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Lifestyle

Rare, expensive whisky: a better bet than stocks

A waiter offers whisky during a Venezuelan-American Chamber of Commerce party in Caracas October 11, 2007. Whisky can be a high yield asset for investors wary of volatile equities markets, he said at the launch of his World Whisky Index, a website that aims to bring buyers and sellers of rare and expensive whisky together.

LEIDEN, the Netherlands (Reuters Life!) - For businessman Michel Kappen, whisky is more than just a drink with a couple of friends to celebrate a deal or to savor in front of a fireplace on a cold night.

Whisky can be a high yield asset for investors wary of volatile equities markets, he said at the launch of his World Whisky Index, a website that aims to bring buyers and sellers of rare and expensive whisky together.

“If you invest in stocks, there is always the risk the value will go down. With whisky, we do not see that,” he told Reuters as a piper in full Highland regalia played the bagpipe to mark the launch of the index.

“It is a very stable investment. The annual rate of return is 12 percent,” said Kappen.

He cited the example of a bottle of Black Bowmore Scotch malt whisky, distilled in 1964 and bottled in 1995.

“From 150 euros ($218.9) in 1995, this bottle is now worth 2,450 euros ($3,602),” he said.

The World Whisky Index (www.worldwhiskyindex.com) currently has 2,853 bottles of whisky on its list, with the most expensive priced at 650 euros and the oldest dated 1926.

Still, a drink is a drink and a personalized bottle of rare whisky could boost one’s career, said Kappen.

“You can look in the Index for a whisky distilled or bottled in the year that your director was born and give it to him,” he said.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, editing by Paul Casciato

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