Investment Tips - Whisky - 29. June 2023

12 YO Clynelish Special Release 2022 Provides Great Investment Potential

The price of previous releases has increased 1,400-1,900% - and here you save 25% compared to the cheapest price in the world according to

Maybe you know Clynelish, maybe you do not. But nevertheless, Clynelish is one of Scotland's oldest distilleries, is closely related to Brora, it puts the x in x-factor on Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve and is part of Diageo's limited 2022 Special Release - and you can invest right now at a very attractive price. But first, it's time to delve into the distillery's exciting history.

The Early Days Of Clynelish: Human Tragedy

The success and cult status of Clynelish distillery has its origins in a darker time and in human tragedy. Clynelish, like Talisker, is one of several so-called "clearance" distilleries that emerged in the early 1800s. Here, noble landowners saw opportunities in forcibly removing peasants in order to profit from the land better and more efficiently. Some of the most brutal of these forced removals took place in Sutherland (one of Scotland's northernmost regions) where the Duke of Sutherland and his administration oversaw the tragedies of peasants being removed from their ancestral lands and sent abroad, relocated to other regions, or moved to other settlements in the same area where they were put to work in their lord's businesses.

The Duke of Sutherland established a number of businesses in the town of Brora: a coal mine, a brickwork, weaving, salt extraction and a distillery, which he called Clynelish. All businesses were staffed by former farmers who were paid with coins that could only be redeemed in the Duke's businesses. A harsh time at the start of industrialisation that shaped the world as we know it today.


Clynelish Uprising

The Clynelish distillery was by no means a success in its early years. It was not until 1896, when blenders Ainslie & Heilbron and John Risk acquired the distillery, that it began to build a reputation and by the end of the 19th century, Clynelish was the most expensive single malt.

John Risk later took over the business and worked closely with the likes of John Walker & Sons (yes, the company behind Johnnie Walker whisky), which later became part of DCL (Distillers Company Limited), one of the foundations of what we know today as spirits giant Diageo.

DCL scaled up several of its distilleries at this time and in 1968 built a six potstill distillery (Clynelish B) right next to the original two potstill Clynelish (Clynelish A). However, the trade organisation, the Scotch Whisky Association, was concerned about two distilleries of the same name, so DCL renamed the original Clynelish (Clynelish A) to Brora, in reference to the town the distillery was located in.

Today, Clynedish is one of Diageo's prestige brands, alongside the likes of Talisker, Brora and Port Ellen, but as well as producing superb single malt whisky, Clynelish is also one of the key components of the Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve.

In 2021, Clynelish reopened after a major € +210 million renovation and is now labelled as the "Highland home of Johnnie Walker". This is not a small accomplishment and Clynelish is one of the brands that Diageo is heavily investing in.

Clynelish 12 YO - Part Of Diageo's 2022 Special Release

In 2001, Diageo launched their first Special Release to provide an opportunity to taste whisky from iconic distilleries that whisky connoisseurs may be familiar with, but in unique expressions. It is in this series that some of the last original Port Ellen whisky has been bottled. In autumn 2022, Diageo unveiled their 2022 Special Releases, consisting of eight different whiskies specially selected by Master Blender Dr Craig Wilson from some of Scotland's oldest distilleries in limited production: Mortlach, Singleton, Lagavulin, Talisker, Clynelish, Cardhu, Oban and Cameron Bridge.

Clynelish is a 12 YO expression with a "waxy" character as known from the 60s Clynelish. Matured in American oak and rounded off in Oloroso casks. A fabulous interpretation of Clynelish as it was.

Diageo: The Monster Engine Behind Clynelish

Diageo is, depending on how you look at it, the largest - or among the largest - producers of spirits in the world. Diageo has operations in more than 180 countries and is behind more than 200 different brands, including giants like Johnnie Walker, Tanqueray, Guinness, and Smirnoff, but also a heavy portfolio of high-end whisky brands like Port Ellen, Brora, Talisker Lagavulin and others.

Diageo increased sales in the financial year that ended on 30/6-22 by 21.4% to € 17.8 billion, with the so-called premium plus brands accounting for a full 57 % of sales, while Scotch whisky sales alone increased by 29 %.

Clynelish's Golden Drops Turn To Gold

In the whisky category, it can be difficult to compare different whiskies over a number of years, as producers often take the liberty of changing series, cask years, etc. But if we are going to make an attempt with the Clynelish 2022 Special Release, we can take a look at the Clynelish 23 YO Rare Malts Selection from 1998*. At most, the release price of such a bottle has been around €100, while RareWhisky101 reports that the average auction price of this whisky over the past year has been around €1,500 (converted from £1,356). For a cheaper counterpart, the Clynelish Flora & Fauna 1997 (a cheaper series than Rare Malts) probably sold for €15-20 at the time**. Although the price has dropped slightly over the past few years, the average auction price over the past year has been around €1,000 (converted from £868.75). This means that the price of these bottles has risen around x15-20 since the late 90s. And if something has increased 1,400% over 25 years, it has given an average annual return of 11.4%. For 25 years!

*Rare Malts is the precursor to Special Releases

**Today, RareWine sells various Flora & Fauna whiskies for €30-40 per bottle

Invest In Clynelish At An Attractive Price And Be Ahead From The Beginning

Right now, has listed 63 retailers of Clynelish 12 YO 2022 Special Release. The cheapest of these is listed at approximately € 162* ex. duty VAT and taxes. We have made a bargain that allows you to invest at just €120 per bottle. It naturally follows that if you can invest at a 25% discount compared to the cheapest price on the market according to, you are ahead of the game from the start.

*Recalculated from 175 GBP


Whisky Category Outlook: Whisky Growth

The future of the whisky category looks very exciting. Below are some highlights from part of another whisky analysis, which you can find in full here.

  • The global whisky market is expected to grow by 4.7% per year for the next ten years.
  • China has become the world's 5th largest importer of Scotch whisky, increasing imports by 84.9% from 2020 to 2021.
  • India is the world's largest whisky market and the third largest importer of Scotch whisky.
  • Exports of Scotch whisky to India make up only 2% of India's whisky market due to a 150% import tariff.
  • UK and India negotiate free trade agreements, including a reduction in the whisky tariff.
  • A reduction in tariffs is expected to increase exports to India by €1.1 billion over the next five years.

These are some of the most exciting catalysts for whisky prices to increase in the future - while keeping in mind the growth and potential in the traditional home markets of whisky, such as Europe.

RareWine Invest's Opinion

Whisky investment is often associated with extremely expensive bottles that for many have connotations of unattainability, which is also something that drives prices up further. However, the potential of lower priced bottles also holds strong potential.

Clynelish 12 YO 2022 Special Release belongs in this category. So, you get good whisky from a cult distillery, which is also known for being "the secret sauce" in some of Johnnie Walker's great bottles. The price trend for older Clynelish is also unmistakable and you even get the opportunity to enter the case 25% cheaper than the cheapest price on

This is a whisky at a price point that equals high consumption, while Diageo will do its part to ensure that Clynelish will continue to be a Scottish gem in the future.

Invest In Clynelish 12 YO 2022 Special Release

Contact us via the contact form at the bottom of the page if you want to know more about your investment options or order the wines directly through the form.

Clynelish 12 YO 2022 Special Release700GB/OC6€ 120
*All prices are in EUR ex. customs duty, tax, and VAT for delivery to a bonded warehouse. Prices including customs duty, tax and VAT can be sent on request. The wines are only sold in whole cases unless otherwise specified and the price is per bottle. Minimum order size € 2,500. Assumes a total minimum investment of € 10,000. Prices may have changed since release of this article. Reservations are made for errors.

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