16 February 2022
VCL Vintners forecasts powerful vision of 2022 for the whisky investment industry, after shaking up 2021
Brokerage reports trades in whisky of nearly £9m in 2021
VCL Vintners, London's leading whisky cask broker among millennial investors, reports a 16% increase on the total value of casks brokered in the last 12 months, having facilitated close to £9 million worth of trades in fine single-malt whisky casks between January 2021 to January 2022. So far this year alone, the brokerage also reports it has facilitated trades of whisky casks totalling over £2.2 million.
Volatile markets and inflationary pressures have encouraged an increasing number of investors of all ages and levels of experience to diversify their portfolios. As the brokerage has continued to acquire a greater share of the whisky cask market, clients have been flooding the switchboards and VCL Vintner's digital onboarding systems, in search of the valuable shelter offered by the steady performance of whisky casks as a reliable alternative asset.
Year on year, VCL Vintner's client base increased by an additional 45%. Currently, over 60% of the brokerage's clients are under the age of 45, with nearly a quarter aged between 25 and 34 years old.
In 2021, the most expensive casks sold by VCL Vintners were from the Macallan, Bunnahabhain, Bruichladich, Dalmore, Aultmore, and Ben Nevis distilleries. VCL Vintners does brisk trade in casks valued between £30,000 and £60,000, but has also dealt in stand-out, rare casks worth over £250,000.
The brokerage's dominant acquisition of market share in 2021 was facilitated by key partnerships with younger distilleries, expansion into the Asian markets, and innovations within digital financial technologies.
March 2021 saw an exciting collaboration with the award-winning Annandale distillery in Southern Scotland. The five-year deal of exclusivity entitled VCL Vintners to half of Annandale's output each year for sale to investors, amounting to 276,000 litres of single cask single malt whisky. In a market that has traditionally been closed off to outsiders and newcomers, this partnership was a sign of strategic commitment from VCL Vintners to stay up to date with the latest and best casks available for investment for their clients.
2021 was also a big year for expansion into the Asian market. Throughout the pandemic, VCL Vintners saw an increase in high-end investors based in Southeastern Asian buying into whisky, anticipating the upturn in the market following the vaccine rollout and lifting of restrictions. In Q3 of 2021, 25% of new accounts opened were from investors based in Japan.
In October 2021, VCL Vintners collaborated with Metacask, the digital marketplace for whisky NFTs and broke a world record in whisky cask investment. Leading NFT artist, Trevor Jones, was commissioned to produce an NFT artwork called the 'Angel's Share' which was backed by a Macallan 1991 cask for the record-breaking price of $2.33 million. As opposed to a photograph of the cask to represent the item, the overseas buyer received Trevor's abstract digital representation.
In December 2021, the brokerage released a limited run of own independent bottling line of new fill spirits. The company advises that new fill spirits are the perfect entry point for novice or casual whisky investors, as well as the perfect treat for whisky drinkers.
The independent bottlings consisted of a limited release of bottles. A Highland and Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky distilled at Royal Brackla and Benriach Distilleries. Both spirits were aged 9 years and finished in octaves: the Highland Single Malt in a port cask and the Speyside Single Malt in a sherry one. They both sold out in under 48 hours.
Benjamin Lancaster, co-founder and director at VCL Vintners, commented on VCL Vintner's extraordinary year: "The tide changed in 2021. The floodgates opened in the first few weeks of 2022. The numerous successful projects undertaken over the past year have laid the groundwork for an expansive 2022. This year, we look forward to continuing our work to open the whisky investment space to a dynamic new audience and to seasoned investors seeking shelter during turbulent times in the markets. The numbers speak for themselves; the increasing value of our casks, alongside the refreshingly youthful demographic of our clientele, forecasts a growing, powerful vision for the industry."
About VCL Vintners
Founded in 2010, VCL Vintners source and manage the finest investment-grade single malt whisky casks for their network of retail and institutional investors.
VCL Vintners provides investment opportunities ranging from new-fill barrels to some of the oldest and rarest casks available. With assets under management currently totalling around GBP 70 million, VCL Vintners is on track to corner a significant amount of the whisky market's total reserves, targeting an additional managed amount of GBP 150 million within the next decade.
Whisky is now one of the globe's best-performing asset classes, with both prices and demand continuing to grow at a double-digit rate. However, despite these ten-fold increases and interest from new investors, investment-grade whisky's reputation for running on relationship-based acquisitions can make it somewhat difficult to enter. VCL Vintners' expert advice assists clients at all stages of their investment journey, allowing investment in a range of whisky options, from sought-after individual bottles to entire casks.
Yellow Jersey PR
Emma Becirovic, Senior Account Manager
Tel: +44 (0)7964 695 277
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