Aside from the often-unfair images we might have about millennials from how they’re represented in the media, one reason this might seem surprising is that we’re also told that they are drinking less alcohol than previous generations. However, it seems that while this is true, they’re also switching from lager and wine to spirits like whisky.
This interest in whisky isn’t just for the taste either. Whatever the traditional image of a whisky collector might be, the reality is trending younger. At a Sotheby’s spirits sale in March 2020, 54% of bidders were under the age of 40, while data on visits to auction sites in general shows that the under-35s make up a larger percentage than the 50 to 64s.
This is a sign that the demographics at auctions are shifting and has been seen in the world of real estate investments too as the millennial generation has been competing there as well. With them, they are bringing a more diverse investment crowd, like 32-year-old Jessica Anwar, a whisky aficionado with a collection of more than 1,000 rare bottles from distilleries like Brora, Lagavulin, Dalwhinnie and Port Ellen.
She also invests in whisky casks, saying: “It’s interesting because you get to taste it as it matures and make the decision when to bottle it.” Millennial investors like Jessica trawl social media for news on limited edition releases as well as joining whisky clubs and visiting whisky bars to build up their knowledge.
As one such investor, 24-year-old Douglas Lau from Hong Kong, said: “Whisky has started to become fashionable with my generation. People don’t see it as boring any more.”