When it comes to investments, whisky is as good as gold. Rare single malt Scotch can be more valuable than wine, oil, and gold bullion according to the Rare Whisky Apex 100.
Value hunters gathered to spot a potential investment at the J&M bar in central Sydney this week, where booze giant Diageo's offered a once-in-a-lifetime chance to taste its latest 'Special Releases' collection.
Limited edition drams
The exclusive annual series of 10 natural cask strength whiskies of unusual origin were poured out for collectors and connoisseurs. "These special releases are one of the rare times you can actually see bottles released from distilleries that are closed or no longer operating," says Simon McGoram, Diageo's National Whisky Ambassador. "Scotch whisky is becoming more investable as a category, and I'm sure some of these releases will increase in value in the years to come."
The precious drams include classic brands such as a 12 year old Lagavulin to several 'ghost' distilleries such as Convalmore and Brora which are no longer in operation.
The 10 whiskies were produced all over Scotland, from Speyside to Islay, and include a 52-year-old Port Dundas from Glasgow which has just 752 bottles available globally.
"Every time you approach these whiskies you might pick up different flavours and aromas, and that's because no one tasting is the same," McGoram says. "The whisky is always changing because the environment is always changing and you are always changing. Every time you pick up a glass you're going to have a unique experience."
When tasting special liquids such as these, McGoram suggests always adding a drop or two of water.
"It's kind of like walking through a garden on a hot summer's afternoon, and then a shower comes through. As soon as that water hits the hot earth, all the aromas of the garden are released. The same thing happens when you add water to the whisky."
The Diageo 'Special Releases' series range in price, from $175 for the Caol Ila 18-year-old, to $5000 for the Port Ellen 37-year-old, and are available at all specialty whisky retailers.
Click through the gallery above to see the 10 Special Release whiskies.