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Why Whisky May Be Just The Thing For Jittery Investors

For those in the know – and with the willpower not to drink up their assets – fine whisky can be quite a rewarding investment. A bottle of 1995 Brora, for example, was worth 100 euros in 1998. Now it sells for five times as much.

Pricey whiskies can be worth holding on to (saschafatcat)
Pricey whiskies can be worth holding on to (saschafatcat)


Whisky has become more than just a classy drink. It can also be a pretty good investment – better in some cases than stocks, at least when markets are all over the place, as they are now.

Because there is increased demand for a decreasing supply, Michel Kappen, founder of an online platform called the World Whisky Index, sees prices rising long-term. The ex-banker estimates annual yield at 12%. So it's hardly surprising that more and more yield-oriented connoisseurs are buying whisky and hoping for price rises.

By way of example: a bottled 1995 Brora was selling for around 100 euros in 1998. By 2006 the value had doubled. Today, the 75 cl bottle costs no less than 500 euros.

The World Whisky Index presently tracks 46,610 bottles that together are worth 5.62 million euros. The site, created in 2007, brings buyers and sellers together. Whisky fans can build their own portfolio, and buy and sell. The most expensive bottle, a 1919 Springbank Single Malt, is presently quoted at 55,000 euros.

Whisky auctions have existed since the 1980s. But they're risky for casual whisky fans since the lucrative market is littered with ever more fakes. According to connoisseurs, the Italian mafia has already firmly established itself in the fast-growing market. Even dealers occasionally get taken in. Tricksters use fake seals and labels on the bottles, or original bottles with fake contents.

"Never buy expensive bottles from an unknown dealer," warns Tomas Ide, a foremost expert and founder of the Whisky Chamber. Before bidding on the Internet, he says, ask for pictures of the bottles and labels so that these can be compared with originals.

"Collectors should be on the lookout for bottles available only in limited quantities," says Ide. Whiskies from distilleries that have closed, such as Rosebank, are also an excellent bet. Pittyvaich is another potential winner, says Ide, as are whiskies from the Banff Distillery which closed its doors in 1983.

Read the full story in German by Christian Euler

Photo - saschafatcat

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Ivan The Terrible's "Third Rome" And The Enduring Myth Of Russian Supremacism

Tracing the early roots of the concept of the "Russian world" that sees the Russian state as eternal and impervious to change. Its primary objective is the establishment of a robust national state, a realm of expansionism where autocracy is the only form of governance possible.

photo of tomb of the unknown soldier Moscow

Tomb of the unknown soldier Moscow

Vazhnyye Istorii

Updated Dec. 10, 2023 at 9:45 p.m.


Looking back at the start of the 16th century, the Grand Duchy of Moscow had emerged victorious over its Orthodox rivals, including principalities such as Tver and the Novgorod Republic. At the time, a significant portion of the eastern Slavic lands was under Catholic Lithuania's control.

So, how did Moscow rise to prominence?

On the surface, Moscow appeared to fill the void left by the Mongolian Golden Horde. While Moscow had previously collected tributes from other principalities, it now retained these resources for itself. There was an inclination for Muscovy to expand further eastward, assimilating fragments of the Genghisid empire. However, aligning the descendants of ancient Rus’ with the heirs of Genghis Khan would necessitate a fundamental shift in the state's identity. This was particularly complex due to the prevalent ideology built around religion, with the Tatar khans, unlike the Russian princes, adhering to Islam.

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In the early 16th century, a Pskov monk named Philotheus introduced a new idea: that Moscow represented the "third Rome."

According to Philotheus, the first Rome had succumbed to Latin heresy (Catholicism), and the second, Constantinople, had fallen to Turkish conquest. He believed Moscow was now the capital of the only Orthodox state remaining in the world. Philotheus presented his worldview to Grand Duke Vasily III, advocating for the unification of all Christian kingdoms into one.

The descendants of ancient Rus’ sought to trace their lineage back to Prus, the legendary brother of the first Roman emperor Augustus Octavian, establishing a link between Russia and the first Rome. Even though historical evidence doesn't support these claims, Ivan IV, better known as Ivan the Terrible, proudly asserted his connection to Augustus Octavian. He took the concept of the third Rome very seriously and became the first Russian ruler to take on the title of the tsar.

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