UK auction sales of rare whisky topped £25 million in 2017
The UK's rare whisky auction market has exceeded £25 million in a single year for the first time as global demand soars, industry analysts said.
The volume and value of rare Scotch whisky sold at auction increased by record amounts in 2017, according to Rare Whisky 101.
The value of collectable bottles of single malt sold at auction in the UK rose by 76% to £25 million. The 2016 figure was £14.2 million.
The number of bottles sold increased by 42% to 83,713, up from 58,758 in 2016.
Andy Simpson, director and co-founder of Rare Whisky 101, said: "We were fully expecting to break £20 million for the first time.
"However, £25 million shows the level of pure demand in the market at the moment.
"The volume of bottles on the open market is at record highs, but demand for the right bottles, for now at least, continues to exceed these record levels of supply."
The most expensive bottle to sell at auction in the UK was a bottle of 62-year-old Dalmore, one of 12 originally released, for £95,000.
December saw 8,848 bottles of Scotch sold, a record month and a large part of the 25,123 bottles auctioned through the final quarter of 2017.
At the end of 2016, 10 distilleries had seen a single bottle sell for more than £10,000. A year on that number has grown to 14.
David Robertson, Rare Whisky 101 co-founder, added: "We are experiencing increasing demand from almost all parts of the globe.
"South East Asia remains a key factor for the market, but is by no means the exclusive driver.
"Demand from the domestic market, central Europe and further afield is higher than we've ever seen."