Christmas Whisky Auction now live

Welcome to Whisky Online Auctions big annual Christmas sale.

We always like to try and make this special annual extended Christmas whisky auction packed to the rafters with great bottles at all price levels and this year’s sale is no exception.

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At the top of the Christmas auction it’s difficult to know where to begin. The Karuizawa for the Nepal Tasting is an undoubted highlight, with only 50 bottles released this is sure to be a star bottle this sale. It is joined by several other terrific bottlings from this distillery from older vintages such as 1968 and 1976 to rarer examples such as the 1981 cask 4333 of which only 94 bottles were produced.

We have a welcome return of old favourites such as the Macallan 1946 and the Ardbeg 1976 Manager’s Choice. There’s a Laphroaig 40 year old, a Bowmore 1964 Fino cask and a pair of Black Bowmores (2nd & 3rd editions). There is a bottle of the Springbank 1966 Local Barley cask 443 – one of the first expressions in this series and one of the most sought after Springbanks ever bottled.

There’s an Ardbeg Gold Auriverdes, a 1957 Macallan Anniversary Malt, a 1972 Rare Malts Brora, an exceptionally rare 5 year old official bottling of Glenugie, a Knappogue Castle 1951, a 1957 Mortlach Cadenhead Dumpy, a 1959 Bruichladdich Cadenhead dumpy and near complete set of Flora & Fauna bottlings in one lot.

One of our favourite bottles in this sale is the return of the stunning Laphroaig 12 year old bottled in the 1960s by Cadenhead, these are now almost impossible to find and the whisky inside carries a well deserved and hefty reputation. All this only scratches the surface though, there just isn’t time to list all the myriad bottles of Port Ellen, Ardbeg, Springbank and SMWS releases.

There’s another wonderful and vast selection from the old First Cask series, there are numerous terrific old Glenfarclas, old Signatory, Berry Brothers and Douglas Laing releases, rare single casks, old, long-since discontinued official bottlings and stacks of great budget drinking drams. There’s nothing short of an incredible selection of bottles up for grabs so you’ll almost certainly find something to suit your collection or your drinking stash in this sale.

We’ll leave it there for now, all that remains is for you to dive in, have a rummage and enjoy the Christmas Whisky auction.


Good luck and happy bidding and have a fantastic time this Chrismas and New Year. We’d like to thank everyone who has participated in our auctions this year, whether as a buyer or a seller your continued custom means we can continue to put together sales of this scope and quality.

All the best for 2016 and Slante!

The Whisky Online Auctions team

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Highlight Auction of the Year! – Kicks off Wednesday 23rd December!

The Whisky-Online Auctions Annual Christmas sale starts Wednesday 23rd at 8PM (GMT).

We always like to try and make our Christmas whisky auction one of the highlight auction of the year in terms of sheer variety of amazing old bottles. There’s more than a few incredible old bits and pieces in this year’s auction, but here’s a quick round-up of some of our favourites.


Springbank Local Barley West Highland Malt 1966

Springbank Local Barley - Christmas Whisky AuctionSpringbank Local Barley - Christmas Whisky Auction

Lot 574 is the Springbank Local Barley West Highland Malt 1966, cask 443. We’ve had these before but they’re now incredibly scarce to the point that whenever one turns up it’s always a bit of an event bottle. These bottlings represent some of the best Springbanks ever released, if you’ve ever been fortunate enough to taste one, you’ll understand…

 Ardbeg Manager’s Choice 1976

Ardbeg 1976-1999 Managers Dram - Christmas Whisky Auction

Talking about iconic bottles from certain distilleries, we’re pleased to have the Ardbeg Manager’s Choice 1976 back in again, this bottling doesn’t turn up too often these days either but it’s always a thrill to have one in. Widely regarded as one of the greatest Ardbegs ever bottled, this is quite simply incredible whisky. If you taste it, you’ll understand the hefty price tags these bottles now command.


The Karuizawa 1968 was one of the earliest and most incredible casks of this Iconic Japanese whisky. These are now quite scarce and don’t show up too often, it’s another one we’re pleased to have in this sale along with other wonderful examples from 1976, 1981 and the famous/infamous Nepal Charity tasting bottle…

Laphroaig 12 year old

Laphroaig 12 year old - Christmas Whisky Auction

Older rarities are well represented in the form of the Laphroaig 12 year old bottled in the 1960s by Cadenhead, this bottle comes from the same vendor as the previous example of this bottling we sold earlier this year. It’s in immaculate condition so this is a real chance to get what is now a legendary and hugely obscure example of this great distillery.

Bruichladdich 1959 25 year old Cadenhead Dumpy

My personal favourite has to be the Bruichladdich 1959 25 year old Cadenhead Dumpy, this is the only known example of Bruichladdich from when it was still a heavily peated whisky – it stopped peating in 1960. This is one of the scarcest of all Cadenhead dumpies so this should be quite something.

All in all a jam-packed auction awaits. Roll on Wednesday we say.

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November Whisky Auction Results

The November whisky Auction finished with the usual mixture of strong and interesting results. The top end results were comfortably within their expected price projections and showed stability at the upper end of the bidding scale.

Perhaps the most telling was the strong result for Ardbeg Provenance at £1400 which shows continued strengthening for this particular bottle from last year’s trading level of around the £1000 mark. The Macallan Anniversary malts also showed continued strong performance with the 1965’s both hitting the £1200+ mark. Another surprise was the Glenlivet 1943 from Gordon & Macphail that – even without a box and a level around the base of the neck – settled on £1000 in the end. Bottle Level Guideline 

Ardbeg Provenance
Ardbeg 1974 – Provenance 1st Edition – 55.6% – Bottle Performance: March 2013 – December 2015

Gordon & Macphail were also around the top end with their beautiful old 15 year old 100 proof Macallan from the thistle stencil series bottled around 1970. The hammer price of £925 goes to show there is continued strong appetite for these kinds of rarely seen, old, exceptional single malts. These kinds of sought after bottles continue to perform very well whenever they show up so if you’ve got one then it might be a good time to think about selling – or drinking – it.

Glendronach shows signs of continued heightening of desirability with its hammer price of £900 for the 1972 40 year old. These old official Glendronachs are showing signs of steady and consistent growth, unsurprising considering the esteemed nature of the whisky itself.

Further consistent strength for older bottlings was shown by the Cadenhead Dumpy Convalmore 1962 bottled exclusively for the US market and the 1976 Ardbeg for Oddbins by Cadenhead selling for £875 and £860 respectively. Older Cadenhead bottlings are going from strength to strength lately and given the scarcity of these kinds of bottling it is unsurprising to see how well these bottles continue to perform.

The more modern releases can also achieve pretty remarkable prices as shown but the Glengoyne 1972 from Malts Of Scotland which sold for £725, this is a great example of a bottle fetching a great price solely on the merits of the reputation of the liquid inside.

Old blends were also shown to be strong performers under certain conditions, the old Glen Moray 53 is a desirable but scarce old blend and this wonderfully preserved example sold for an impressive £575 showing just how well these old blends can perform when the brand, whisky, age and condition all align. The Royal Household from the 1960s at an identical price only served to highlight this further.

There were further strong prices for old Berry Brothers and Queen Of The Moorlands releases which shows that certain independent bottlers with overall strong reputations can perform very well. Older examples of Berry Brother’s bottlings from Bunnahabhain and Glen Grant all achieved strong prices and the Queen Of The Moorlands bottlings all showed continued intense bidding along with the examples we sold last month. These are certainly bottlings that may well be worth selling sooner rather than later if you have them now as the intense competition for these kinds of bottles may be a fluctuation rather than the norm.

Overall this was a strong sale that showed perhaps more impressive prices in the lower – middle ranges of the sale and generally more consistency and steady prices at the upper ends. This could well be attributed to the pre-Christmas phenomena of gift buying and drinks cabinet stocking, or it could well be a continuing trend. Time will tell so it will be interesting to see how things progress in our Christmas sale.

Annual two week special Christmas Sale!

If you’d like to get your bottles into the Christmas sale then we’ll be accepting entries up until the 18th of December. So don’t hang about if you want to take advantage of what is usually one of the highlight auctions of the year in terms of quality of bottles and prices achieved.

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Angus’s Birthday Bash Bottles – Part 3




As We Get It. Macfarlane, Bruce & Co. Circa 1970. 102.9 proof.

I love this series and the early ones by MB&C are almost all great. Hard to find nowadays.

Colour: Oaked Chardonnay

Nose: Gravel, chalk, seashore, dried seaweed and after a minute glimmers of tropical fruits such as pineapple, papaya and passion fruit. This is young, hot and totally pristine distillate – you could also be forgiven for mistaking this for a very strong young 1960s Bowmore. Goes on with fresh cut grass, mangoes, agave juice and a little blade like stab of smoke. Totally brilliant distillate, old style but entirely captivating; austere yet playful. With water… more citrus and more cereal now, it’s clearly a young whisky but that really doesn’t matter when the distillate is this good and swaggers about with this much character. It’s still remarkably coastal for Balvenie, water brings out a beautifully elegant saline note amongst all the wild flowers and fresh garden fruits.

Palate: It’s hot but the fruit is pretty immediate, more cactus, mango, gravel – all kinds of minerals in fact – more of this suggestive Bowmoreness, butter, chives, cereal, parsley – gorgeous. There’s also emerging notes of olive oil, sunflower seeds and brioche with a huge freshness. This is clean, hyper sharp and really alive. Probably the closest you can get to how whisky tasted when freshly bottled 40-50 years ago, there’s almost no old bottle effect in this at all. With water: more salt, orange peel, tangerine liqueur, a faint dusting of spices and more citrus notes. Perhaps moving more towards more classical Balvenie qualities now but still remains remarkably coastal. Just wonderful!

Finish: Long, sharp, coastal and pristine. A Samurai dancing with many blades. Citrus, wild flowers, bread, agave tequila and more little flashes of tropical fruits.

Comments: It’s worth re-iterating the above: I’m convinced these bottlings are the closest you can get to how whisky tasted when freshly bottled several decades ago. The freshness, the youth of the spirit and the huge character of the distillate are all loud and impeccable. Also a totally unique Balvenie that feels as though it was conceived secretly on Islay.

Score: 91/100



As We Get It. Macfarlane, Bruce & Co. Circa 1960. 100.9 proof.

This is the oldest ‘As We Get It’ bottling I’ve ever seen let alone tasted. Probably one of the earliest releases they ever did. I’m excited…

Colour: White wine

Nose: Another very young one, spirity but hyper-clean, very fresh and alive with citrus notes, (lemon cheesecake as someone said when it was first opened) fresh barley and more of these lovely notes of chives, parsley and fresh butter. Little notes of geranium, juniper and rapeseed oil develop but the whole remains perhaps a little closed still. Lets try some water… lemons, thistles, gorse, wax, stone fruits and dandelions. There just isn’t a trace of wood anywhere in this one but the purity and character is just wonderful. Becomes fatter with more plum fruit notes and cereals after a little more time.

Palate: A beautiful beginning on all kinds of waxes, soot, minerals, hessian and chives. Sunflower seeds, olive oil, dried mango and freshly baked tea cake. It’s quite dry but beautifully complex and elegant. Once again the whisky is clearly young but such things just don’t matter when the distillate is so well made and rich with personality. With water… water seems to magnify the waxiness and bring out more of the classical old highlands style qualities such as sootiness, slight farmyard touches, spices and citrus peel. Quite majestic distillate if you ask me.

Finish: Wonderfully long on all sorts of citrus notes, freshly baked cakes, breads, wax and all kinds of oils.

Comments: Another fantastic old As We Get It bottling that shares a lot in common with the Balvenie. Once again the obvious youthfulness and power of the spirit are great assets here. These bottlings are both like perfectly preserved liquid time capsules of the raw character of malt whisky and how it used to taste several decades ago, pre-modernisation. Just wonderful, I can’t decide between them so.. snap:

Score: 91/100



Whisky Tasting Bottles
Left: Macallan-Glenlivet. Right: Balvenie-Glenlivet




Stay tuned for Angus’s Birthday Bash Bottles – Part 4. In the meantime If you enjoyed this, you might also enjoy these:

Angus’s Birthday Bash Bottles – Part 1

Angus’s Birthday Bash Bottles – Part 2

Whisky-Online Exclusive | Ardmore 1993-2015 Tasting Notes