Whisky prices have exploded on the back of demand for Scotch and Japanese brands

Alys Key
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Chief blender of Japanese liquour giant
The price of fine Japanese whisky has exploded (Source: Getty)

Growing British appetite for whisky has led to a 65 per cent increase in the price of top-shelf brands over the past 18 months.

The average price of a bottle of whisky has risen to almost £450 in under two years at fine wine and spirits retailer BI.

Demand for Japanese whisky has led the trend, with sales up 232 per cent in the year to date.

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Some of the most respected brands like Yamazaki and Karuizawa have increased rapidly in price as the whisky matures and appetite grows. Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013 sold for around £100 on release and now trades at over £3000.

But the desire for high-quality whisky goes both ways, with British-produced spirits breaking new ground in Asian markets. Sales of Scotch whisky, which contributes an estimated £5bn to the UK's economy, grew 55 per cent over the past year.

Some brands proved particularly popular, with sales of Macallan up 97 per cent and Glenfarclas up 84 per cent

BI's managing director Gary Boom commented: "Japanese whisky is certainly the latest discovery for whisky connoisseurs and the growing popularity is leading to increasing prices for the rarest varieties. That said, Scotch is still the king of whiskies when it comes to heritage and prestige, giving it enormous global appeal in markets that seek out the finest in luxury goods.”

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