Update: October 2020 – If you want to see up to date prices, check out our collaboration partner, The Whiskey Companion here
In all honesty, I’ve been holding off on posting this blog as I know a lot of us are vested in Dingle, and there are polar opinions on whats its worth, and whether its investible. Is the bubble bursting, or is it just a blip?
Let us start with why I believe Dingle is an investible collection (at the right price):
1) Romance: Dingle was the first distillery to be opened in Ireland in decades, and the first of a plethora of new brands which have been/will be making their ways to our shelves over the coming decade. Its location is stunning, and its a great excuse to hop in a car and saunter down to the south-west.
2) Beauty: I mean – just look at the bottles and the branding. They are simply gorgeous. Unique, meaty, tactile, and simply beautiful – who wouldn’t want to have these bottle adorning their shelves.
3) Rarity: Aside from the standard releases – the Cask 2, LVA (which technically only publicans should have), Cask Strengths, Super Valu and 1st Pot Still editions all had <1000 bottle releases. Any of us who have tried to collect these in the past have experienced the panic associated with FOMO. Off licenses not getting their full allocation; searching/calling multiple offies to see if it had arrived; broken promises on sales. Its all very stressful – but all add to the collectability.
There are a raft of other reasons why its a collectable set, but the big question is: do these simple characteristics justify the price tag? And is the bubble bursting?
While I’m a big fan of the Dingle brand and what they are doing as part of the Irish Whiskey revival, lets be honest here: as a “drinker” – I don’t believe it’s worth the money the bottles are changing hands for at the moment. Buyers (I hope) are not buying to drink, as they will surely be disappointed. Even at RRP, the Dingle whiskeys are at/above premium pricing for a non premium juice.
But thats OK – I’m still more than happy to pay the RRP. You’re not just buying a whiskey, you are supporting a wonderful business which is organically growing to hopefully become a strong player in the industry. It will likely be a niche distillery for a long time to come and will unlikely challenge the likes of IDL in the medium term, but I’m hugely excited for the next few years when their portfolio will hopefully expand into aged whiskeys and perhaps other finishes. They also have an outstanding vodka and gin range. In addition – at RRP, you’re almost certainly going to double your money at a minimum on the limited releases like the recent release of the 2nd Single Pot Still.
And its for these reasons I feel Dingle is undoubtedly a set to have and hold for the long term. You will get serious kudos from aficionados, and collectors alike, and hopefully as the Dingle business expands, their rarity will continue to drive value in the collection.
So where are we now? Until last summer, most aftermarket trades took place outside of the auction houses, with a majority taking place on various facebook groups where the hype machine was in full swing. There was a serious sense of FOMO (“Fear of missing out”) when the new Cask Strengths were released. However since the summer and some initial high online prices, we have seen a flood of bottling’s appear at the online auctions. This firstly legitimised the values of the offline transactions, but has also meant far more bottles are coming to market and therefore depressing the market somewhat.
Below I have outlined the various results from the last 3 months of auctions and private sales on facebook groups and others which have been submitted by contributors through The Survey
What we can see is that there is definitely a softening in prices over the last three months (with the exception of the Cask 2 & LVA due to rarity). What we can also see however is the vast gap in high & low prices. I have no doubt there there will be many future bargains out there on all the bottles as those who have finally filled their sets – so keep an eye on those auctions!
So do I believe the bubble has/will burst? In short, No. I was one of those who was extremely pessimistic about the medium term value, but thankfully, its been more of a bubble deflation rather than a pop.
The good news is that for those looking to acquire the collection, I’m certain there will be bargains ahead, but on the downside, if you want to secure the super rare bottles, you better get in quick as they are only likely to continue to increase in value.
So thats my current take on Dingle. If you’re in any way interested in our future musings, feel free to follow us on Insta & Facebook, and if there’s any collections you’d like us to cover – drop us a line.
Next up: Redbreast Single Cask Collection.