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I made £30k selling my rare whiskey collection

A MAN who has spent decades collecting thousands of small whiskey bottles has created a mint after selling them at auction.

Brian Marshall from Kettering, Northamptonshire, has amassed the collection for over 40 years – but doesn’t even like the drink.

Brian's collection of miniature paintings turned out to be of great value at auction

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Brian’s collection of miniature paintings turned out to be of great value at auctionCredit: SWNS
Around 4,000 bottles have fetched nearly £30,000 at auction

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Around 4,000 bottles have fetched nearly £30,000 at auctionCredit: SWNS

He has collected small images of the spirit from around the world, including the US, Iraq, Uruguay and Australia, though admits he finds the taste “horrible”.

He put 4,000 barrels of brandy under the hammer after moving home because he didn’t have room for 130 boxes.

Mr Marshall is expected to earn between £7,000 and £8,000 for rare collection, including some hard to find items.

But he made almost three times that amount. The sale landed him “a very pleasant Christmas bonus” of £29,750.

“But I never had any goals in mind, I don’t even like these things,” he said.

“I’m delighted that my bottles are now in the hands of new collectors and I hope they will enjoy them as I have enjoyed collecting them.”

Rare bottles in the range include a Private Eye Magazine 35th Anniversary bottle created by Scotch Macallan distillers, valued at £340.

A rare canned set of four miniatures by the Springbank distillery in Scotland sells for £1,054.

Two sets commemorating Manchester United’s 1968 Champions League win are on sale for £161 and £130 each.

And a rare book on the brown liquid called The Whiskey Distilleries of the United Kingdom’ by Alfred Barnard has sold for £2,280.

Mr Marshall said he bought the whiskey guidebook, which details every distillery in the UK and describes the techniques and methods of the late Victorian period, at a car advocate sale. steam for just £5.

I plan my vacation around whiskey collecting

He said, “It’s unbelievable to think that [the book] sold for a lot now.

“A book that sells auto-boots is quite expensive, but the seller insists since it’s hardcover I say I can stretch it to.

“I brought a whole box of whiskey books to the charity shop a few months ago, so I’m wondering if I should do it now.”

Mr. Marshall was inspired to start collecting in the 1980s by someone he worked with.

He added: “A friend who worked at Kettering Crematorium who was collecting full-size bottles suggested that I collect miniatures and it all started there.

“But it took on a life of its own because I started planning my holidays in Scotland around it.

“But when my friends ask why I collect miniature whiskey when I don’t even like the taste, I usually say, ‘you buy the cigarettes and at the end of the week all you have is a pile of ashes. , but I have my nice bottles to look at’.”

Will Gilding, director of Gildings Auctioneers in Market Harborough and a specialist in wines and spirits, said: “Brian’s incredible collection truly presents a unique opportunity for collectors, and we are very happy to have achieved such great results for him.

“The 35th anniversary bottling for Private Eye that sold for £340 is an amazing result, but all Macallans in the auction averaged just £150 each.

“As well as the Springbank set, other highlights are the 1965 Clynelish vintage shirt, 25 years old earning £192 and the 1955 Talisker vintage shirt earning £161.

“As is often the case with the single malt whiskey market, particular interest has been expressed in the once well-known Island distilleries, such as Talisker, Laphraoig and Port Ellen, along with the distilleries. silent – now closed – like Killyloch from the Lowlands.”

Top tips for collecting whiskey

Macallan is the most popular whiskey among collectors according to a report from Rare Whiskey 101.

Ardbeg, Bowmore, Highland Park and Laphroaig are in the top five based on the number and value of whiskeys sold at auction last year.

A whiskey expert previously told The Sun spirit is considered a safe investment, because even in the worst case you can often sell a bottle for the price you bought it in the first place.

Although as with any investment, there are no guarantees and you should never invest money that you cannot afford to lose.

Your average bottle of wine bought from your local supermarket or unlicensed store isn’t worth more than you paid for, even if it hasn’t been opened in a while.

These are rare and special edition bottles (like one specially made for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Year) that you should pay attention to.

Martin Green, whiskey specialist at auction house Bonhams, said: “It is important to emphasize that the auction whiskey market is for single malt whiskeys and not blended whiskeys, which are only sold. bid if there is something special.

“A reputation for quality, scarcity and exclusivity is vital when it comes to single malt whiskeys.

Many of the top distillers produce special limited editions of their finest whiskeys, which become collectors’ items. “

The bottles you should keep an eye on fall into four categories: recently awarded whiskeys, official bottles from popular distilleries, discontinued bottles, or those that haven’t been discontinued but will soon become harder to find. .

The trick, according to experts, is to identify relatively priced limited edition bottles that are likely to increase in price after they sell out.

Don’t forget that there are costs involved, along with the investment costs of buying bottles like storage and insurance if they are of great value.

There may be fees associated with the auction, and you may be required to pay capital gains tax on the profits you make.

Top tips for selling a whiskey collection

Here are some tips from the experts on how to get the most out of your nipples:

  • Patient: Wait for the right time to buy or sell your wine.
  • Do your research: To generate good sales, it is important that you understand whiskey and become an expert. You have to make the right choice and know what you’re buying from the start.
  • Where to start: Whiskey onlineand RareWhiskeySite101 is one of a number of sites to find used and rare whiskeys, so make sure you check them out before you buy or sell.
    People can also check out more general information websites about whiskey like scotchwhisky.com, Whiskey advocate or Sales of spirits – or subscribe to Whiskey Magazine. Anne-Sophie also has her own website where she blogs about whiskey: thewhiskylady.net.
  • Keep bottles in good condition: Make sure you keep the box and keep your bottles in good condition. Whiskey does not need the cool conditions of cellars that are often required for wines. But it needs to be kept stable at room temperature and upright to avoid contact between the cork and the internal crack. The value may drop suddenly if there is damage to the bottle or label or if the fill level drops, indicating poor sealing and volatilization.

It’s not just rare drinks that can get you hooked.

You can make hundreds of pounds selling used toys and games, including Monopoly and Lego.

Rare Pokémon cards from McDonalds have sold for hundreds of on eBay.

Even rare computer games can cost more than their original purchase price. A Super Mario game sold for a whopping £1 million earlier this year.

This Morning’s Phillip Schofield drinks whiskey from a bottle during a booze gig

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Bobby Allyn

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