The Most Experienced Old & Rare Team In The World
Our buying team is led by The Whisky Exchange co-founder Sukhinder Singh, who has been collecting and trading old and rare whisky and spirits for more than 30 years and is regularly called on to consult for distilleries and auction houses. We are passionate about fine spirits and would love to buy your bottles. Click here to request a valuation.
We Bought More Than £10 Million Worth of Old and Rare Bottles in 2018 alone
The global market for these spirits has grown significantly in recent times, with the value of rare expressions more than doubling in the past few years alone. The Whisky Exchange has an enviable reputation as a leader in this field:
The Market For Selling Whisky In 2021
The market for bottles of rare single malt whisky has remained buoyant even throughout this turbulent year. Bottles continue to break records and distilleries continue to release new and unique bottlings.
As you are probably aware by now, the market for single malt scotch whisky has risen dramatically over the last few years. There was huge growth in 2020 for certain bottles through lockdown and this growth has continued through 2021. A good example demonstrating just how much the market has risen is Macallan Private Eye. It was first released in 1996 with a retail price of £36. It was a limited edition of 5,000 bottles and was advertised for sale very widely across national newspapers.
Just 11 years after release the value had jumped to £240 at auction quite a healthy 566% ROI. Jump forward another 10 years to 2017 and the auction price had jumped again, but this time to £1,500 .
The market then took a real leap and the market reached its peak in October 2018 with prices for Private Eye reaching a staggering £4,000 . This moment also marked a turning point for the market. Prices have been gently falling ever since as the market has become saturated with bottles.
In early 2021 we have seen the price of Macallan Private Eye jump to around £4,000 to £4,500 proving the appetite remains for this bottle.
How Do You Sell Your Whisky
Are you looking to sell whisky but dont know where to start? At Mark Littler LTD we make the selling process as simple as possible by handling all of the logistics, paperwork and fully insured shipping.
We can help you sell your whisky in three ways:
Our aim to achieve the best possible price for your bottles afterall, you can only sell once. By giving you all of your options you can be sure you are making the right decision.
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Buying Whisky From You
Every single day, we are searching out the very best rare and old whisky, wherever it may be. As well as buying from primary and secondary markets we actively source whisky casks and bottles directly from collectors themselves, such as yourself. In doing so we offer competitive prices, fast payment and make all arrangements for pickup. Cask 88 simplifies the entire process of selling your whisky.
Selling Your Whisky Online And The Licensing Act 2003
The first thing you need to know is that you can sell a bottle of whisky online, but you cannot sell it yourself. You have to go through someone with the relevant licences. This is for one simple but important reason:
Alcohol is a controlled drug and the sale of it is highly regulated by Government.
In the UK the laws which govern the sale of alcohol are outlined in the Licensing Act 2003. To summarise a very lengthy document it is illegal to sell alcohol to those under the age of 18. And in order to sell alcohol you must first have a personal licence and a premises license .
If you attempt to sell your whisky bottle of whisky yourself and get caught without the appropriate licenses you can face a 6 month spell in one of Her Majestys hotels and a £20,000 fine. With this in mind, lets take a look at what options are available.
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Selling Whisky At A Traditional Auction
We cant write a guide to selling whisky without mentioning the traditional bricks and mortar salerooms, as they were the birthplace of the resale market for whisky. Although they used to have a monopoly on the market, all of the above options have really eaten into their dominance and traditional auctions are now sadly in decline.
High commission rates for buyers and sellers and the lack of focused marketing are the main reasons for this demise.
Many of the traditional salerooms sell antiques and collectors items as their mainstay, with whisky being a small part of their calendar of sales. As such, their marketing budgets for whisky are often not as high as the online options so they do not achieve the same reach to the specialist buyers and often dont achieve the best prices.
The real nail in the coffin for the traditional salerooms though is the commission they charge both the buyer and seller. Standard selling fees are 18% for the seller AND 28.8% for the buyer. What that means is you only receive 53% of what the buyer had to pay for your bottle. The high buyers premium is taken into account by buyers and as such they reduce their bids accordingly.
How Much Is My Whisky Worth
As seasoned whisky buyers, our small team at The London Wine Cellar is well placed to value your whisky, whatever variety it may be. We provide a number of ways to get your bottles valued and subsequently sell your whisky online via our contact form, sending photographs to our dedicated WhatsApp number, or coming in to our East London cellar to discuss the sale in person. Selling to us offers several advantages we are able to provide a competitive, obligation-free quote quickly, we organise the collection of bottles to suit you and only send out via specialist couriers, and most importantly, well transfer your payment as soon as we have quality-checked your bottles. We currently have our eye on all old and rare bottles from Scotland, Ireland, Japan and the USA but are always keen to discuss your bottles, whatever they may be.
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Is It A Limited Edition
A limited edition is defined as one that is not part of a distillery or brands core range. This can be anything from a themed release of many thousand bottles, to a very small number of bottles that have been obtained from a single cask. Scarcity is, as you can imagine, a factor that affects value.
The Bottle Is The Oldest Single Malt Scotch Whisky Ever Bottled
Sotheby’s announced that they will be auctioning the first decanter of an 80-year-old whiskey made by Gordon & MacPhail, a UK-based distiller of Scotch Whisky, on October 7 . It is the oldest single malt scotch to be bottled as of now, and has matured in an oak cask since 1940. In 2020, makers of the whiskey decided to bottle it in a decanter and brought architect and designer Sir David Adjaye on board to design a new oak case for the scotch.
Food & Wine estimates that the first decanter, called “Decanter #1,” will be sold for anywhere between $100,000 to $200,000, possibly more. The buyer of the prized whiskey gets the decanter, a whiskey tasting in London with Adjaye, a signed lithograph of the bottle design, as well as a framed cask head in which the whiskey was aged.
“Maturing a single malt Scotch over eight decades is an art, similar in many ways to architecture where you are creating something that needs to stand the test of time,” Ewen Mackintosh, managing director of Gordon & MacPhail, said in a statement.
In addition to “Decanter #1,” Gordon & MacPhail are also going to release 249 additional decanters of the 80-year-old whiskey. However, those decanters won’t come with as impressive a goodie bag as the first one.
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Selling Whisky Via Our Auction Coordination Service
Following the rise in the value of whisky, coupled with the need for a legal way for the public to sell whisky online, a few entrepreneurs set up specialist, online whisky auctions. They started to appear around 2010 and grew in number each year. As of 2021, there are over 20 specialist online whisky auctions and they can be a great place to sell your whisky online. The main of the specialist online auctions is to help you sell whisky online, but how do they achieve good prices when they only sell whisky online?
These auctions cater only to the sale of whisky and as such are able to be very targeted with their marketing. This had the result of opening up the whisky market to the world as the sale and purchase of rare bottles of whisky became more accessible and user friendly. The significant increase in the value of whisky from 2010 onwards can certainly be attributed, at least in part, to the rise of online auctions, but arguably their most important asset is the fact they are completely legal!
We have partnered with one of the leading online whisky auction houses to provide a service that helps our clients get their bottles to auction quickly and efficiently. Once your bottle is at auction you can watch live as bidding commences and your bottle passes to the hands of a new owner.
If you are interested in selling your bottle through our service then please email some images of your bottle standing upright to
You Cannot Sell Whisky On Ebay Or Facebook
eBay was once a good place to sell whisky online. This changed in 2014 when eBay introduced a blanket ban on the sale of alcohol. The reasons for this were simple by allowing people without the relevant licenses to sell their whisky on eBay they were facilitating the illegal sale of alcohol and were open to litigation. In 2018 eBay allowed certain retailers to list whisky for sale once more but each retailer had to go through a rigorous screening process.
Summary: you cannot sell whisky on eBay and are liable to prosecution if caught.
Facebook then took over as the place to sell whisky online. Dozens of specialist groups soon sprung up and until July 2019 thousands of bottles were sold each month. You could list your bottle for sale with an asking price and people would contact you to complete the sale.
Summary: you cannot sell whisky on Facebook and are liable to prosecution if caught.
We hope you have found our guide to selling your single malt whisky useful. Mark Littler Ltd. offer free valuations and can source offers for you bottle from our network of national and international buyers. Please fill in the form and attach a picture of your bottle to receive your free valuation.
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The Long Arm Of The Law
Regardless of the authenticity of the liquid, selling alcohol without a license is illegal in all states. Getting caught is of little concern to most sellers. The serious ones have adroitly ascertained how to circumvent the system.
Louis only ships via USPS, because the feds cant open a shipment without a warrant, and there arent any alcohol dogs so the odds of interception are low. Several flippers, including Louis, knowingly sold directly to police officers. Cops dont get allocated bottles any easier. Theyre in all the groups, buying along with the rest of us, he says. Come after me, and Id just say, Do you want these 20 cops Ive sold to? Powell got panicked messages about police officers and judges in his groups, but nothing came of it. Coleman states that he knows of several Louisville officers who buy, sell, and trade on the gray market.
Investigating secondary sales is not a priority issue, but its not uncommon, says Captain Jamie Jones of the Pennsylvania State Polices Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement. Jones oversees the Operations Division for the Bureau, a force of 171 officers, one of the largest battalions of liquor cops in the country. Pennsylvania, a control state, offers allocated bottles to residents using an online lottery system. Despite warnings directed at the lucky winners, rare bottles sometimes appear on secondary markets, where Joness officers are anonymously lurking, trying to identify individuals engaged in reselling.
Pros Of Selling Your Whisky With Mark Littler Ltd:
- The sale price is agreed in advance so you know exactly what you will receive into your bank before you commit to sell.
- We have a fully insured postage service which takes the hassle out of delivering the bottle to us.
- Bottles are marketed in an ultra specialised way to buyers all over the world.
- Payment is fast as soon as the sale is completed we send the proceeds to you.
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Places That Sell Used Whiskey Barrels Online
Barrels are more than just containers for aging your favorite wine and liquor. Sure, theyre most commonly used as such, but there are other ways to make use of these wooden containers.
One of the most common uses of barrels other than for aging alcoholic drinks is for furniture. Head over to your local rustic-themed restaurant and youll more often than not find a barrel or two in the store put up as decoration. They make for great tables, chairs, or even just pure decoration.
Even if you arent using barrels for the sake of furniture, though, there are still some ways to make use of them particularly if theyre aged. If youre running a professional brewery or distillery, used barrels are great for aging, as they add more flavor and body to the drink.
Even coffee beans have been known to be aged in used whiskey barrels. So not only are used barrels great for home decoration, theyre also useful in businesses that need that extra flavor when aging.
So if youre looking for a place that sells aged barrels, but you dont know where to look, youve come to the right place. Weve listed 8 online stores that ship their used whiskey barrels to locations all over the U.S. of A. But before you pick one from the list and order immediately, here are a couple of pointers.
These online stores are different in their own way some stores are more budget-focused, meaning that you can get a good deal out of them, especially if you live close to their physical locations.
Selling Via Our Online Shop
In addition to our traditional private brokerage service discussed above, 2020 has also seen the launch of our exclusive shop.
This option is for sellers with a bit more time on their hands who are looking to get an above auction premium for their extra-ordinary bottles of whisky. We are able to sell whisky online as we have all the relevant licenses in place. This means we can help you sell whisky in a way that competes with retailers and as a result means we can achieve a higher price for your bottles.
If you have a bottle of whisky that you would like to sell through our shop then please send an email to and someone will get back to you to discuss the options.
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Selling Whisky Via An Online Retailers
Another way to sell your whisky online legally is to sell direct it to a whisky retailer. There are dozens of retailers online and they will buy your stock to re-sell on their websites. Although retailers were once a very popular way of selling whisky online the majority are wary of buying stock at the height of the market so they are often quite coy with their offers.
A Broken System Still Works
Bourbon has become a commodity, Paul surmises. Some of us choose to use it, whereas other people stockpile 900 bottles in their basement, like thats a normal thing to do. Everyone started getting upset like it wasnt a commodity. The real question is if youve got a $300 bottle that can easily command $2,000, who should be making that money? The distiller? The distributor? The retailer? Flippers? And should they be required to do it legally?
Its impossible to separate the secondary market from the maelstrom of negativity that hovers over it, but redeeming tales of camaraderie, benevolence, and sacrifice are also omnipresent. Many whiskey lovers have forged lasting friendships with secondary-market strangers from other states, some of whom began traveling to meet in person for bottle shares. Others have established symbiotic cost plus shipping relationships where allocated bottles common in one region are swapped, without profit. There are plenty of good folks in these groups, says Michael V. People in it are just trying to help each other find great whiskey.
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Selling Whisky Via An Online Broker
Selling your whisky via a licenced whisky broker is a legal alternative to selling via an online auction. A broker helps you find a buyer for your item in this case whisky and charges you a commission on the sale price of the bottle. It is therefore in the brokers interest to get you the best possible price.
Selling whisky through an online broker gives you much more control over the sale of your whisky compared to an auction. If you dont agree with the offer price you simply keep hold of your bottle and keep looking for a buyer.
We make the process of selling your bottle really simple. You just send in a few images of your bottle standing upright. We then forward the images to our clients and send you the highest offer we receive. The offers are without obligation so if the offer is not right for you then there is no need to proceed.
If you want to proceed then we send you out a contract and you send us your bottle. We even have a subsidised and fully insured courier service that you can use where we send specialist packaging material and a pre-paid returns label. We then complete the sale with the buyer and send you the proceeds minus our commission and courier charge if you use it via BACS.
We have hundreds of five-star reviews on Google, Yell and Facebook and are really proud of the level of customer service we provide.