The Whisky for Oceans Auction featured 21 exceptional bottles donated by distillers and bottlers around the world. Most were one-off releases created especially for the auction, never to be repeated. All profits, including commission, from the auction will be donated to our chosen charities to actively combat the ongoing plight of the world’s oceans.
This exceptional auction was curated in partnership with The Whisky Exchange to mark the 10th edition of The Whisky Show and celebrate the show’s move towards being plastic-free.
Full list of lots: (all prices include buyer’s commission, included in the donation)
Over the past decade, whisky produced at Karuizawa before its closure in 2000 has risen from obscurity to become one of the world’s most collectable and respected spirits. With very little stock left to be bottled, the release of a new Karuizawa always sends waves through the whisky world. One aged a full 50 years is truly exceptional. Though there are only two bottles, the reputation of this whisky precedes it, with noted critic Serge Valentin scoring it an extraordinary 94 points and exclaiming ‘this is one utterly brilliant whisky!’
Winning bid £115,115
Macallan is the undisputed regent of the auction world, regularly breaking records and always growing in popularity. Donated by the distillery itself, this stunning decanter of whisky distilled in 1949 was originally bottled at 50 years of age for the millennium and is widely considered one of the finest Macallans ever bottled.
Winning bid £37,375
Ardbeg’s following is so large and devoted that it has opened up embassies around the world. Being so popular, the distillery must ensure new releases are large enough not to leave anyone out: and this means even single cask releases are few and far between. The momentous significance of a new release limited to just one unique bottle cannot be overly stressed, particularly as this 37 year old also happens to be one of the oldest whiskies Ardbeg has ever released.
Winning bid £34,615
Port Ellen is Scotland’s most revered lost distillery, and between 2001 and 2017 was the flagship of Diageo’s Special Releases – last year saw the final release as part of the series. But collectors need not panic, 2018 will see an official release, but it has become far, far more special. Just one bottle of this 38 year old Port Ellen will ever be produced, meaning there will only ever be one truly complete collection of official Port Ellen bottlings.
Winning bid £27,140
Dalmore’s visionary stock management policy over the past half century has brought it to a position other distilleries envy. Dalmore is able to regularly offer connoisseurs a rich and diverse range of fine, long aged whiskies. In so doing, it has cemented its position as one of the most collectable distilleries. Unlike the wider release of the 45 year old, this unique bottle was lifted from a single sherry cask where it acquired a dark, rich ruby hue.
Winning bid £25,185
Of all Scotland’s distilleries, Bowmore was one of the first to start production, in 1779. It was also one of the first to release super premium whiskies, with the seminal Black Bowmore, and it is a leader in quality, desirability and collectability. The whisky produced at the distillery in the 1960s and into the mid 1970s is undoubtedly some of the finest made. Aged for a full 43 years, this single bottle revels in its irreproachable pedigree.
Winning bid £21,045
Tamdhus from the 1960s count amongst the finest and most celebrated whiskies of that halcyon decade. This distillery’s range of bottlings now regularly earns awards, firmly grounding its well deserved reputation for excellence. This single vessel of ambrosia was aged for 55 years and bottled on Thursday November 15th, 2018 from a luscious sherry cask.
Winning bid £17,200
The distillery so delicious it was named twice: Brora is sorely missed and remaining stocks from this distillery, now closed for 35 years, are dwindling. Either the Batman or the Robin to Port Ellen in Diageo’s Special Releases, this unique Brora is the only official bottling released this year.
Winning bid £12,200
Few names in bourbon are more storied and hallowed than Michter’s. Today it again continues to affirm its rich heritage in blending some of the finest and rarest modern American whiskeys. Inspired by America’s first distillers, this Kentucky straight bourbon was distilled from native corn and aged 22 years in hand-selected charred white oak barrels. This is bottle number 1 of 1 from Batch number 18K1646 and is the only Michter’s 22 Year Old bottled since at least the brand was restored in the 1990s, if not ever.
Winning bid £11,600
Balvenie’s commitment to tradition and quality is largely unrivalled. The distillery has even retained its floor malting and its own cooperage. The appeal of Balvenie continues to grow with every new offering, but this one-off bottle from a single cask distilled in 1973 is unparalleled.
Winning bid £8,000
One of Scotland’s last family owned distilleries, Glenfarclas, has stayed true to its roots and continues to be a darling of the whisky world. In characteristic fashion, this singular crystal decanter of 1967 42 year old Glenfarclas allows the beauty of its whisky to shine far beyond the confines of its vitreous vessel.
Winning bid £7,000
In 1996, after seven decades as merchants and blenders of Barbados rum, the Seale family took the skills they had acquired, purchased an abandoned sugar factory, and began to distil Foursquare rum. The world has not looked back, and Foursquare’s emphasis on quality and authenticity have made it rum’s brightest rising star, commanding a large and ever growing cult following. Aged for a full 15 years in the tropics, this unique bottle is the most desirable Foursquare rum bottled to date.
Winning bid £5,600
Closed since 2000, Trinidad’s Caroni has been hailed as one of the world’s great lost distilleries, and the last remaining stocks of its rum have taken the spirits industry by storm. Velier, the distillery’s champion and the world’s most respected rum bottler, has bottled this free blown magnum from the oldest remaining casks of Caroni rum to have been fully aged in the tropics. With evaporation many times what it would be in Europe, tropical ageing is the most authentic and accurate expression of Caroni’s terroir, and will always command a higher cachet than Caronis aged and bottled elsewhere.
Wining bid £5,600
As early as 2001, whisky from Yoichi, Nikka’s flagship distillery, was voted the world’s best at the World Whisky Awards, and it has been instrumental in the ascent to global prominence of Japanese whisky in the years since. With demand now at an all time high, it is no secret that stocks of older, longer aged Yoichis like this 25 year old distilled in 1988, are all but finished. As this bottle has never been sold commercially outside of the distillery itself, this is doubly rare and collectable.
Winning bid £4,800
Gordon & MacPhail is the unofficial custodian of Scotch whisky. Since its founding in 1895, the company has mastered the art of nurturing and raising casks over decades to reach their full potential. This enables G&M to offer whiskies that are not only the oldest in terms of age, but also some of the finest in terms of quality. Adorned with decorative elements from the 9th Century Book of Kells, this decanter of Glenlivet 1948 50 Year Old was selected from G&M’s historical bottling archive.
Winning bid £4,500
This extraordinary bottle of O.F.C. 1990 vintage bourbon comes from a barrel that had been maturing for almost 30 years at what is now the Buffalo Trace Distillery. It is one of only 63 bottles never to be released commercially, reserved for charitable causes only. This is the first time a bottle of this whiskey has been released to UK shores.
Winning bid £3,900
Glen Scotia is one of Scotland’s smallest and most captivating distilleries. Campbeltown’s tumultuous history, coupled with frequent changes in ownership and intermittent closures, mean there is precious little old stock. Distilled in 1973, this is bottle number 1 of 1 of what is quite possibly the oldest Glen Scotia ever bottled.
Winning bid £3,100
Of the 20 or so Campbeltown distilleries active just before the First World War, Springbank is one of two survivors still making whisky. It continues to grow its critically acclaimed legacy with thousands of casks resting in its warehouses. A handful of ‘honey casks’ are favourites of the people that actually work at the distillery, and one of these treasures has been chosen to be bottled as a singular edition for this charity auction.
Winning bid £3,000
Craigellachie 31 Year Old (Donated by Bacardi UK)
The secret to Craigellachie’s vibrancy lies in being one of the last remaining Scottish distilleries to use coiling copper worm tub condensers, it gives the spirited whisky its meaty, ample mouthfeel. Such a labour of love is commendable, so much so, that this 2016 batch of Craigellachie 31 Year Old scored an impressive 90 points on Whiskyfun, was voted World’s Best Single Malt at the 2017 World Whisky Awards, and, understandably, sold out in a flash.
Winning bid £2,200
Tomatin Centenary 1897-1997, Bottle 1 of 1000 (Donated by Tomatin Distillers)
Founded in 1897, Tomatin quickly established a strong reputation that continues today. This still-shaped decanter of 30 year old sherry aged Tomatin is one of 1000 originally released in 1997, the crown jewel in celebrations of the distillery’s first, and highly successful, century of single malt whisky production.
Winning bid £1,050
Old Pulteney 30 Year Old, 2013 Release (Donated by International Beverage Holdings)
This bottle of Old Pulteney 30 Year Old is presented in an engraved wooden box. It was matured in ex-bourbon American oak casks and bottled without added colour or chill-filtration. This is a 75cl bottle and was released for the US market.
Winning bid £500
All profits from the auction will be donated to charities battling plastic pollution, including our main benefactor Plastic Oceans. Whisky.Auction will also be donating all the buyer’s commission to the charity.
Plastic Oceans International wants to change the world’s attitude towards plastic within a generation. It will utilise this funding to expand its awareness initiatives, with a goal of reaching another billion people by 2020. They will develop films and other content that will target policy awareness and consumer behaviour, all with the goal of educating, inspiring and fostering change.