The 2022 Whisky Cask Market Report, released by financial advisers and whisky cask investment specialists Braeburn Whisky, has shown that whisky casks continue to significantly outperform traditional and alternative investments, including gold. The BC20 Whisky Cask Index, a unique tool developed by Braeburn, displayed an average projected growth of 14.95% for whisky casks, marking a 1.7% increase from the previous year.
Niall Brown, CEO of Braeburn Whisky, commented, “Our report demonstrates that, despite inflation and global market instability caused by the ongoing COVID pandemic and the Ukraine conflict, the cask investment market remains robust and healthy.”
In 2022, Laphroaig emerged as the top-performing Scotch Whisky cask distillery, boasting a projected growth rate of 18.75%. Bunnahabhain’s Staoisha followed closely with 17.74%, and Bunnahabhain itself took third place at 17.57%.
Globally, the market with the highest volume of cask investment was Europe, at 74.78% – with the UK alone the largest market at 74.34% of the total share – followed by Asia at 18.35%. Notably, the number of millennial, Gen Z, and female investors also rose, reflecting a growing interest in whisky cask investments among diverse demographics.
The report found ‘new make’ casks from 0-3 years of age offer greater percentage investor returns, with an average increase in both cost and appreciation of 38.31% in 2022. This was largely driven by inflation in raw materials and associated production costs. Older age cask choices, while requiring a greater initial buy-in, were projected to yield returns of 9.81% due to their rarity – a feature that intensifies with each passing year as their stock gets bottled. In addition, as the higher initial prices of casks permeate across the broader market, these increases are expected to have a significant impact on ageing Scotch Whisky stocks.
Brown adds, “More investors are turning to Scotch Whisky as a means of not only growing but also protecting wealth in these times of high inflation and market instability. Our report, BC20 Index, and the algorithm behind it provide reliable and transparent data for this expanding market.”
Niall Brown said the report’s Average Annual Capital Growth Rate was based on data points from the sales of more than 6,000 casks across over 80 distilleries, providing the largest data sample available of the cask investment market to date. As the number of data points continues to grow, so does the accuracy of the report which traces the development of cask valuations and puts them in context.
He said, “While gold dropped and markets generally finished around the same mark as the year before, the value of the BC20 index rose by double digits. It shows more investors are turning to Scotch Whisky as a means of not only growing but also protecting wealth in these times of high inflation and market instability.
“Our report once again shows how Scotch Whisky is providing a really effective way for investors to diversify their portfolios towards safer ground, hedging against the inflation and uncertainty that are currently affecting global markets”.
Picture: Niall Brown, CEO of Braeburn Whisky