September Whisky Auction Highlights

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We are only in September but it feels like Christmas has come early here at Whisky-Online Auctions. We have an exciting assembly of malts dating from the early 20th century all the way through to modern releases in 2016.

Brora 40 year old

Appearing for the first time in an online auction is the Brora 40 year old. It’s the oldest official expression bottled to date and is from one of the very last cask’s from 1972. Not only that there were only 160 bottles produced Worldwide. The liquid gold sits in a crystal decanter engraved with the famous Scottish wild cat with intricate copper inlay whilst the driven crystal stopper is engraved with 40; fitted around the neck is a copper collar engraved with ‘Distilled 1972’. The decanter is housed in a handcrafted wooden case bespokely created by the Queens cabinet makers a N.E.J Stevenson.

Macallan rarely gets a mention in our opening emails, because let’s be honest they are the leaders in the secondary market and it can get a little repetitive. But this month we have two pre-war relics well worth a mention. Is this going to be a head to head with two admirable independent companies who have bottled some of the finest Macallans ever. First off is a Macallan-Glenlivet 1937 Pure Highland Malt Liqueur Whisky bottled by Gordon & MacPhail circa 1960s. Followed by a 1945 Macallan by Campbell Hope & King. Both periods displayed a much peatier style of whiskies due to the requisitioning of coal for the war time effort.

We have a formidable selection of juice official releases from numerous distilleries starting with several Port Ellen’s including 9th,10th & 11th annual releases. A sherry cask Bowmore 34 year old and a single cask 1980 Bowmore complete with a copper still decanter. Lagavulin 1977 25 year old, Glendronach 33 year old, Highland Park 34 year old selected and bottled for Ambassador Gerry Tosh. Two 30 year old Oloroso Sherry casks, one from Isle Of Jura and the other from Glenmorangie. Two 1965 Auchentoshan 31 year olds with consecutive casks numbers 2510 & 2511. Springbank 1966 Local Barley, Glenrothes 1971 and a very special release for John Ramsey. Glengoyne 1972, Glenury Royal 1970 36 year old, Oban 1969 32 year old and another Royal Brackla 1924 60 year old this time with matching miniature.

Cadenhead brings us a Teaninich 1957, Mortlach 1957, Caperdonich 1965 and a Glenfarclas 1966. For Signatory we have a delicious 1968 Bowmore matured in a single oak cask for 33 years. One of several legendary 1967 Ardbegs, a box set of 1967 Littlemill and Dunglass. A true stand out is a Glen Garioch 1967 bottled in the 1990s for Oddbins. There are several vintages in this series and they are all outstanding whiskies. You will also find the majestic 1967 Bowmore Largiemeanoch. This almost mythical whisky is regarded as one of the best Bowmore’s ever bottled. Even surpassing the like’s of the Legendary Black Bowmore releases.

Amongst the many Rare Malts we have another 1972 Brora except this time it’s the 58.7% expression. Representing Douglas Laing we have a deliciously inviting Glen Grant 1967 for their Old & Rare Platinum Selection. Standouts for G&M are a Macphails 1950, Glenlivet 1951, Strathisla 1955 and a Talisker 1958.

From the 1950s there is an exceptional Glenfiddich Special which is from a period when the distillery bottled small runs of single malt but didn’t market it. On to the 1970s we have a UK release Laphroaig 10 year old, followed by a dumpy Glendronach 8 year old imported by Ruffino. Bottled in the 1980s we see for the first time a Bruichladdich 15 year old decanter for their centenary. Ardbeg Guaranteed 10 year old, Lagavulin 12 year old White Horse, Littlemill 8 year old and a Springbank 12 year old from the early 1980s. Also we have a Talisker, Cragganmore, Lagavulin, Glenkinchie from the first batch released for the Classic Malts Of Scotland in the late 1980s.

In the mix of all these superb whiskies we have many Rums, Bourbons and mixed Lots of other spirits ready for you to stockpile for the festive season.

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August Auction Results

Our latest sale featured some exceptional results and continues what has been a remarkable couple of months for whisky at auction. There has been much speculation as to what is causing this: a weakened post Brexit pound; the fact that these are usually some of the most affluent months of a year; simply the rush of great bottles to market recently. In all likelihood it is probably a murky amalgamation of all three along with the continuing strengthening of interest in old bottles.

But, back to the auction. At the top was the Dalmore Candela 50-year-old, the last time we sold one it achieved £10,600 back in 2014; this time it was £14,600, a very healthy new high for this one and goes to show that old Dalmore is still highly sought after.

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The other top end bottles all represented clear new market value levels for these whiskies: Macallan 1938 at £6400, Brora 1972 Rare Malts for £5300 and the Royal Brackla 60 year old for £4600. Remarkable new highs for all three. It will be interesting to see if these bottles sustain these kinds of prices in the short-medium term.

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Another remarkable result was the Laphroaig 12-year-old 1960s Cadenhead bottling which finished up at £4300. It was the third and final bottle from this vendor who purchased the bottles in the 1970s and this one exceeded even our expectations. It will likely be a long time before we see another one of these stunning bottles.

Other high end encouraging results were the Laphroaig 40-year-old at £4200, the Malt Mill based Mackie’s Ancient Brand bottled in the 1940s at an impressive £3600 and Caol Ila 15-year-old Manager’s Dram, once again hitting a new record of £2400. These are remarkable results which once again demonstrate just how seemingly insatiable the appetite for old bottles of exceptional whisky is these days.

Talking of great whisky, it was interesting to see a Gordon & MacPhail 1957 100 proof Talisker in pretty worn outward condition fetch £2000. These were at £600-800 not so long ago and it just goes to show the power and allure of incredible whisky.

The official Bruichladdich 40-year-old took an impressive step up at £1950. Although it wasn’t particularly surprising to see the Macallan 1969 18-year-old for the Bank of Scotland fetch £1900; this series is so widely collected that competition for these uber-scarce variations is always fierce.

Moving further down the auction there were some good results that were both unsurprising: Tomatin 1957 Cadenhead Dumpy for £1300, and surprising: St Magdalene 1970 23-year-old Rare Malts for an impressive £950. Interestingly the 1970s Laphroaig 10-year-old just clipped the official 30-year-old when they hit £850 and £825 respectively. Demand for the old fruity Laphroaigs remains potent as ever.

As mentioned above the collectability of the Macallan 18 year olds is well noted, but £650 for the 1987 vintage was still impressive and perhaps suggests the whole series is about to shift up a gear once again. Other bottlings that seem to be solidifying upwards in value are the Glenmorangie 1975 Tain l’Hermitage at £600 and the Highland Park Thor which was back up at £525.

Another increasingly potent performer at auction is Rum. Good quality, aged examples are really shining in auction at the moment. Well evidenced in this sale by the Cadenhead’s 1991 24-year-old Trinidad at £525.

Broadly throughout the rest of this sale the story was the same. Prices were consistent and strong, often verging on the upper end of their market value and in many cases looking like they were moving up to new trading levels. A common trend we noticed in this sale is just how high some bottles, which were generally quite cheap until very recently, have climbed. Bottles like an OB 1965 Knockando for £230 and the Glendronach 12 year olds for £225 each.

Overall it was a sale categorised by a general lack of bargains. There were a few instances of certain bottles performing a bit more softly than usual and there were the usual raft of things like First Cask bottlings which always seem to make great bargains for drinkers considering the liquid inside is often excellent. But really it was a sale marked by eye-popping prices, tough competition and few bargains. It truly is a seller’s market now…

 

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August Whisky Auction Highlights

This month’s sale showcases what we are all about here at Whisky Online Auctions. We attract not only high-end whiskies but we like to concentrate on the older, rarer and obscure bottles you don’t come across every day.

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We have several whiskies worthy of our highlight status this month. In no particular order, the first is none other than the Mackie’s Ancient Brand. Mackie’s was a small brand from the White Horse stable, the main constituent malt of which was the infamous Malt Mill; a distillery within Lagavulin that operated between 1908 and 1960. There are two variations of this Mackie’s, a UK release which has a twist cap and this US import with a spring cap. Labels are also different with the UK release stating Mackie’s Ancient Scotch and the US import stating Mackie’s Ancient Brand. Being bottled in the 1940s this would have contained a significant proportion of Malt Mill, possibly higher than 50%. These bottles are incredibly hard to find and we are pleased to uncover yet another in amazing condition.

The second highlight is an incredibly scarce Laphroaig 12 year old bottled by Cadenhead in 1970/1971. We are honoured to have the opportunity to auction the third and last bottle for the vendor. This is a great opportunity to obtain a truly remarkable Laphroaig that was distilled in the late 1950s. Stephen from Cadenhead’s kindly dug out some old tasting notes and they suggest it’s a proper smoke bomb with a ton of iodine, some dried spiced fruits, fishing nets and bonfire night. Definitely one to have on your watch list.

Another incredible feature is the Dalmore Candela 50 year old which is a vatting composed of whisky distilled in 1868, 1878, 1909, 1922, 1939 and 1951. The stock used is inspirational and from a bygone era, uniquely fused together by the Master Distiller to create a powerful and fulfilling whisky. With just 77 crystal decanter housed in a museum case with wooden outer box they’ve not held back decorating this one. The decanter bears a solid silver stag and brilliant starburst and adorned with a silver stopper.
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How does a Royal Brackla 1924 60 year old sound? The casks were discovered by chance in 1984 and were later presented to dignitaries in 1991 to celebrate the reopening of the Royal Brackla Distillery. Only 62 bottles are believed to have been bottled making this not only extremely limited but a true piece of liquid history, with the RRP going into the highest stratosphere this one is worth considering.

We welcome the return of a beautifully preserved Laphroaig 40 year old, along with a 1938 Macallan also others to note, starting with a Macallan multi Vintage anniversary malt from 1958/1959, Aucentoshan 1966Littlemill 1965Linlithgow 1973, three Dalmore 30 year olds including the Stillman’s DramMatusalem Sherry and a ceramic produced for their 150th anniversary in 1989. Talking of Dalmore we see for the first time a 1967 44 year from the Sirius collection along with the Fettercairn 1966 45 year oldCarsebridge 1965 46 year old and North British 1962 49 year old.

For Brora buffs there are five different expressions from 1972 and this 60.02% variation is the hardest one to find; also from Rare Malts and making it’s first appearance is a Glenlochy 1969 released for the USA. We have another beautiful Talisker from Gordon & MacPhail except this time distilled in 1957 and bottled at the preferred 100 proof. Also from G&M you will find a 1940 50 year old and Cadenhead brings us another Springbank 1965 and Tomatin 1957 from a sherry cask.

This sale is jam packed with whiskies from an era that we believed to be the best. From the 1950s we have a Dalmore 8 year old bottled by Duncan Macbeth & Co Ltd. From the 1960s is a Sherriff’s Bowmore. The 1970s is represented with many official examples including two Talisker 12 year olds. The bona-fide UK release Laphroaig 10 year old. A fruit bomb of a Bowmore, and an overlooked 8 year old Highland Park. From Glendronach we have the exceptionally rare 150th anniversary which was bottled in 1976 along with two variants of the 8 year old. The late 1970s livery Clynelish 12 year old which contains liquid from the pre Brora Clynelish Distillery.

There are many more great drinking drams from this period so have a browse and see what tickles your fancy.

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We have several whiskies worthy of our highlight status this month. In no particular order, the first is none other than the

 

 

Whisky Auction Highlights

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