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Pick Your Pour: Which Bourbon is a Good Investment?

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Last Updated on February 20, 2024 by Lydia Martin

As a bourbon enthusiast and investor, I’m often asked the question, “Which bourbon is a good investment?” It’s a tough question to answer, and the truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all response.

But fear not because, after years of investing and tasting, I’ve discovered a few tips and tricks that can help you out find the perfect bourbon investment.

So, grab a glass of your chosen whiskey and get ready to uncover the secrets to choosing the right bourbon for your investment portfolio.

2 empty glasses beside a bottle of bourbon

Reasons to Invest in Bourbon

Whiskey, especially rare and vintage bottles, has become a sought-after asset among collectors and investors. Here are four reasons why whiskey investing is a must in 2023:

Limited supply

The production of quality whiskey takes time and effort, which means that there is a limited supply of aged whiskey. As a result, demand for rare and vintage bottles continues to grow, driving up their value.

Tangible asset

Unlike stocks or bonds, investing in whiskey provides a tangible asset that can be displayed, admired, and enjoyed. Owning rare and vintage bottles can also provide a sense of pride and satisfaction and the potential for financial gain.

Increasing popularity

Whiskey has been growing in popularity for several years now, and this trend is expected to continue in 2023. This rising demand can increase the value of rare and premium bottles.

Rarity and scarcity

Some premium and rare whiskey bottles are produced in limited quantities, making them highly desired by collectors and investors. This rarity and scarcity can increase their value over time.

Historical value

Whiskey has a rich history; some bottles have been aged for decades or centuries. The historical significance of these bottles can add value and make them highly collectible.

Potential for high returns

The value of rare and vintage whiskey has been increasing at an impressive rate, with some bottles fetching hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction. While there are risks involved in any investment, whiskey has the potential for high returns.

Potential for long-term growth

Whiskey is a tangible asset that can appreciate in value over time. Investors can see long-term growth in their whiskey investment portfolio by investing in premium and rare bottles.

How to Invest in Bourbon

Investing in bourbon can be done through various methods, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the most common ways to invest in bourbon :

Purchasing bottles

This is the most straightforward way to invest in bourbon. You can buy bottles of limited edition or rare bourbons that are expected to appreciate in value over time. However, there is no guarantee that the value of the bottle will increase, and there is always a risk of counterfeit bottles.

Bourbon investment funds

Some investment funds specialize in buying and selling bourbon. These funds typically require a minimum investment, but they offer diversification and professional management of your investment.

Whiskey auctions

You can participate in whiskey auctions to purchase a vintage or rare bottle. Auctions can be a great way to acquire rare bottles, but prices can be high, and you may need to pay a buyer’s premium.

Distillery stocks

Investing in the stocks of bourbon distilleries can be another way to gain exposure to the industry. However, like any investment in individual stocks, there is always a risk that the stock price could decline.

a closer look of a bottle of bourbon on top of the table

8 Best Bourbon to Invest In

Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year

Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year is a rare and highly sought-after straight bourbon whiskey that has become a legend in the whiskey market.

Here are the reasons why this bourbon is considered one of the best to invest in:

  • Rarity: Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year is produced in limited quantities each year, which makes it rare and highly desirable among collectors and investors.
  • Age: Being aged 23 years, this bourbon is one of the oldest and most aged on the market, which adds to its value and complexity.
  • Distillery: Produced by the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year is known for its high quality and attention to detail in aging.
  • Tasting notes: This bourbon is known for its rich, complex flavors, including notes of caramel, vanilla, oak, and spice, which make it highly enjoyable for bourbon enthusiasts.
  • Brand reputation: The Van Winkle family has been producing bourbon for generations, and their established quality and craftsmanship has only grown over time.
  • Bottle condition: Because of its high value, collectors and investors seek out bottles of Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year in excellent condition, with unopened bottles in their original packaging being the most highly prized.
  • Market demand: The high demand for Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year has driven its price in the secondary market, making it a popular choice for investors looking for a potentially high return on investment.
  • Price: Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year is one of the most expensive bourbons on the market, with a price range of $3,000 to $4,000 per bottle, which makes it an attractive investment for those looking for a high return on investment.

Buffalo Trace Antique Collection – George T. Stagg 2019

Buffalo Trace Antique Collection – George T. Stagg 2019 is one of the most highly regarded rare whiskey on the market, and for a good reason. Here are the reasons why this particular release is considered a great investment opportunity:

  • Rarity: The Buffalo Trace Antique Collection releases only a limited number of bottles each year, making this specific George T. Stagg release a rare find.
  • Age: This bourbon is aged for a minimum of 15 years, resulting in a rich and complex flavor profile that is highly prized among whiskey enthusiasts.
  • Distillery: The Buffalo Trace Distillery has a long and respected history of producing high-quality bourbons, further adding to the appeal of this particular release.
  • Tasting notes: George T. Stagg 2019 is known for its bold and intense flavors, with notes of dark chocolate, espresso, and vanilla.
  • Brand reputation: The Buffalo Trace Antique Collection has a strong reputation for quality and consistency, further adding to the value of this particular release.
  • Bottle condition: The condition of the bottle can significantly affect its value, and collectors will pay a premium for a well-preserved bottle of George T. Stagg 2019.
  • Market demand: As one of the most popular and highly regarded bourbons on the market, George T. Stagg 2019 is in high demand among collectors and investors alike.
  • Price: The price range for a bottle of George T. Stagg 2019 varies depending on several factors, but it can range from $500 to $1,500 or more, making it a significant investment.

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2012

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2012 is one of the highly sought-after bourbon bottles by enthusiasts due to its exceptional taste, rarity, and limited availability. Here are the reasons why Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2012 is considered one of the best bourbons to invest in:

  • Rarity: Only 5,000 bottles were produced, making it a highly sought-after and rare bourbon.
  • Age: Aged for 17 years, giving it a unique and complex flavor profile.
  • Distillery: Four Roses is a well-respected and award-winning distillery with a long history of producing quality bourbons.
  • Tasting notes: The 2012 edition has tasting notes of honey, vanilla, and cinnamon, with a long and smooth finish.
  • Brand reputation: Four Roses has a strong reputation in the bourbon industry, consistently receiving high ratings and awards for their products.
  • Bottle condition: Since it’s a rare and highly sought-after bourbon, collectors place a premium on the condition of the bottle and packaging.
  • Market demand: The limited availability and high demand for Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2012 make it a valuable addition to any collection.
  • Price: The current market value for this bourbon ranges from $1,500 to $2,500 per bottle, making it a high-end investment option for serious collectors.

a glass of bourbon on the rocks

Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Year

Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Year is a highly sought-after Kentucky straight bourbon that has gained a reputation for being one of the best investments in the bourbon market. Here is the list of reasons why Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Year is considered one of the best bourbons to invest in:

  • Rarity: The Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Year is produced in limited quantities each year, making it a rare find for bourbon enthusiasts and collectors.
  • Age: The bourbon is aged in whisky cask barrels for 12 years, allowing for a smooth and complex flavor profile to develop.
  • Distillery: The Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Year is manufactured by the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery has a long history of producing high-quality, sought-after bourbons.
  • Tasting Notes: The bourbon has tasting notes of caramel, vanilla, oak, and a hint of spice, making it a well-balanced and enjoyable sipping experience.
  • Brand Reputation: The Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery has a strong reputation for producing some of the best bourbons in the world, making the Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Year highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts alike.
  • Bottle Condition: The condition of the bottle is important when it comes to investing in bourbons, as collectors prefer bottles that are unopened and in pristine condition.
  • Market Demand: The market demand for Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Year is extremely high, with many enthusiasts and collectors willing to pay well above its retail price. In recent years, bourbon has become increasingly scarce due to limited production, leading to a surge in demand and prices. 
  • Price Range: The price range for a bottle of Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Year can vary greatly, susceptible on factors such as rarity, age, and condition. Typically, it can range from $500 to $1,500 or more, making it a high-end investment option for serious collectors.

Elijah Craig 18 Year

Elijah Craig 18 Year is a rare and highly sought-after bourbon that has been aged for 18 years in charred oak barrels. Here are the reasons why it is considered one of the best bourbons to invest in:

  • Rarity: Elijah Craig 18 Year is a limited edition bourbon, with each bottle being individually numbered. This makes it a rare and sought-after collector’s item.
  • Age: The bourbon is aged for a minimum of 18 years, which contributes to its complexity and depth of flavor. The longer aging process also means less supply is available, further driving up its value.
  • Distillery: Elijah Craig is produced by Heaven Hill Distillery, which has been in operation since 1935 and has a long-standing reputation for producing high-quality bourbons.
  • Tasting notes: The bourbon has a rich and compounded flavor profile, with notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak. It has a smooth and velvety texture, making it an ideal sipping bourbon.
  • Brand reputation: Elijah Craig has a strong reputation as a premium bourbon brand, which adds to its collectability and value.
  • Bottle condition: As with any collectible, the condition of the bottle is important. Elijah Craig 18 Year comes in a distinctive bottle with an embossed logo and label, which should be in pristine condition for maximum value.
  • Market demand: Elijah Craig 18 Year has high market demand, with limited availability leading to a consistent increase in prices over the years.
  • Price range: The price range for Elijah Craig 18 Year varies depending on the market and the condition of the bottle, but it typically falls between $200-$500.

Michter’s 10 Year Single Barrel

Michter’s 10 Year Single Barrel is a famous bourbon among collectors and connoisseurs. Here are the reasons why it is considered one of the best bourbons to invest in:

  • Rarity: Michter’s 10 Year Single Barrel is a limited edition bourbon that is released in small batches, making it rare and highly sought after by collectors.
  • Age: The bourbon is aged for a minimum of 10 years, imparting a rich and complex flavor profile highly prized among bourbon enthusiasts.
  • Distillery: Michter’s is a highly respected distillery with a long history of producing exceptional bourbon. The distillery is known for its meticulous attention to detail and commitment to quality.
  • Tasting Notes: Michter’s 10 Year Single Barrel has a complex and balanced flavor profile, with notes of caramel, vanilla, and spice. The bourbon is also smooth and easy to drink, making it a favorite among bourbon enthusiasts.
  • Brand Reputation: Michter’s has built a reputation for producing some of the best bourbons in the world. The distillery has won numerous awards and is highly appraised by industry experts and consumers alike.
  • Bottle Condition: The condition of the bottle is an important factor to consider when investing in bourbon. Michter’s 10 Year Single Barrel is typically sold in a well-designed and well-sealed bottle that is meant to protect the bourbon from light and oxidation.
  • Market Demand: There is a high demand for Michter’s 10 Year Single Barrel among collectors and bourbon enthusiasts, which has helped drive up the bourbon price.
  • Price Range: Michter’s 10 Year Single Barrel is typically priced in the $300 to $500 range, which makes it a high-end investment for serious collectors.

Booker’s 30th Anniversary

Booker’s 30th Anniversary is considered one of the best bourbons to invest in for the following reasons:

  • Rarity: Booker’s 30th Anniversary is a limited-release bourbon with only 6,000 bottles produced.
  • Age: This bourbon is aged in whiskey casks for 9 years and 4 months, which is longer than most of Booker’s releases.
  • Distillery: Booker’s is produced by Jim Beam, one of the most renowned and respected bourbon distilleries.
  • Tasting notes: Booker’s 30th Anniversary has an intricate flavor profile with hint of vanilla, caramel, and oak, making it a highly sought-after and delicious bourbon.
  • Brand reputation: Booker’s brand has a strong reputation for producing high-quality bourbons, which adds to the desirability of this release.
  • Bottle condition: Booker’s 30th Anniversary packaging is exquisite, with a wooden case and a unique glass bottle with a metal plaque.
  • Market demand: The market demand for Booker’s 30th Anniversary has been high, with bottles selling for well above the retail price on the secondary market.
  • Price range: The retail price for Booker’s 30th Anniversary was around $200, but it can now yield much higher prices on the secondary market, making it a potentially lucrative investment for bourbon collectors.

William Larue Weller 2019

William Larue Weller 2019 is considered one of the best bourbons to invest in for several reasons:

  • Rarity: William Larue Weller is a rare whisky icon, a once-a-year release, and is part of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, making it a highly sought-after bourbon.
  • Age: This bourbon is aged for 12 years in barrel proof whiskey casks, giving it a complex and rich flavor profile.
  • Distillery: Produced by the award-winning Buffalo Trace Distillery, William Larue Weller is known for its exceptional quality and craftsmanship.
  • Tasting notes: William Larue Weller 2019 has tasting notes of caramel, vanilla, and dark fruit, with a spicy finish.
  • Brand reputation: Buffalo Trace has a solid reputation for producing high-quality and sought-after bourbons; William Larue Weller is no exception.
  • Bottle condition: As a limited edition release, each bottle of William Larue Weller 2019 is individually numbered, making it a collector’s item. Proper storage and handling will maintain the bottle’s condition and increase its value.
  • Market demand: William Larue Weller 2019 is in high demand among collectors and enthusiasts, which has driven up its value over time.
  • Price range: The price range for William Larue Weller 2019 varies depending on location but generally falls within the range of $1,000 to $1,500.

FAQs

Can bourbon be an investment?

Yes, bourbon can be an investment. In recent years, the popularity of bourbon has grown, leading to an increase in demand and value for rare and limited edition bottles.

Many investors view bourbon as a tangible asset that can appreciate in value over time, making it an attractive investment option.

However, as with any investment, it’s important to do your research and consider various factors before investing in bourbon.

What is the difference between Tennessee and Scotch whisky from bourbon?

Tennessee whiskey is filtered through charcoal before aging in oak barrels, while scotch whisky is made from malted barley and aged for a minimum of three years in Scotland.

Conversely, Bourbon is made from at least 51% corn and aged in new, charred oak barrels in the United States.

References

  1. https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/121115/investing-bourbon-how-it-works-and-proscons.asp
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