Welcome to Whisky Online Auctions November sale

Welcome to Whisky Online Auctions’ November sale. This is the last sale before Christmas and – appropriately enough – is rather jam packed with all kinds of wonderful bottles.

Bid Now at Whisky Online Auctions

The obvious highlights this sale are numerous. Starting off with Macallan we have a 1950 Fine & Rare 53 year old cask 600, there’s hardly any Fine & Rare Macallans turning up at auction anymore these days so this is a rare chance to get this legendary release at auction. Joining this one is a stunning box set of Speymalt Macallan’s from Gordon & MacPhail, featuring six releases from 1940, 1950, 1967, 1973, 1987 and – not least – the 1938 65 year old. This is a real work of beauty this set and very rarely available these days so don’t be shy if you want this one.

Bowmore – as usual these days it seems – is the other crowning distillery this sale. The 1964 46 year old is undoubtedly the star, only 72 bottles of this total masterpiece were ever released and they are unlikely to turn up very often so this is probably the cheapest you’ll ever be able to get one if you want it.

Joining this wonderful bottle are a full set of the first Black Bowmore trilogy, including a first edition with a brilliantly preserved fill level still into the neck and a very rare 75cl third release variant for the USA.

Other choice high end bits and pieces include the 2004 release Glenfiddich 40 year old, Karuizawa 1983 cask 7576, a 1st edition Ardbeg Provenance and an extremely rare spring cap sealed Royal Household bottled around 1960. We have a beautifully dark and very hard to find Macallan 15 year old 100 proof bottled around 1970 by Gordon & MacPhail. We have a very rare 1962 Convalmore 23 year old Cadenhead dumpy bottled exclusively for America. A Bowmore 1968 32yo, a Glenfiddich 29 year old Spirit Of The Nation and a very rare Glen Moray 53 Blend bottled around 1950.

There are some very scarce late 1990s Berry Brothers bottlings including a black as pitch 1972 Bunnahabhain, there is a vast selection of First Cask bottlings spread throughout the sale along with a healthy selection of Signatory and Rare Malts releases as well. There are stack of old blends, old independent bottlings, rare official examples, long discontinued official releases. Whole cases of whisky, smatterings of ports (ideal for festive tippling), some very early rotation Ardbeg 17 year olds from 1997 and 1998 and a 1968 30 year old Glenfiddich.

There are some absolutely beautiful official Karuizawa tasting glass sets, ideal christmas presents for the Karuizawa lover in your life, or yourself. On top of this there are stacks of other old Macallans, Bowmores, Highland Parks and Laphroaigs and all manner of other terrific bottles there just isn’t time to go into here.


So whether you’re looking for Christmas presents for others or yourself, looking to stock up the drinks cabinet with tasty but affordable drams or just out for your usual bottle hunting, there’s plenty to choose from in this sale.

So enjoy the auction, best of luck and happy bidding.

Bid Now at Whisky Online Auctions

All the best
The Whisky Online Auctions team




Angus’s Birthday Bash Bottles – Part 2

Berry Brothers Choicest Liqueur Scotch Whisky ‘Of Great Age’. Bottled circa 1970. 70 proof.

An old brand by Berry Brothers that was most likely a classy vatted malt with a decent bit of age. From a time when ‘of great age’ meant more than it probably would today.

Colour: Light copper

Nose: Take a box of tools, rub with good quality shoe polish, add a couple of old leather-bound library books and then a good slosh of wet gravel and you might be approaching something of this nose. Of course there are also all these wonderful herbal subtleties, little prickly notes of resin, old hard wood shavings, the inside of a freshly made quality acoustic guitar (niche tasting note I know) and then – with about a minutes breathing – wonderful fruits both tropical and green. This really does give the impression of ‘generic old style, mature malt whisky from the 1950s/60s’. You get a clear sense of what they were trying to do with this brand, incidentally probably one that was not too expensive at the time.

Palate: There’s a clear sherry component lurking somewhere in here, beautiful and delicate notes of wet earth, ginger bread, darjeeling tea leaves, old cognac, raisins and fruit loaf. The only frustration is that you can feel how great it must have been at full strength or even 80 proof. Lovely resinous, slightly drying mineral notes coming through now with more classical waxy and spicy notes.

Finish: Good length for 40%. More notes of tea leafs, raisins and various fruits and minerals.

Comments: What a shame about the strength but it’s still incredibly delicious. The sort of whisky you can imagine a couple of dottery old Tory backbenchers quaffing unfeasibly large measures of while chomping cigars and gleefully contemplating Ted Heath’s recent election victory in the corner of some smoggy bar in the House Of Commons.

Score: 89/100


Berry Brothers Choicest Liqueur Scotch Whisky ‘Of Great Age’. Bottled circa 1950. 70 proof.

Lets see how the same brand was 20 years previously…

Colour: Light gold.

Nose: Peat. Immediate peat – of a style that just isn’t made at any distillery today and hasn’t really been made in Scotland since the 1960s. A peated farmyard full of old tractor sheds, sheep fanks, peat fired kilns and motor oil. More of these tool boxes, flints, hay bales, silage and greasy rags. Sounds a bit strange perhaps and it was actually a bit stranger when it was first opened but after a week of breathing this has turned into the love child of Brora and a 1940s Highland Park. A wee twinkle of fruits dancing around in the background. Coal hearths and a great big church candle full of wax as well.

Palate: Now the slight weirdness returns, a whole farm in a glass with wormwood, ancient absinth diluted with ancient Chartreuse Vert and chamomile, caraway and old bonfire embers. Gravel and graphite oil with overripe bananas and yet more quite stinky farminess. I really love this but I know some would find it quite extreme and quite weird. It reminds me of an very old Lagavulin Spring Cap that was extremely coastal to the point of being fishy, this is similar but in an extremely farmy direction. Big, fat, greasy peat still floating about in there. Nothing like this has been made for decades in Scotland.

Finish: Long, hefty, farmy and peaty. A big, quirky old bruiser of a dram.

Comments: It’s a tough one to score, it’s so much fun and I really like it, although I can understand why others might struggle with it. Lets be diplomatic and say:

Score: Technical level: 87/100 – Personal level: 91/100

Left: circa 1950. Right: circa 1970
Left: circa 1950. Right: circa 1970



Stay tuned for Angus’s Birthday Bash Bottles – Part 3. In the meantime If you enjoyed this, you might also enjoy these:

• Angus’s Birthday Bash Bottles – Part 1

• Whisky-Online Exclusive | Ardmore 1993-2015 Tasting Notes




Annual Christmas Sale

On December 23rd Whisky Online Auctions will be launching our annual two week special Christmas sale.

Our Christmas sale is usually the highlight sale of the year and will feature some fantastic whiskies which will attract a higher than usual amount of bidding interest. The fact it takes place for two weeks over the festive season also means maximum exposure for your bottles and a larger bidding audience. We’ve seen a slew of record prices achieved in these sales in the past at every level of the auction. If you would like to get your bottles into this sale then we are now accepting consignments for this auction with the entry deadline being the 18th of December.

Champaign Money

This is an expensive time of year for all of us so the Christmas auction is a great way to recoup a bit of cash in January and get the best possible price for your bottles. If you’d like to sell anything then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for a free valuation or consignment advice. We offer a courier service and our valuer Angus will be carrying out home collections throughout the Highlands and Islay over the next month.

Get A Free Valuation Today:


Or you can contact on:

Office: 01253 620376
Angus: 07767222200 or angus@whisky-online.com
Email: auctions@whisky-online.com

All the best
The Whisky Online Auctions team


Angus’s Birthday Bash Bottles – Part 1


Last week I used the fact I turned 30 this year as a thinly veiled excuse to open a silly amount of old bottles I’d been stashing away these past few years with all my whisky pals. The brief was pretty simple, everyone turn up to the great Dornoch Castle Hotel for a few days and we’ll methodically open and taste the lot of them. This we did with much passion and vigour. Needless to say we had a lot of fun. So, over the next few weeks for purposes of fun and posterity, I’ll post my notes for all the bottles we opened and shared in the order they were tasted. First up:


Grant’s Strandfast. Bottled 1930s. 70 proof. 

This is most likely a high malt content blend and was the ‘house brand’ for William Grants for quite a number of decades.

Colour: Gold

Nose: It’s worth pointing out that the level on this bottle was totally perfect, just around the middle of the neck and the cork was aged but in very good condition. No wonder then that it is immediately so fresh but also classically pre-war in style. A beautiful and elegant mix of all kinds of fried herbs, waxes, shoe polish, minerals, steel wool, wood spice, old Chartreuse Juane and the lightest of phenols. Not too peaty this one. Goes on with tiny dancing notes of tincture, wood sap and hessian and resin. Beautiful.

Palate: The strength is light but the attack is good and rich with wonderful tertiary notes of forest flora, earth, leaves, some soot, various oils and waxes, more herbal notes of old herb liqueurs, green tea, some lemon oils and noticeably more peat now. Great thickness and presence in the mouth. This share many obvious similarities with quite a few other old 1930s era blends but is quite a bit more complex than most others. Goes on with a little green fruit, some delicate, dusty old phenols and a little paraffin.

Finish: Soft, waxy and herbal. Really delicious and in sync with the nose and palate if not the longest.

Comments: Emotional and genuinely beautiful stuff. If this had been bottled with even just three more degrees of alcohol it could easily have been up to 92-93 for me. As it is it’s still a solid…

Score: 90/100


Grant’s Liqueur Scotch Whisky. Early 1930s. 

Grants Liqueur

No mention of blending on the label (although there were none on the Standfast either) and no statements of strength. The capsule, bottle and label suggest a slightly earlier bottling and more a expensive one. This could possibly be a straight vatting of Glenfiddich and Balvenie, lets see…

Colour: Gold, quite identical to the Stand Fast.

Nose: This shares quite a bit of DNA with the Stand Fast but feels also immediately richer and more punchy. Some bigger and more assertive notes of wool, hessian, wax and caraway with something a bit tarry underneath. Some top notch olive oil, brown bread, butter and ripe green fruits. The nose feels kind of simultaneously fat and delicate – like a sumo wrestler with a hangover.

Palate: Oily and full of herbs, earth, tinned fruit syrups, wax, hessian and camphor. I feel this is possibly still a blend but if it is the grain is almost silent after so many decades under the weight of all that big, fat malt. Juicy cereal notes, more oils and waxes, more buttery, herbal notes – engages the whole palate gently but firmly. A farmyard quality arises after a little time along with more spices and notes of stewed apples.

Finish: Longer than the Stand Fast with a green fruit and grassy note alongside all these usual characters of wax, oil and spice.

Comments: Another beautiful old high malt content blend. Probably quite an expensive bottling back in the day and also probably around 70 proof much like the Stand Fast. The two share a lot of real similarities, it’s just a shame that the level on the Liqueur was fair bit lower when opened compared to the Stand Fast, if they had both been in the neck it would have been even more intriguing. Still, two totally beautiful, highly emotional ancient bottlings.

Score: 90/100


Old Angus. 1930s.  

Old Angus

I was looking for one of these for quite a few years and finally found a bottle last year that had a good level just a whisper above the base of the neck. Once again no statement of strength on the label.

Colour: Pale gold.

Nose: POW! Totally stunning peat. Really just a wonderful mix of iodine, peat oils, tar, embrocations, seashore, little drizzles of lemon juice and pebbles. This could be an old Lagavulin White Horse or 1960s Caol Ila, seriously! When we opened this everyone remarked about the peat but this has opened up tremendously. Not a shred of grain on the nose anywhere, just light citrus and green fruits wrapped up in a whole bag of stunning, old style peat aromas. Glorious.

Palate: Snap. More of this wonderful peat character, very in sync with the nose. Medical complexities, peat sap (is that a thing), tar, rope, old kreel nets, smoked kippers smothered in lemon juice, some smoked grains and plenty camphor and hessian. A mouthful of Ardbeg’s dunnage warehouse from the 1950s. It’s just an endless cavalcade of all these various flavours and characters in all kinds of continuous combinations and varying degrees of intensity. Great poise in the mouth, never overpowering, always elegant and well structured.

Finish: Long long long (as George Harrison said), beautiful mineral, ashy peat oils and smoke. Kippery, tarry, medicinal and lightly fruity. Just delicious.

Comments: I will now drive myself mad attempting to work out what malts went into this. Lets just say an equal vatting of 1920s Malt Mill and Laphroaig and leave it at that. Of course if could quite easily be Highland Park or Talisker or any number of old, long closed Campbeltown distilleries. Were they using cheap brands like Old Angus to dump excess Campbeltown stock into in those days? We’ll probably never know. On the rear label it says ‘A noble Scotch. Gentle as a Lamb’, I’ll not argue with that. Although it’s not like any Angus I’ve ever met. If I didn’t know the provenance of this bottle and someone poured it to me and told me it had been refilled with an old Lagavulin White Horse I wouldn’t have even blinked, not a shred of grain in sight, no doubt comprehensively slaughtered by all that peated malt inside the bottle over all these decades.

Score: 92/100 


Stay tuned for Angus’s Birthday Bash Bottles – Part 2. In the meantime If you enjoyed this, you might also enjoy these:

• Old & Rare Whisky Tasting at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society

• Good Spirits Whisky Tasting – Hosted By Whisky-Online Auctions

• Dornach Castle Hotel Welcomes all Whisky Enthusiasts!


Whisky-Online Exclusive | Ardmore 1993-2015 Tasting Notes


A while back we figured it was high time that Whisky Online had another bespoke bottling done. After much dallying about we went to see the good folks at G&M. A week later four cask samples arrived then a couple of months after that this rather delicious bottling of Ardmore arrived. So, without much further ado here’s Angus’s tasting notes for it.

The Whisky-Online Exclusive bottles are up for sale in the shop right now, £100 a pop, when they’re gone they’re gone.

Ardmore 1993 – 2015 22 Year Old. Gordon & MacPhail Whisky-Online Exclusive. Cask number 5750 a Refill Bourbon Barrel. One of 176 bottles. 70cl. 49.9%.

Colour: Gold

Nose: It is quite immediately Ardmore which I love, this wonderful mix of limestone, gravel, clay and minerals with a very delicate ashy peat and slightly drying phenolic tones – reminiscent of a gentler, latter 1970s Ardbeg. Behind all that there’s lemon skins, citrons, dried herbs, muesli and gorse. This is the perfect kind of wood presence to my nose: shy and retiring with quite a structured and complete feeling of maturity that gives a loud voice to the distillery character. With water… oh nice, white flowers, beeswax and honey on buttery brown toast. All these lovely notes of sunflower seeds, sorrel and more mineral aspects. Just great.

Palate: A tang of wood sap at first gives way to some beautiful and quite elegant tropical fruit syrups – more fruity than your average Ardmore I’d say – then sandalwood, coastal notes of tar, salted liquorice and little touches of gentian. Further notes of orange bitters, greengages, delicate peat oils and more slightly ashy mineral notes. The mouth is almost perfect at this cask strength but lets add some water anyway… it becomes almost bigger with water, the peat and phenols are magnified and almost medicinal now, sort of at the expense of the fruit but it’s no less beautiful for it.

Finish: Long and warm, full of briny, ashy, citrusy, mineral and phenolic qualities. Leaves a big tingle all round the mouth. Quite brazenly Ardmore – which I totally love.

Comments: Not much to say, I love the balance of fruit and peat along with all the other tertiary aromas. I love the fact that the cask plays a perfect supporting role to the shining distillate and I love the fact that it is very much an Ardmore. Really delicious, and a strong swimmer to boot.

Score: 91/100

Whisky-Online Exclusive Ardmore



The Last Miniature Auction of 2015 is NOW LIVE!

For all our eager miniature collectors our dedicated miniature auction Has Started!

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Our new Miniature auction is now live. This sale contains part of a remarkable collection of miniatures collected over several decades. Obvious highlights are numerous and include several Fine & Rare Macallans such as the 1954, 1969, 1970, 1971 and 1972. The extremely hard to find Macallan ICFC and vintage editions from 1963 all the way through to 1975.

We have rare examples from numerous independent bottlers such as the SMWS, Signatory, Cadenhead, Douglas Laing and a few gems from James MacArthur such as the Talisker 1979 – of which only 36 bottles were produced – and the 12 year old Ladyburn – of which only 15 bottles were made!

There are many great examples of closed distilleries as well with minis of Ben Wyvis, Littlemill, Lochside, Port Ellen and Brora all featuring prominently in this sale.

All these feature alongside numerous old blends from the 1940s, 50s and 60s along with malts from all distilleries too numerous to begin mentioning here.

All in all this is a quite a remarkable sale for any miniature collector. So whether you’re looking to add to or begin a collection, or you’re a drinker looking to sample long lost drams that are too expensive in their full size counterparts, then this auction is for you.

Good luck and happy bidding

The Whisky Online Auctions team


October Auction Results

Our recent auction which finished this past Wednesday saw a broad selection of interesting bottles go under the hammer.

Most of the high-end bottles showed consistency in their performance which suggests the market at this level is holding fairly steady for now. Where there was a strong upward performance was for some of the very rarely seen bottles. The Springbank Samaroli 12 year old is a bottle we’ve sold on three occasions now. Each sale has seen a gradual upwards movement but this sale saw it climb up to £3300 which is a significant boost and quite clearly indicates the appetite there is for these kinds of extremely highly regarded classic bottlings.

Another real rarity was the Glenugie 12 year old bottled in the 1980s by Robert Watson. This is one of these kinds of bottles that is so rarely seen that most people don’t even know it exists. The fact that such a basic – originally quite cheap – bottling finished up at £1100 is clear indication of how well these kinds of bottlings perform on the open market. This is the sort of bottle that whisky auctioneering is all about for us.

Frame - oct 1

Other strong auction results were for Islay bottlings such as the Laphroaig 1980 which finished up at a very healthy £1850 and the Port Ellen Feis Cask which fetched £3200. Demand for these sorts of official Islay bottlings shows no signs of slowing down.

Another strong performer was the Benromach 1969 40 year old, with only 40 bottles released the demand is understandable but it went to £925, some way north of its previous result with us last year of £625. The Littlemill 1950 was another of these rarely seen and little known bottlings that also shot to a new high in this sale. A 30 year old, cask strength single cask with just 216 bottles, this new record of £775 shows clear demand for these older, rarer bottlings and also how interest in Littlemill has really risen over the past years with the numerous excellent bottlings that have been released by the independents.

The Tamdhu 1970 by Signatory – a dram with a hefty reputation – shows that desire for the liquid itself is still a powerful factor in people’s bidding patterns. This one hit an impressive new high of £675. Likewise the Caol Ila 1982 by Queen Of The Moorlands – another dram with a serious reputation – hit an impressive new high of £575.

There were also some notable results at the lower-mid end of the sale as well. Some of the older blends such as the MacKenzie 20 year old and the Hudsons’s Bay 15 year old achieved impressive prices: £150 each. This shows that perhaps awareness of just how great these old blends can be is starting to show in their performance at auction.

All in all it was a successful sale which showed consistency in the top end. A continued stagnation of prices in many of the modern releases which just tend to traded rather than opened. A strengthening for the rarities and scarcely seen bottlings and an upward trend in prices for great quality drinking drams.

Our next sale beginning this Sunday is the final miniature auction of the year, this sale comes from part of a huge and impressive collection of minis put together over several decades. There are numerous highlights such as several Macallan Fine & Rare mins and numerous closed distillery examples to get your teeth into. If you’re looking for fun gifts or stocking fillers for whisky loving chums this Christmas these can make the perfect gifts. Likewise if you’re after a few special drams for yourself over the festive season then minis are a perfect way to try these elusive legendary drams without breaking the bank on a full size bottle.

0415 Auction 2000