900 but you believe they could go to $1500. No time frame mentioned. In my mind, the illiquidity and transaction costs associated with "investing" in this particular bottle ought to make you require a 30% annual return, meaning you hit your target $1500 price in two years. I'm not sure how reasonable this is but sure.

I think what you are doing wrong however is mixing a personal hobby with investing without having deep enough knowledge of the particular market (my guess). I have lots of friends that have hobbies and justify certain purchases by stating they are "investments" - cars, boats, certain guitars or whatever. Maybe don't try kid yourself, you really like the whiskey, might have FOMO if you can't find one this nice again, and want to justify it by convincing yourself it'll go up. With collectible investments you find that the best of the best always appreciate the most, due to quality and scarcity. This goes for art, jewelry, cars, and I'm presuming whiskey - I don't know enough to tell you either way in this space.

At the end of the day it would still be really dope to have some bottles of discontinued whiskey sitting on your shelf being an ornament in your house, it would probably also be particularly special to you given it was your pick from one of your first whiskey pairings dinners (?). Great conversation piece. Value it on the emotion attached and enjoyment dividend. Probably not an investment.

Oct 17, 2021 - 3:37pm

I think you're confusing his curiosity surrounding the grains, maturing time and region of the whiskey (ie. investing moreso for fun) with an actual rigorous investment vehicle. OP knows that great returns in whiskey are a bonus to just overall obtaining nice scotch imo.

Can someone provide actual insight on the boutique vs large-house limited edition whiskey space?

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Oct 17, 2021 - 3:40pm

dude I think you're just horny for buying the wine, go ahead and enjoy it man, if you like it that much just get it, life is short I guess(?) idk that's how everyone in this site justifies stupid purchases but have fun bro

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Oct 17, 2021 - 3:45pm

Wine??? Did you read the post? Don't think he's trying to justify it (don't think needs too if it'll make a small impact on his bank). Think he actually wants to know what investing in the space is like and if ppl have knowledge…

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Oct 17, 2021 - 3:52pm

whiskey, whatever dude. He just seems like he enjoys it for personal enjoyment and is trying to justify the expense by calling it an investment. Reminds me of that one Millenial Money episode where some dude is renting out a loft in the middle of Brooklyn behind a train and he's calling it "an investment" even though it's literally a rental lmfao. If OP enjoys it then just buy it, but don't lie to yourself and call it "an investment." Also, say he buys 4 bottles at $900 and flips them for $1,500 (assuming no one involved in this transaction has lied), that's a $2,400 pre-tax gain. Pretty cool but meh. You could probably just pull a BRRRR and pay a PM and see some capital appreciation in a few years that would give you better returns (over $2,400 not on a % basis). If this is about making money then this is an uncertain investment, if he likes it, then he just likes it and should get it.

Most Helpful
Oct 17, 2021 - 3:57pm

I previously added some information about the asset but I guess I should also add something about my overall picture to put all of your replies in context. 

Since I've posted this before, it's no secret that I work for a BB (executive management) and I participate in the company 401k. I also have my own actively (self) managed portfolio. So this (potential) whiskey investment would just be for fun and a cool diversification. I think it would amount to about 2-3% of my overall portfolio - maybe less??? Again, just something fun to do and gain exposure to a new market, it's not as serious as some of you make it to be.

My initial posting was really looking for more help on obtaining the bottles as well as how to store them, sell/handle them in the future etc. I can't be the only one on here that has some bottles put away for the future.  

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Oct 18, 2021 - 4:37am

can you elaborate more on the business model?

  • 1
Oct 18, 2021 - 11:20am

Yes, that has crossed my mind. But I'm smart enough to keep something this old for special occasions only. Plus, its not like it's the only scotch I like, I always keep other stuff around for other times I want to drink. I think opening one and storing the other 3 will be a disciplined plan that can easily be carried out. 

Oct 18, 2021 - 1:40pm

I do something similar with guitars and cars. 

particularly on guitars (high end small bench or vintage) I view it as a super nice thing that I can have and play and maybe someday my kids will decide to sell the collection and make some money. Not consumable in the way whiskey or wine is. 

I couldn't do whiskey because I would 100% drink it ha. 

Oct 18, 2021 - 4:43pm

That sounds like a good idea and I have considered guitars in the past. Guitars seems viable because there's so many financing options for them at 0% and they are truly wonderful to play. I have thought about doing this with some high-end Martins but I don't live in a climate where a guitar can do well in storage for decades. 

It's just not for me, but I like the idea and hope you do well with it. 

Oct 18, 2021 - 4:42pm

My experience with whiskey investments has been terrible.  The 3:00 AM Saturday nightcaps make for a lot of red on the P&L come Sunday morning.  

  • 1
Oct 18, 2021 - 4:46pm

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