THE appeal of single malt being produced by one of Scotland’s newest distillers has been underlined by enthusiasts snapping up a limited-edition release within a day of its launch, highlighting the demand for rare whisky among collectors around the world.

Kingsbarns Distillery, opened by the Wemyss family in the East Neuk of Fife in 2014, revealed that it sold more than 200 bottles of the first malt to be released under its single cask series within 24 hours.

The Kingsbarns Single Cask No 360 was snapped up by members of the distillery’s Founders Club, which are entitled to receive five exclusive releases over five years as part of a £500 subscription.

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The strong demand for the malt, which was laid down in casks in 2015, comes as rare Scotch whisky is in increasing demand as an investment class.

Last summer, the debut release by the Glasgow Distillery Company quickly sold out following strong interest at home and abroad. The 5,000 bottles of 1770 Glasgow single malt were snapped up within days after buyers in Hong Kong, Australia, North America and Japan signed up to an online ballot.

Kingsbarns’ director William Wemyss admitted he was “very pleased” with the response show by collectors to its release. But he insisted the distiller makes clear it does not make whisky for investing, though admits that some collectors may be buying it for that reason.

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Mr Wemyss, whose family unveiled Kingsbarns' flagship Dream to Dram whisky in January, said: “We’re hoping that people buy our whiskies and enjoy them having a dram or two. We are certainly not making whiskies with a view to making them an extra investment class.

“Whether people are out there buying them because they know they can re-sell them, I do not really know. No one has actually told us that is why they are doing it.”

However, Mr Wemyss noted that the limited nature of a single cask release means interest in such whiskies can quickly escalate. The Single Cask No 360 was sold for £75 per bottle.

“Obviously there are a very limited number of bottles in a single cask. With Single Cask number 360 there just over 200 [bottles],” Mr Wemyss said.

“When you add in the power of online retail, and people buying it from anywhere in the world, it does not take much interest to sell out a very limited number of bottles like that. And the production of a single cask, by its own nature being one barrel, is highly limited and therefore can be highly sought after as well.”

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Kingsbarns, whose whisky closely follows the Lowland style, is one of a host of new distilleries which have sprung up in Scotland in recent years as Scotch whisky continues to grow in popularity around the world.

That demand was illustrated by the Scotch Whisky Association in February, whose analysis of figures from HM Revenue & Customs showed that exports of Scotch climbed by 7.8 per cent to £4.7 billion last year. The value of single malt exports increased by 11.3% to £1.3bn.

Mr Wemyss concedes, though, that not all of the new distilleries, many of which are producing gin while they the spirit they have laid down as whisky matures, will ultimately be successful.

He said: “Some distilleries are going to produce better whisky than others. Only time will tell. I am sure that those which are investing in the best wood, like we are, and are not prepared to compromise in terms of that, have a much better chance of producing high-quality whisky. Wood is key.”

Mr Wemyss said he has been extremely encouraged by the feedback Kingsbarns has received from whisky critics and enthusiasts for Dream to Dram since its launch at the start of the year.

He noted the endorsements are “very exciting for us, given it has been five years to get here”.

Mr Wemyss reiterated that the ongoing uncertainty around Brexit was not helpful but backed the industry to overcome any hurdles it may pose.