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Demand for rare single malt whisky soars

Sales of rare single malts are soaring but Japanese whisky is leading the way

Published: August 31, 2015
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Whisky experts say the demand for rare bottles of single malt is soaring, with a 35 per cent increase in auction sales this year.

The first six months of 2015 saw 20,638 bottles sold in the UK - up 5,374 on the same period last year, according to brokers Rare Whisky 101.

The value of Scottish single malts sold also increased 34 per cent to £4.6 million, with Brora, Dalmore and Port Ellen the current top names for collectors.

Analyst Andy Simpson said: "Demand for desirable single malt Scotch brands and previously discontinued bottles remains exceptionally strong.

"The dearth of truly collectable releases over recent years has only fuelled demand for older and discontinued past releases where quality and rarity are powerful motivations for purchase.

"For many in the broader Scotch industry, export and sales figures appear challenging. However the secondary market for rarities shows little of this stress. We view this as a clear future trend, with the value of scarcity increasing demand from connoisseurs, collectors and investors."

The co-founder of Rare Whisky 101 said Scottish single malt could not compete with the "meteoric ascent" of Japanese whisky.

A bottle of 1960 Karuizawa reportedly sold for HK$ 918,750 (£76,933) on Friday, setting an auction record for a Japanese whisky.

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