The April auction will be remembered for the Covid-19 Charity Auction in aid of The Drinks Trust to support industry employees. Over 450 bottles of whisky, fine wine and spirits were donated by industry members and the auction raised over £104000 for a great cause.
Before the auction went live there was much talk about how the market for fine & rare whisky would be affected by global events. In the event we found that prices held for the all important benchmark Macallans, Japanese whiskies and high end Cognac.
You can view the full results in our Past Auctions, meanwhile here are our own personal highlights:
The star lot of the auction was the special Karuizawa Omoiyari, one of just six bottles. It was was created by Elixir Distillers and donated for the Covid-19 Charity Auction. The components were all distilled between 1963 and 1984, but the whisky is built around a heart of spirit from 1972, the most lauded of Karuizawa vintages.
The name is extremely fitting; Omoiyari is the Japanese custom of being caring, considerate and compassionate towards the needs of others.
Winning Bid £25000
There has been extra noise around the Macallan Fine & Rare series in recent months, with the 1926 smashing the world record price for a single bottle of whisky. Enthusiasts from across the globe are now scrambling to get their hands on a bottle of every vintage in a bid to build a complete collection.
This one, distilled in 1974 and aged for 30 years in sherry wood, was bottled in 2004.
Winning Bid £11800
Another Karuizawa, this time a 1969 vintage single cask from a particularly sought after era.
Karuizawa is known for it’s big hitting sherry cask whiskies, however this one is aged exclusively in a bourbon cask, giving a glimpse into the finesse and subtleties of the distillery that are often hidden behind a layer of rich fruit cake.
Winning Bid £6000
The Hanyu Joker was the final release from the Ichiro’s Malt Card series of bottlings from the closed Hanyu distillery. This one is a vatting of six vintages (1985, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1991 and 2000) from a total of seven types of cask (chibidaru, bourbon, Madeira, hogshead, Cognac, puncheon and sherry butt).
The well documented increased demand for Japanese whisky has already seen prices for this one rise steadily in the last 24 months, even now in turbulent times, this bottle was donated to raise funds for the Covid-19 Charity Auction showed the trend continues to rise.
Winning Bid £3600
Scotch Malt Whisky Society bottlings, particularly older expressions and early releases fetch the highest prices and these bottles, SMWS 61.2 Brora 1978 and SMWS 13.18 Dalmore 1965 certainly made an impression in the April auction.
The growing popularity of independently bottled Dalmore from the 1960s and literally any release from the Brora distillery meant that the intense bidding on both these great bottles came as no surprise.
Winning Bid £1900 & £1650
Whiskies from Talisker, Strathisla, Highland Park and a particular rarity from Glenfiddich make up The Keepers Of The Quaich set generously donated for the Covid-19 Charity Auction. It was a rare chance for bidders to get their hands on whiskies usually reserved for ‘Keepers’.
Winning Bid £1850
Glenfiddich might be the top selling single malt in the world but this one is seldom seen, Glenfiddich Commemorative Release was bottled for the 125th Anniversary of Young’s Market Company, an American distributor of fine wines and spirits.
The whisky was created from five casks laid down in 1998 and 1999 and selected by Young’s Market Company representatives. American oak casks were chosen to represent Young’s and European oak casks to represent Glenfiddich. These bottles were presented exclusively to staff of Young’s Market Company.
We believe this is one of the first bottles to come to market in the UK and as a result, commanded a very high price with collectors scrambling to add this one to their line up.
Winning Bid £1050
Lagavulin 16 Year Old has been around since 1988 but it’s the bottlings from the White Horse era that command particular attention.
The earliest bottlings of Lagavulin 16 Year Old feature gold lettering on either side of the front label and it’s these early bottles which are most sought after and fetch the highest prices. The later 1990s embossed bottlings have also seen a steady rise in demand, and with that comes an increase in price.
Winning Bid £190