Japanese Whisky- Auction Case Study 1 Karuizawa

karuizawa-distillery

All figures taken from Whiskyauction.com
Bottling’s from any given decade chosen at random, though other bottling’s were viewed and the below trends seemed to hold true.
Bottling                                       Auction Date                  Price in Euro’s
Karuizawa 1967 Cask 6426      09/2011                           865
“                                      “           01/2012                           850
“                                      “           04/2012                         1205
”                                      ”          11/2012                          1330
Karuizawa 1968 Cask 6955      02/2011                           510
”                                      ”          11/2011                            456
”                                      ”           04/2012                           652
”                                      ”          11/2012                            621
Karuizawa 1973 Cask 6249      03/2011                           290
‘’                                     ‘’           08/2011                           276
‘’                                     ‘’           01/2012                           370
‘’                                     ‘’           09/2012                           365
Karuizawa 1976 Noh # 6719     02/2011                           400
”                                     ”            07/2011                           393
‘’                                     ‘’           12/2011                           405
‘’                                     ‘’           07/2012                           426
Karuizawa 1977 Noh # 7026     02/2011                           555
‘’                                     ‘’           07/2011                           500
‘’                                     ‘’           01/2012                           555
‘’                                     ‘’           12/2012                           535
Karuizawa 1982 Cask 2746      03/2011                           241
‘’                                     ‘’          12/2011                            222
‘’                                     ‘’           04/2012                           236
‘’                                     ‘’          12/2012                            290
Karuizawa 1985 Cask 7017      03/2011                           238
”                                     ”           06/2012                           203
”                                     ”           07/2012                           225
Karuizawa 1992 Cask 3434     03/2011                           135
”                                     ”           08/2011                           134
”                                     ”           05/2012                           200
”                                     ”           10/2012                           174
Karuizawa 1994 Noh # 270      04/2011                           145
‘’                                     ‘’          11/2011                            160
‘’                                     ‘’          06/2012                            160
‘’                                     ‘’          12/2012                            260
Karuizawa 1995 Noh # 5039    06/2011                            261
‘’                                     ‘’           09/2011                           355
‘’                                     ‘’           05/2012                           268
‘’                                     ‘’           07/2012                           180
My conclusions:
Ok, so it’s early days for the Japanese whisky collectors market, but so far. Most bottling’s receive the greatest jump in price after the batch has sold out at retail and then the first time sold at auction, often doubling in price in a matter of months. If purchased in Japan where the retail price is considerably lower, it can be triple. That in general, Noh or other fancy labeled bottling’s jump the highest from retail price to auction price whether the liquid in the bottle is superior or not. That once the initial jump in price is made from retail to auction, that the price often remains relatively static, with some small/medium percentage gains from time to time depending on the bottling. Bottling’s such as the 1967 are the exception to this rather than the rule. That there are some that have dropped in auction price such as the 1995 listed, though these are also exceptions. Still, for those with patience relative ‘bargains’ can still be had. It would also seem that as the initial retail price of bottling’s from the ‘70s are now so high, there are relatively little if any gains when these are sold at auction, at least initially. Karuizawa is by far the most heavily listed Japanese whisky distillery on this auction site. Your best bet is to pull the trigger as soon as you see a new retail release. Bottling’s from the ‘80s and ‘90s would now seem the best bet for short term price gains if your into whisky investing, and although speculating about the future of whisky prices is purely speculative, you’d be hard pressed to bet against prices of these ultimately rising once all the Karuizawa casks have been bottled.

2 thoughts on “Japanese Whisky- Auction Case Study 1 Karuizawa

    • Thanks Clint. I had my own pre conceptions before doing a bit of deeper research and I have actually been following these auctions for the last few years. From memory the 2nd bottle of Karuizawa I bought from this site about 3-4 years ago. For whatever reason it seemed to me that every 6 months, remembering that some of these bottling’s have been out for 3-4 years, the auction price doubled. Doesn’t seem to be the case for the most part.
      Brian

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