NEW YORK (FOX5NY) - Mahesh Patel is one of the top whisky collectors in the world.
His personal collection is worth at least £6 million British Pounds (approx. $7.75 million USD).
He claims he was the first person to buy a bottle worth more than £100,000 and now has well north of 5,000 bottles. But Mahesh says you don’t need to be rich to get rich.
He started collecting when he didn’t have a lot of money, and picked up some gems that are now worth quite a bit.
Mahesh did a lot of his early shopping in the duty free stores. Back in the day, he says, they had great gems and a lot of limited edition products. He would buy two of everything: one to collect and one to open and enjoy.
Looking to start your own collection?
Just remember two important criteria for collectible liquids. First and foremost, Mahesh says, look at established brands that have been on the market for a little while. Then look for limited products. Whether the brand made 1,000 bottles or 200 bottles, try to grab bottles that are limited in number because they will eventually become collectible.
Mahesh brought a few examples at a range of price points to our interview at Fine & Rare restaurant in Manhattan (Mahesh is an investor in the restaurant as well), including two labels that he makes himself.
The first one, is Syndicate 58/6, which is one of Mahesh’s brands. They make about 1,000 cases of 6 packs per year. It sells for about $160 a bottle.
Another great collectible: Ardbeg AN OA. Mahesh says the brand itself, Ardbeg, is very collectible. The AN OA sells for about $60.
Port Ellen is another of his favorite collectibles, because it’s from a distillery that doesn’t exist anymore.
Mahesh brought a 16th Release Port Ellen from last year. When Port Ellen did their first release, they sold for a couple hundred bucks. He says they’re now worth $1,000-$2,000.
Finally, Mahesh brought what he calls liquid gold, his very own Sirius Dalmore. The whisky is from a single cask from 1967. Mahesh produced just 78 bottles, which go for about $40,000 each.
Whether you’re ready to buy that $40,000 bottle or you’re looking for something a little less pricey, be patient.
Mahesh says you can make a lot of money investing in whisky if you hold back and wait. You can’t buy whisky now and flip it on eBay tomorrow. He says you need to let it appreciate, which takes a little time.