OCTOBER AUCTION NOW LIVE! • View Auction Highlights

Welcome to our October Auction, this month sees another fine selection of rare bottles up for bidding at Whisky Online Auctions.

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The immediate highlights are the 2nd and 3rd edition Black Bowmores which both make a welcome return, we never tire of seeing these ever-popular masterpieces. Joining them from Islay is the Port Ellen Festival Single Cask which also makes a welcome return after a few months absence from our sales.

Some of our favourite bottlings in this sale are the most obscure ones however. A 12 year old Glenugie bottled for R & I Neish of Peterhead by Robert Watson in the 1980s has to take crown of this month’s ‘Never Before Seen Bottle’. Glenugie is one of those malts that was hardly ever bottled during the distillery’s lifetime and rarely even after it. This is a must for any serious collector of Glenugie or closed distilleries in general.

Along side this is the Benromach 1969 40 year old bottled to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the single handed circumnavigation of the globe by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. With only 40 bottles produced this is the rarest Benromach ever released and makes a very scarce appearance here at auction. Another favourite of ours this sale is the Littlemill 1950 30 year old. Bottled in 1981 in a ceramic decanter at a cask strength of 53.5% this is a little seen bottling that hasn’t commanded too much interest in the past despite its great age and rarity – lets see if the current craze for Littlemill will change that.

Elsewhere in the sale Johnnie Walker enthusiasts will find a beautifully preserved example of the 150th Anniversary bottling released in 1985 along with a couple of the very scarce ‘Old Harmony’ exclusive bottling for Japan from 1983 and the equally rare ‘Celebrity’ Swing bottling. We’ve got the usual smattering of Macallans, the standouts of which are the 1962 Campbell Hope & King release, the old 30 year old and the 1968 18 year old. We have numerous excellent old blends, one of the 1973 Springbank Rum Butts, Pride Of Strathspey 1938, Ardbeg Mor 1st Edition, the hugely sought after Tamnavulin 1966 35 year old and a good spread of official release Port Ellens – including the 1st edition.

Aged Bunnahabhains such as the Auld Acquiantance and the 1963, the newly released Laphroaig 32 year old and the Highland Park 30 year old for the Spectator 180th anniversary all make an appearance. As does a Laphroaig 1980 27 year old and a whole bundle of other bottles from official aged single casks to obscure independent releases and everything in between.

As always please get in touch if you have any questions, otherwise enjoy the auction, best of luck and happy bidding.

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The Whisky Online Auctions team


Old & Rare whisky Tasting at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Fancy tasting some old and rare drams courtesy of Whisky-Online Auctions this November?

Our specialist Angus MacRaild will be hosting two very special whisky tastings next month in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Friday the 20th of November @ 7pm

Angus will be showcasing seven exceptional and hard to find bottles at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society Vaults in Leith. This event will be open to both members and non-members and will be priced at £60 per head which includes all seven drams and a selection of very fine cheeses.

The line-up includes

• Black Bull 40 year old blend. 41.9%.
• Deanston 30 year old. Rare official bottling exclusive to USA. 46.7%.
• Glendronach 12 year old. Bottled 1980s. 100% sherry matured. 40%.
• Tamdhu 1981 13 year old. Cadenheads. Sherry matured. 59.9%.
• Bowmore 12 year old. Duty Free bottling early 1980s. 43%.
• Highland Park 25 year old. Bottled 1990s. 51.5%.
• Plus an as yet undisclosed, long gone SMWS bottling from the past.



Attendees are free to bring along any bottles they are interested to have valued as Angus will be discussing the ins and outs of bottle valuation, the great allure of old bottles and the history of SMWS bottlings.

Buy tickets online now

Or call 01253 620376 to book tickets via telephone (opening hours Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm)

On Saturday the 21st in Glasgow Angus will be hosting a whisky tasting of a fine selection of old and rare drams in a relaxed and informal setting of the Good Spirits Co in Glasgow, these tasting line-ups are kept under wraps until the night but the last one included Johnnie Walker Black Label from the 1930s so there are always some seriously old bottles getting cracked at these events. Tickets are £45 and are available from the Good Spirits Co shop or by calling them on 0141 258 8427.




Thinking of selling your whisky? Cash in before Christmas!

As the end of the year (all too rapidly) approaches now seems like a good time to be selling a few bottles. Our November auction, followed by our two week special Christmas sale which starts this year on the 23rd of December have both traditionally featured some exceptional prices and provide ideal opportunity to gain maximum exposure and return on your bottles.

Our Christmas sale in particular is always a sure bet for record prices. The fact that it is twice the length at two weeks long and stretches over the course of the festive holidays certainly helps. This is the time of year where that wonderful cocktail of laziness, boredom, too much food, plentiful alcohol and an unfeasibly comfy chair coverage to make ideal bidding conditions for many of our buyers. People have more time to pay attention to auctions at this time of year and a lack of much else to do, so we notice a considerable upswing in the number of bids cast in these auctions as a result.

Likewise our November sale always seems to see an upswing in prices at the lower and middle ranges of the sale as people seek to stock up the drinks cabinets and gather a few presents in time for Christmas. So if you’re thinking about selling a few good bottles at the moment then now might be a good time to get in touch.

Who wouldn’t store their whisky in the Tardis

The current trend in auctions is for old and scarce official examples of single malts and long-discontinued independent releases such as Cadenhead dumpy bottlings, old SMWS releases and old bottlings by Signatory and various other indy bottlers. Examples from almost all silent distilleries now perform well at auction, not just the magic couplet of Port Ellen and Brora but also the likes of Coleburn, Glenugie, Banff and Glenlochy all bring the buyers to the yard these days. It’s pretty easy to figure out what is hot at auctions these days, just cast your eye over our past sales this year and see some of the numerous impressive prices achieved.

For those of you with a super high end bottle in the four-five figure range the Christmas sale is the perfect time for reasons made clear above. We’ve got a long and proud track record here WOA with the top end bottles – it’s one of the areas where we really excel so if you’re thinking about cashing in on a Fine & Rare Macallan or a 1937 Glenfiddich or a 1960 Karuizawa then this would be the perfect auction for it.

Another thing to consider when selling is the length of time since your bottle appeared at auction. We often find the best results are bottles that haven’t hit the market for a good few years, some great recent examples were the Port Ellen 12 year old by James MacArthur and the Springbank 1919. Given that the Port Ellen is now the highest selling Port Ellen ever seen at auction we can’t wait until one of the Queen’s Visit 1980 bottlings shows up – especially since it has since been rated 99/100 by Serge Valentin at Whiskyfun, the highest score he’s ever awarded any spirit. If you’ve got one then it’s worth considering that the first bottling to hit the market will no doubt go crazy. Likewise older Italian bottlings by Samaroli, Intertrade, Sestante and Donini all perform exceptionally well – especially those that still hold a high fill level.

Record Hammer Prices

If nothing else now is a good time to check and appraise your bottles. What is the condition like, how have they been performing, how long has it been since your bottle saw auction and what is the filling level like? (Bottle Level Guidelines) Levels only ever go down not up, if it’s at or approaching the base of the neck now might be the best time there will ever be to sell it. All these things are worth taking into consideration, with a strong trading window coming up here at Whisky Online Auctions now might just be the perfect time to sell a few good bottles. Don’t hesitate to get in touch, why not offset a few of those Christmas costs…

Get a free Whisky valuation today! Prepared by experts with over 25 years experience in whisky and auctioneering. You’ll always receive the most honest and expert consultation we can provide on how best to sell your bottles. Also click here to see our free guide on how to sell your whisky at Whisky-Online Auctions.




September Auction Results

Last night ended one of the more interesting auctions we’ve had for a while which highlighted a few notable trends on the current secondary market.

Firstly at the top end of the sale Karuizawa prices seem to be settling a little – still undoubtedly crazy – but settling. The Macallan 40 year old is evidently still very hard to find that even one without its original box will still fetch £5500 – an impressive new record eclipsing the one in our previous auction at the start of this year of £5100, and that one had a box! This is a pretty rare bottling and an important one as it represents the only official, non-vintage, age-stated 40 year old Macallan have ever released – which is quite an oddity when you consider their stock of high end expressions over the years.

Auction Highlights

Those initial observations aside though the really interesting bottles in this sale however were undoubtedly the Laphroaig 14 year olds. Several months ago a vendor in America contacted us with images of these bottles, the long and short of it is that he had discovered a full, sealed wooden case of them in the crawl space of his grandfather’s attic. Obviously we were pretty excited, official Islay single malts bottled in the 1950s come along very rarely, how often do you get a chance to taste Laphroaig distilled in the 1930s?

Laphroaig 14 Year Old

The only really disappointing aspect of these bottles was the filling levels, after storage for so many decades lying down in a horizontal packing crate they had all suffered a degree of evaporation. However, the liquids were still perfectly clear and the original bottling strengths were good – 45.7% in today’s money. Once they arrived we thought long and hard about the best way to sell them – we decided it might be a better approach to have a kind of ‘event’ sale where all ten bottles were sold at once. The result – quite satisfyingly – was a king of ‘feeding frenzy’ of bidding. This goes to show that despite low levels there are some whiskies people just crave to possess and will bid for accordingly. Also, a larger parcel of bottles seems to bring all the bidders to the yard and makes for quite an impressive resulting fight. Thirdly, imagine what the prices would have been like if the levels had all still been in the neck… ?

Aside from these beautiful Laphroaigs there were other interesting results. Johnnie Walker Director’s Blends – which seem to have been showing up more frequently across the secondary market recently, which I believe is probably little more than co-incidence – and aged official Bowmores continue to perform well. Even certain old independent releases from Bowmore can be surprising, the 1971 Sestante 18 year old hit an impressive £1450. Another rather curious result was the 1977 Highland Park from the Hart Brother’s Legends series, it sold for £1250 which was unexpected to say the least.

Auction Results

Overall though what struck most about this sale was that there were few surprises. Almost everything traded at a healthy and consistent level in keeping with the current secondary market trends. Of the lesser prices in this sale it was the newer releases that seemed to retract further, the Highland Park Freya sold for just £160 and the new Ardbeg Supernovas all finished up around the £150 mark. This is probably indicative of the fact that more and more buyers are realising there is just no point paying over the top prices for these new Ardbeg releases when the market will be flooded with them in due course and the prices will inevitably retract to near original retail price.

Elsewhere in the sale someone paid £155 for a bundle of old Malt Project DVDs – we didn’t see that one coming. People are apparently still willing to pay £60 for a bottle of Loch Dhu and Tony Blair’s signature has a market value of £62.50. The mysteries of whisky auctioneering continue unabated. Overall this was a fun, interesting and generally consistent sale with some terrific bottles, very good returns for seller’s in general and a few real steals for buyers.


The Whisky-Online Auctions Team



Lowest Unique Bid Wins!

As we all know the beloved Glendronach Revival 15 year old will indeed be discontinued from the range, for approximately 3 years.

As a farewell for now, we are running a reverse auction competition where participant can place 1 bid free of charge to win a bottle of The Glendronach Revival 15 year old.

The aim of the game is to place the lowest unique bid.

The competition winner will be announced Via out Facebook page. T&C apply.


Best of luck
Whisky-Online Auctions Team