All about Whisky
Whisky is a type of alcoholic beverage that is made from grains and aged in oak barrels. It is one of the oldest distilled spirits and has been around since the 15th century. See below for more details about the History of Whisky. Rare whisky is a type of whisky that is made in small batches and is often difficult to find. Old whisky is also rare, but it has been aged for a longer period of time, often for at least 10 years. The difference between whisky and whiskey is a matter of regional spelling. In Scotland and Canada, whisky is the more commonly used spelling, while whiskey is more common in Ireland and the United States.
Alternatives to whisky include brandy - such as Cognac, Armagnac or Clavados-, gin, rum, and tequila. Brandy is made from distilled wine, gin is made from juniper berries, rum is made from sugarcane by-products, and tequila is made from the blue agave plant. Each of these spirits has its own unique flavor, so there are many delicious alternatives to whisky to explore.
Should I drink or sell the old Whisky bottle I inherited?
We often get the question whether one should drink or sell the old liquor bottle found in the attic, in the cellar or in an old box. If the bottle has sentimental value, you should of course keep it, and also maybe just drink it. Now, if you have no sentimental attachment to the bottle you should find out what it's worth.
You could consider to get an appraisal and to sell it. It is important to note though that the value of an old liquor bottle can vary greatly depending on its age, condition, rarity, and a wide range of factors. If you are considering selling your bottle: do the research to determine its potential value first, then think about where to sell it.
What is the best way to sell an old whisky bottle?
Well, there are many ways to sell an antique whisky bottle. The best approach is to get a valuation first which will depend on a variety of factors, like rarity and provenance of the bottle, who the seller is and where he is located, and of course also the state of the current market in regards to the whisky brand:
- Sell to a dealer or collector: One option is to sell the whisky bottle to a specialized dealer or collector who specializes in old whisky bottles. These individuals or businesses may be interested in purchasing the bottle for their own collection or (if they are bottle flippers) to resell to other collectors. This can be a convenient and efficient way to sell the bottle, but the seller may not receive the full (of course that's always the big question what full means) value of the bottle.
- Sell at an auction house: Another option is to sell the whisky bottle at traditional auction houses or online auction websites. In general auctions can be a good way to reach a relevant audience of collectors and potential buyers. Potentially one can fetch a higher price for the bottle, but there are also many examples where this is not the case. However, the seller (and the buyer) will typically need to pay a commission to the auction house (typically between 6-20% see Christies or Bonhams). Obviously there is no guarantee that the bottle will sell or that it will sell for a desired price.
- Sell online on a platform (like cabinet7): Selling a whisky bottle online can also be a great option! There are many online platforms, such as eBay and Craigslist, where the seller can list the bottle for sale and reach a large audience of potential buyers. But these pages are not specialized in spirits so that's why we believe it's best to use a specialized online marketplace like ours. The focus on buying and selling rare collector bottles is beneficial to the network effects of the marketplace. Selling online is convenient and highly efficient, the seller will need to handle the logistics of shipping the bottle and may need to deal with any issues or disputes that arise if forums or social media such as facebook is used. Another reason to use cabinet7 because we basically eliminate the risk of fakes, disputes and payment topics.
Get a free appraisal of your old Whisky bottle here.
In general: the best way to sell an old whisky bottle depends on the specific bottle (is it an old one, very known brand etc.) and the owner's objectives: Should it go fast, optimized for best value? Of course it's always best to research the market in detail, to determine the best way of selling the bottle.
How can I find out what the value of an old whisky bottle is?
There are quite some factors that do have impact on the value of a whisky bottle. Some of the most important considerations include the distillery brand, the age of the whisky (year of distillation, years in cask), the rarity of the bottle (edition number), and the condition of the bottle (cork, label, seal).
To determine the value of a young or antique whiskey bottle, it is often helpful to consult a specialist or expert. One should not browse on facebook or other forums and simply accept bids by users. It is best to talk to a serious collector, as mentioned above a professional dealer, or an auction house that specializes in whisky and fine spirits.
Experts can provide information about the rarity and the value of the bottle (sometimes they are also wrong) based on age, condition, and other factors. It's also quite important to note that the value of an old whisky bottle can range from low to high, greatly depending on the market and the demand for that particular bottle.
Here is a detailed checklist how to value of an old whisky bottle
Follow these steps to determine the value of a collector whisky bottle:
- Identify the whisky brand and distillery (or bottler brand): The first step is to determine the specific brand type of whisky that is in the bottle. Is it a known brand such as famous house Macallan? Is it a Single Malt Scotch Whisky or an American Bourbon Whiskey? independent bottlersuch as Gordon Macphail? Or maybe distiller of Scotch Whisky such as Glenlivet, Aberlour. This can often be determined by looking at the label and any other identifying information on the bottle. It's important to be as specific as possible, as the value of the whisk(e)y can vary depending on the distillery and the age of the whisky.
- Research the value of similar bottles: Always good to go for the analogy route. This means, once you have identified the whisky age and distillery, it's a good idea to research the value of similar bottles. You can do that by searching the web, or visit auction houses in person. A big part of the work at cabinet7 is that we constantly compare pricing using our advanced machine learning models, used by our team of experts. It is also a good idea to ask collectors, dealers, or people who know the space well. But be aware: everyone has their interests. Just keep that in mind. It's also helpful to do some online research to see if there are any recent sales of similar bottles and what they sold for. But careful, little details make the difference.
- Take a close look at the condition of the bottle: The state of the bottle has a huge impact on the value, and in the worst case can bring down the value of your bottle from 100% to 5% or lower. So an ideal bottle has: a clear and legible label, undamaged label (also take a look at grammar on the label, sometimes fraudsters get it wrong). Furthermore it is important to have undamaged seals, undamaged and of course unopened cork and stopper. If there is a serial number it should be intact, and not somehow "gone". One of the most important points in terms of condition is level of liquid in the bottle: The liquid needs to be at minimum bottle shoulder, as far up as possible. If the level is too low it means that the liquid evaporated too much and that it was not correctly stored or that there is a cork damage.
- Determine the rarity of the bottle: There are bottle releases with thousands of bottles, other releases only include 200 bottles. One can say that limited editions, single cask releases or blended cask releases do have a higher relevance and impact on price. Often the bottle actually states the amount of released bottles.
- Compare the bottle to similar items: Once you have gathered a maximum of information, it's a good idea to compare the bottle to similar collector bottles to determine its value. For example looking at a comparable vintage year (when you find a bottle from a specific brand from 1988 but only find a similar bottle from 1990) This can help to put the value of the bottle into context and give you a better sense of how much it might be worth. But be careful: Slight differences can make a difference.
- Make sure the bottle is authentic and not fake: There are a couple of todos when it comes to bottle verification. First of all, check the packaging. Quality bottles should have high-quality packaging and materials that can't be easily replicated. Look for any discrepancies in the label and packaging, such as typos, missing text, and poor quality printing. Another way to check for authenticity is to examine the bottle itself. In most cases, the bottle should have a unique serial number or a tax (sometimes hologram) sticker. The seal or sticker should have a unique pattern that changes when you tilt the bottle. You should also research the company that makes the bottle. Look for reviews, customer feedback, and any other information you can find about the product and its manufacturer. Also check if the bottle was recently faked, sometimes you find this info on the web in certain forums. This can help you spot any inconsistencies or discrepancies that may indicate a fake collector bottle. Finally, you should always buy bottles from trusted sources. It's not always possible, but try to avoid buying from third-party sellers or unknown websites, try to avoid facebook DMs or random forums. The reputation of the seller or the platform must be on the line, otherwise you're entering danger zone. Unsecure websites or forums are the most common places to find counterfeit bottles. If you’re buying from a store, or any source, ask for proof of provenance.
Overall, finding out the value of a whisky bottle isn't easy. Of course the oldest capitalist rule counts here, too: The price of your bottle is the amount someone wishes to pay for it. The process of valuation can be a complex one, which often requires a thorough understanding of the whisky markets (yes, there are different geographic but also sub-markets and scenes within the whisky market). If you follow the above steps and talk to experts, you can get a good idea of the value of your old whisky bottle.
How to read a whisky bottle label:
How to read a whisky bottle label: Here are some ideas how to read a whisky label, actually this can be quite confusing. So let's get into it.
- Identify the type of whisky: The first step is to determine the type of whisky that is in the bottle. This can often be determined by looking at the label and any other identifying information on the bottle. There are quite some different types of whisky, including Scotch, Single Malt, Blends, Irish Whiskey, Bourbon, and of course Japanese whisky.
- Look for the brand, bottler or distillery name: The name is typically prominently displayed on the label, and it can provide important information about the whisky such as edition name or product line. The distillery name can indicate the region where the whisky was produced, as well as the style and quality of the whisky.
- Check the age statement: Some bottles do have an age statement on the label, which indicates the (minimum) age of the whisky in the bottle. A label may read "12 year old" indicating that the youngest part of the whisky blend is at least 12 years old. The age of the whisky does impact color, aromas and overall quality. It is a critical factor when it comes to whisky valuation.
- Look for other information: The label of a whisky may include other information, such as the cask type (e.g. ex-Bourbon, ex-Sherry), the alcohol by volume (ABV), awards or accolades that the whisky has received. This information can provide additional insights into the way the release was marketed, its quality and characteristics.
Checklist of how to analyze the condition of an old Whisky bottle
Here's a checklist of how to analyze the condition of a whisky bottle, does it have value and should one drink it?
- Examine the bottle: Examine the bottle: Look at the glas, look for any cracks, chips, or other damage to the glass (outside or inside). This can indicate that the bottle has been mishandled or damaged, which can impact its value.
- Check the level of the whisky: The level of the liquid in the bottle does provide very important information about its condition. It is probably the most important factor. A bottle that is filled to the neck is generally considered to be in good condition (but sometimes also very suspicious), as this indicates that the whisky has not evaporated or been damaged. A bottle that is not filled to the bottleneck may have been exposed to air (if there is an issue with cork, a classic) or heat, which can impact its flavor and quality, and therefore its monetary and collector value.
- Look at the color of the whisky: So the color of the whisky can also provide clues about its condition, also if there are elements in the liquid (which should not be the case). A whisky that is clear and bright is generally considered to be in good condition, while a whisky that is dull or cloudy may have been damaged or improperly stored.
- Smell the whisky (if you open the bottle, obviously now it's time to drink it): The aroma of the whisky can also provide important information about its condition. A whisky that has a pleasant, aromatic aroma is generally considered to be in good condition, while a whisky that has a musty or off-putting aroma may have been damaged or improperly stored.
- Taste the whisky: Now, you obviously decided to drink the liquid. That's a good choice. In general, old whisky can't "turn bad" such as a white wine or red wine. In order to find out how well it tastes, well a good idea would be to taste the whisky to get a sense of its flavor and quality. In general we can say: whisky that is smooth and well-balanced is generally considered to be in good condition, while a whisky that is harsh or unbalanced may have been damaged or improperly stored.
Overall, analyzing the condition of an old whisky bottle can be complex and sometimes a little hard to for newbies - it requires careful examination and evaluation. If you follow the above points, you should be able get a good sense of the condition of the whisky and its potential value.
How do marketplaces facilitating the buying and selling of rare collector bottles work?
A marketplace that facilitates the buying and selling of rare collector bottles typically works by providing a platform where buyers and sellers can connect and transact.The marketplace may have a website or app where buyers and sellers can browse listings of available bottles, view detailed information and photos of the bottles, and contact the sellers to make offers or ask questions.
The marketplace may also provide various services and features to facilitate the buying and selling process. For example, the marketplace may offer escrow services to protect the interests of both buyers and sellers, and may provide information and resources to help buyers and sellers understand the market and make informed decisions. In some cases, the marketplace may also have its own inventory of rare collector bottles that it buys and sells directly to buyers. This can provide additional convenience and assurance to buyers who want to purchase from a trusted source.
Overall, a marketplace like cabinet7 facilitates the buying and selling of rare collector bottles, providing a convenient and efficient way for buyers and sellers to connect and transact. The platform offers services to support the buying & selling process, helping to make the process of buying and selling rare collector items easier and more efficient.
History of Whisky
Actually, Whisky is pretty old and has a long history that dates back to the 15th century, when people discovered that alcohol could be distilled from wine and other liquids. During the 1500s (the time of the Renaissance), distillation had spread to Scotland and Ireland, and whiskey production began in earnest. And how could it be otherwise, it started for medical purposes.
We dug deep into our archives and found that the earliest known whisky production in Scotland dates back to 1494 (wow, that's long ago), when Friar John Cor was granted an aquavitae production license. This license allowed him to distill whisky for medicinal purposes. Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to get our hands on an old whiskey from that time - of course not. By the 18th century, whisky had become popular among the Scottish and Irish, with whisky production expanding to the New World colonies and beyond.
The 18th century saw a rapid expansion of whisky production and consumption around the world, with the Scots and Irish leading the way. And that actually makes sense, since they naturally had a head start in terms of time. Whisky was used in a variety of ways, from medicine to currency, and it quickly became a staple of the Scottish and Irish economies. Throughout 19th century, whisky had become a prized commodity, with distilleries popping up across the British Isles and Europe - getting popular at that time!
We regularly get the question how whiskey came from Ireland and Scotland across the ocean to the United States. In general, whisky production got off to a slower start in the US (and still lags behind Scotland in terms of the amount of whisky produced). It wasn't until the late 1700s, when Scottish and Irish immigrants brought their distillation techniques with them, that whiskey production started in earnest. By the mid-1800s, whisky was being produced in the new world colonies, and it had become the drink of choice for many Americans. And the next development steps from then until now?
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, whisky became even more popular around the world. Prohibition in the United States led to a surge in illegal whisky production, and by the end of the 20th century, whisky was one of the most popular drinks worldwide. In recent years, the popularity of whisky has only grown, with an increasing number of distilleries opening across the world and an ever-increasing number of varieties. From single malt Scotch whisky to bourbon, rye, and Japanese whisky, there are now countless of different styles and different types of whisky to sample and enjoy. We love the diversity of Whisky! The spirit has a long and varied history, and its popularity shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Whisky is still a very traditional drink nowadays. But whisky does not seem to have suffered the same loss of popularity as, for example, cognac a few decades ago. Fortunately, the world has a wide variety of spirits to offer, so there’s something for every lover. But let’s get back to rare and old Whisky bottles. Read more below about old whisky bottles and what to do if you find a rare whisky bottle in your cellar.
Do you want to sell an old Whisky? Get a free Whisky evaluation here. But of course you can also check out our collector whiskies for sale.
Process of making Whisky
How is Whisky made? Well, as you may know, the process of making whisky is quite complex and there are many steps involved. First, the grains, usually barley, are ground and mixed with water. The mixture is then heated, allowing the starches to convert to sugar, known as mashing. The liquid created from this process is then cooled and mixed with yeast, which ferments the sugar into alcohol. This liquid is then distilled, where the alcohol is separated from the other components.
But of course, this is not yet whiskey. After the distillation process, the whisky is then aged in oak barrels. This helps the whisky to develop its unique color, flavor, and aroma. During the maturation process, the whisky also loses some of its alcohol content. Most whisky is aged for a minimum of two years before being bottled and sold. Some of the most expensive and sought-after whisky is aged for decades in oak barrels. The oldest and most expensive whiskies are often aged for 50 years or more, resulting in a whisky that has a deep, complex flavor. 50 year old whiskies are of course rare. Maybe you will be lucky and find such an old whisky on our platform cabinet7.
In terms of gluten content, whisky is considered gluten-free. This is because the distillation process removes most of the proteins associated with gluten, leaving only trace amounts. However, some whisky is made with grains that contain gluten, so it’s important to check the label if you have a gluten sensitivity.
How to taste Whisky
First of all, we recommend that you take notes after each tasting so that you can keep track of the different flavors and aromas and more easily remember each whisky you tasted (and compare the whiskies you tasted). That's how we always do it, and it helps a lot. When tasting whisky, there are a few steps to follow to get the most out of the experience.
- Select your glass. Some popular choices include Glencairn Whiskey glasses, Copita glasses, snifters, and rocks glasses. However, if none of these are available to you, it’s perfectly okay to use a regular shaped spherical wine glass.
- Pour Whisky into your glass (that's an obvious one)
- Look at the Whisky. What's the color of the Whisky?
- Smell the Whisky. Start by smelling the whisky, taking in the aromas and noting any flavors you can detect.
- Take a sip. Then take a small sip and roll it around your mouth to appreciate the flavor.
- Enjoy the finish and letting it linger in your mouth longer to appreciate the complexity of the whisky
Finally, take a few moments to reflect on the whisky’s flavor and aroma. Consider the whisky’s body, taste, and finish. What are your thoughts on your Whisky? Is it rather sweet or smoky? Fruity or woody? Where does the flavor linger on your tongue? As mentioned earlier, write down your thoughts. Happy tasting!
Are you unsure whether to drink or sell that old whisky bottle you have in your hands? Then read on here.
We are often asked which Whiskys are out there and here's our answer:
- Scotch Whisky: Scotch whisky is made from malted barley, water and yeast in Scotland. It is aged in oak barrels for a minimum of three years.
- Bourbon Whisky: Bourbon whisky is made from at least 51% corn, water and yeast in the United States. It is aged in charred oak barrels for a minimum of two years.
- Irish Whiskey: Irish whiskey is made from a blend of malted and unmalted barley, water and yeast in Ireland. It is aged in oak barrels for a minimum of three years.
- Canadian Whisky: Canadian whisky is made from a blend of grains, water and yeast in Canada. It is aged in oak barrels for a minimum of three years.
- Rye Whisky: Rye whisky is made from at least 51% rye, water and yeast in the United States. It is aged in charred oak barrels for a minimum of two years.
- Japanese Whisky: Japanese whisky is made from a blend of malted and unmalted barley, water and yeast in Japan. It is aged in oak barrels for a minimum of three years.
With so many options available, it can before sure difficult for you to choose which whisky to enjoy. However, regardless of your preference, we think there is certainly a whisky out there for everyone - either for drinking or for investing in.
- Single Malt Scotch Whisky
- Blended Scotch Whisky
- Grain Scotch Whisky
- Single Grain Scotch Whisky
- Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
- Blended Grain Scotch Whisky
- Vatted Malt Scotch Whisky
- Cask Strength Scotch Whisky
There are many different types of whisky, including Scotch, Irish whiskey, bourbon, rye, Japanese whisky, Canadian whisky, and more if we'd dig even deeper into the world of Whisky.
Scotch whisky is made in Scotland and is traditionally smoky in flavor. Irish whiskey is produced in Ireland and is typically lighter in flavor. Bourbon is a type of American whiskey made from corn and is known for its sweet and smoky flavor. Rye whiskey is also made in America using rye grain as the main ingredient and is often spicier than bourbon. Japanese whisky is usually lighter and more delicate than Scotch and is made with a blend of malted and unmalted grains. Canadian whisky is blended from several grain whiskies, often including rye and corn, and is generally light and smooth.
We suggest to store Whisky in a dark, dry place. Keep it at room temperature (between 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit, or 13-16 degrees Celsius) and away from direct sunlight. If possible, store your Whisky in an upright position, as this will help to retain its flavor and aroma. Please make sure that the cork is kept tight. Those are all our recommendations from our experience for storing a Whisky.
Our experience over the last years shows that Whisky can increase in value depending on its age, brand, and rarity. Limited-edition bottles and vintage whiskies can become more valuable over time as they become more rare and hard to find, while other whiskies may stay at the same value or even decrease in value due to decreased demand.
Whisky can increase in value depending on its age, brand, and rarity. Limited-edition bottles and vintage whiskies can become more valuable over time, with some bottles increasing in value by several hundred or even thousands of dollars. This is because as a whisky ages, it develops a more complex flavor and aroma, making it more desirable to whisky connoisseurs. In addition, if a whisky is produced in limited quantities, it will become rarer and more valuable as demand for it increases. Other whiskies may stay at the same value or even decrease in value due to decreased demand.
Affordable whiskies that may increase in value over time include some of the more rare and limited-edition bottles from popular brands. For instance, some Macallan whiskies can be affordable yet increase in value over time due to their limited supply and increasing demand. Other whiskies that may increase in value include those from popular distilleries such as Highland Park, Glenlivet, and Balvenie.
We have gathered submissions since 2009 via Cognac-Expert.com and then expanded our database of sales points in the past years. For evaluating your bottle we first look at past sales of comparable items.
The value of whisky can be determined by examining its age, rarity, and brand. Generally, the older a whisky is, the more valuable it is, as the older a whisky gets the more complex its flavor and aroma become. Whiskies that are produced in limited quantities can also increase in value over time due to scarcity, as demand for them will be higher than the supply. Lastly, the brand of a whisky can also affect its value, as well-known brands can be more desirable and therefore more valuable. Additionally, some whiskies may have an even higher value if they were produced in a certain year or have a special label or packaging.
Game of Thrones whisky is a limited-edition whisky from the well-known whisky brand, Johnnie Walker. As it is a limited-edition whisky, there is a higher demand for it than its supply, which could cause its value to increase over time. Additionally, due to its connection to the popular TV series, it may become a sought-after collectible, which could further increase its value.
As always, it depends. We'd say, the best whisky glass is a matter of personal preference. Some popular choices include Glencairn Whiskey glasses, Copita glasses, snifters, and rocks glasses. From our experience with Cognac, a snifter is always a solid choice.
Whisky does not have an exact age requirement. Generally, whisky is aged for at least three years in oak barrels before it is bottled and sold. However, some whisky is aged for much longer, up to 25 years or more. But there is also 50 year old Whisky. The age of the whisky is typically indicated on the label and will influence the flavor and complexity of the whisky. The longer whisky is aged, the more complex and mellow its flavor will be. Aging whisky in oak barrels also contributes to its flavor, as the barrels impart a variety of flavor compounds into the whisky. These compounds can include notes of vanilla, honey, and caramel, as well as smokey and spicy notes. The age of the whisky will also affect the color of the whisky, with older whiskies tending to be darker in color.
Of course, the quality of whisky can vary greatly, regardless of its age. The age of whisky can influence its flavor and complexity, but this is not an indication of quality. Please keep in mind that the quality of a whisky is determined by the quality of the ingredients used, the distillation process, and the skill of the distiller. It's the same for Cognac - as we know - because the distiller or cellar master is responsible for selecting the Whisky ingredients, or blending to get to the best and desired flavor profile.
Single malt whisky is a whisky that is made from 100% malted barley and is produced at a single distillery. Single malt whiskies are typically aged for at least three years before being bottled and sold. These whiskies tend to be more complex and flavorful than other whiskies, such as blended Whiskies or grain whiskies. The difference between Cognac, Armagnac, and other brandies is that whiskies are made from grain rather than grapes.
Similar to Cognac, Scotch whisky must be produced in a specific area, in this case Scotland. Scotch whisky must be made from malted barley and must be aged in oak casks for at least three years. Scotch whisky has a distinct flavor profile, which we usually describe as smoky, peaty, and kind of malty.. Many Scotch whiskies are blended with grain whiskies to create a more complex flavor.
Yes, whisky is generally gluten free. Whisky is made from grains such as barley, rye, and wheat, but the distillation process removes most of the gluten. However, some whiskies may contain added flavoring or other ingredients that contain gluten, so it is best to check the label to be sure.
Whiskey Sour Recipe:
- 2 parts (bourbon) Whiskey
- 1 part lemon juice
- 0.5 part sugar syrup
- 0.5 part egg white
- Ice (cubed)
Put all together in a shake. Shake well and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a maraschino cherry or slice of lemon. Easy! That's our way to create a Whiskey Sour.