IT’S smashing records with the rarest and more collectable bottles selling for over £1 million. And whisky experts are predicting that the interest in investing in Scottish whisky will continue to soar.

Last week, a bottle of Bowmore 1966 Samaroli Bouquet, considered one of the best whiskies in the world, was bought for a record-breaking £51,611 in an online auction held by Perth-based Whisky Auctioneer. The bottle had previously been sold for £4,200 in 2014, an annual increase in value of 280 per cent.

Earlier this year a special-edition bottle of The Macallan, with a label designed by pop artist Peter Blake, was sold for £1.1m at an auction in Hong Kong.

Sean McGlone, Whisky Auctioneer director, said a growing number of people from across the world, especially from the Far East, were starting to collect whisky as an investment. He claimed that while new producers from countries such as Japan were increasingly able to attract big mark-ups, it was still the Scotch and Scottish whiskies that are fetching the record-breaking prices.

He said: “There’s been a huge increase in the number of people drinking and enjoying whisky and also in investing in whisky, not just in the UK and Europe but all around the world. It’s a booming international business.

“Scottish whiskies are now reaching their highest prices ever. They are doing fantastically well and breaking all sorts of records left, right and centre. It’s not looking like slowing down either. The Scottish whisky industry is on the up and up. That’s not to detract from the other producers of whisky, such as Japan, whose whiskies are also doing well as auction. But I’d say they are the only other country who could hold a candle to Scotland.”

But he claimed that Brexit would be “a nightmare” for the business, especially if no trade deal can be reached, with export duties and regulations making it almost impossible to trade in the UK, and potentially meaning relocation to Europe.

“We trade in a global market with many collectors in the States or the Far East,” he added. “Anything that stops free trade is therefore really bad for the collectable whisky market.”

Blair Bowman, whisky consultant and author, who has also turned broker in the last six months, agreed there was now a demand for whisky that was even driving up prices of standard, good quality bottles as producers realised that there was money to be made.

He is now selling single casks to a select client base from around the world including those in the Far East and the States. But he said it was essential that people understood the whisky market if they wanted to really make money.

“The brands that always do well are things like Ardbeg, The Macallan and Bowmore, but unless it’s a very rare edition you have to be prepared to keep those for a very long time if they are going to be worth anything,” he added.

He said it was important that people didn’t forget about the special nature of the drink – made from a trinity of grain, water and time – in their haste to make money. With two previously crashes in the whisky market, one at the turn of the 20th century due to the temperance movement and one in the eighties due to over-production, experts have warned potential investors should buy bottles they would be happy to drink as well as sell.

“I think it’s great that more people are taking an interest, and it’s great for the status of whisky,” added Bowman. “But I think it’s sad if you end up with a market of investors who never open a bottle. I know of one Chinese investor who doesn’t drink alcohol for example. Whisky is meant to be shared – it’s about shared moments and experiences.”

Andy Simpson, co-founder of whisky investment company Rare Whisky 101, said: “With more buyers than ever in the market for the best whiskies, the value of highly-regarded single malts is increasing at a rapid rate, with prices being dictated by this consumer demand. Investors, collectors and connoisseurs are becoming increasingly aware of whisky’s rapidly growing popularity around the world, particularly for the rarest and most coveted single malts.”