As Edinburgh prepares for the world’s biggest culture festival, its bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants will doubtless be stocking up to feed and water the estimated 400,000 visitors who will descend on them before and after they have satisfied their hunger for music, theatre and comedy. Doubtless, too, one of the most popular drinks to be downed will be whisky, a drink that gets its name from the gaelic usquebaugh, or ‘water of life’.
As the market for whisky shows today, this is no old man’s drink. Imbibers and collectors are often in their twenties and thirties, and the auction and investment markets for whisky see active buyers from these age groups too – more so than the wine industry.
In fact, for all the fuss made over gin in recent years, whisky has stolen a march on it as a collecting and investment marketplace.
Many other nations have been getting in on the act and making their own to a very high standard, from England Wales to, most notably, Japan and Australia.
Really, whisky operates two markets: one in age-old rare bottles and casks left over from defunct distilleries or held back as one-off specials from decades ago; and another comprising short-run bottlings or casks, often to celebrate anniversaries or special occasions.
With Bourbon, rye whiskey and other creations adding to the mix, this is an exciting market to become involved in.