Throughout the years, the reputation of Scotch whisky has not only held strong, but has grown and grown to take its place firmly as the world’s most popular spirit.
Exported to 175 countries throughout the world, Scotch whisky accounts for over 70% of Scotland’s food and drink exports and 21% of all UK food and drink exports with over £4.7 Billion of exports annually.
The secret to great whisky isn’t just in the way that it is made, but in the manner of its maturation. We are always told that there are only three ingredients in the creation of Scotch whisky, malted barley, water and yeast.
Very true, but there is much more to it than that. There are also four other forgotten secret ‘ingredients’ that have to be taken into account. The first is copper, which gives the spirit its unique characteristics and flavours during distillation. Secondly, we have the people, who bring unbelievable amounts of experience and skill to the table. The last two go hand in hand. Oak and time.
With Scotch whisky taking around 70% of its flavour from the oak its matured in, this is not only a legal part of the process as since the mid 1980’s the legislation has stated that Scotch whisky must be matured in only oak casks. When we look at the time frame we rest our whisky, the longer the term of maturation, the more impact that the influence of the cask has on the spirit.
Full bodied, rich and elegant, some older Scotch whiskies can achieve some eye watering prices with the rule of thumb being that the older the spirit the better although in my own personal opinion, I find that most distilleries create a spirit that will find its own optimum point during maturation with some have incredibly good young spirit, so it is important to understand that it isn’t just the well aged stock that is attractive to buyers.
This gives you, the investor, the opportunity to maximise your investment, whether you cash in after a short-term or sit it out for the long game.