April Auction Highlights!

Last month’s auction was all about 50-year-olds and this month’s auction continues the same theme with several more. Starting with a modern masterpiece; The Dalmore Candela 50-year-old. A vatting composed of whisky distilled in 1868, 1878, 1909, 1922, 1939 and 1951. The stock used is inspirational and from a bygone era. They have been uniquely fused together by the Master Distiller to create a powerful and fulfilling whisky. Just 77 crystal decanters were filled.
Up next and rewinding over 30 years we welcome back the original Dalmore 50-year-old from 1978. This is regarded as the best Dalmore ever bottled and probably the best 50-year-old in the world. It’s also bottled at a hefty 52% which is very unusual for such an old whisky. Only 60 hand-cut crystal decanters were produced making this one of the hardest whiskies to find.

Dalmore 50 Year Old Crystal Decanter
Dalmore 50 Year Old Crystal Decanter
Dalmore Candela - 50 Year Old
Dalmore Candela – 50 Year Old

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over to Dufftown and for the first time since 2013 we have the Glenfiddich 50-year-old; composed from 9 casks distilled in 1937 & 1939. Over 50 years later in 1990 those casks were vatted together and then returned to the cask for over a year to allow the whisky to marry. On the 26th July 1991, 500 bottles were filled. Each bottle is personally signed by Alexander Grant Gordon and presented in a bespoke wooden presentation box along with a certificate of authenticity.

Not stopping there and heading 800 yards to Balvenie and for the first time here at Whisky-Online Auctions we have the Balvenie 1937 50-year-old. Some say upon its release in 1987 this was the oldest whisky ever to be bottled and started a phenomenon for these super aged single malts.

Balvenie 1937-1987 - 50 Year Old
Balvenie 1937-1987 – 50 Year Old
Glenfiddich 50 Year Old
Glenfiddich 50 Year Old

 

 

 

 

 

 

Along with these magnificent fifties, you will find one more that’s included in the set of six Springbank Millennium Collection!

Talking of Springbank we have numerous single casks from the 1966 Local Barley series which include cask 485, 486, 487, 492. Also from Springbank, there are a few uncommon but worthy indies like a 1966 28-year-old by The Bottlers and a 1965 30-year-old for Milroy’s and in the mix a bag full of private bottlings. The excitement doesn’t stop there! We have the likes of the Laphroiag 1960 40-year-old bottled for Oddbins, the mind-blowing Brora 1972 40-year-old. A couple of Glenfiddich 40-year-olds, one from 2000 and the other from 2007. A 30-year-old Glenmorangie finished in a Malaga cask, a 1973 33-year-old Dalmore and in their own words ‘seduced by the charm of the ‘king of grapes’

Briefly, onto Islay, we have an official 1972 Bowmore under their vintage label and a 1973 Bowmore specially bottled for the 50th anniversary of the original Stanley Morrison company. Others official releases from Islay to watch out for are a 1976 Laphroaig, Port Ellen 9th release, a Single Cask Ardbeg and several vintages from 1975, 1977 & 1978.

In the mix of all these incredible whiskies, you will find two bottles of pre-war Rosebank bottled sometime in the 1960s by an obscure Edinburgh merchant Robert Stewart & Son. Although these were distilled in 1938, Rosebank was one of the few distilleries that managed to continue operating during World War 2. Along with these two wonderfully old bottles, we have another Black Bottle from around the 1930s; this bottle comes from a full case of 12 that was purchased over 30 years ago by the vendor in his local pub. Over the years he slowly drank them. I asked him if he enjoyed them and he said they were very nice with coke :O and he always thought it was peculiar they had ‘Pre-War Strength’ stated on the bottle. This particular bottle was saved and remains the last bottle from the original case.

Onto the indies and starting with G&M we have all sorts from their vintage series such as 1954, 1960, 1963, 1964, 1967 Strathisla, 1951, 1952, 1956, 1957 Glen Grant, 1938, 1950, 1955 Glenlivet, 1953, 1958, 1959 Glen Avon, 1963, 1964 Glenburgie and 1965Glen Mhor! From their Connoisseurs Choice series you will find the likes of 1965 St Magdalene, 1972 Brora, 1974 Ardbeg, 1979 Port Ellen and many more.

For Douglas Laing, there’s a couple of Port Ellen from their Old & Rare Platinum Selection and several worthy examples from their Old Malt Cask series. Scotch Malt Whisky Society is represented with a 1965 32-year-old Glen Grant, 1966 36-year-old Glenfarclas, 1978 Glenlossie, 1979 Glenburgie, 1981 Glen Mhor, 1983 Old Pulteney, 1989 Springbank and a whole host of other releases. Hart Brothers brings us several Port Ellen ranging from a very pale 1983 sherry cask to a 1975 23-year-old. Signatory Vintage offers, even more, Port Ellen along with a couple of Dallas Dhu not forgetting a 1970 20-year-old Glendronach Dun Eideann. Finally, we will finish with Murray McDavid where you will find examples such as a 1970 33-year-old Craigellachie, 1974 29-year-old Dallas Dhu, 1975 28-year-old Glen Scotia, 1977 26-year-old Glenugie, 1979 24-year-old Old Rhosdhu and last but no means least a 1983 20-year-old Clynelish.

As always all bottles will start off at £10 with no set reserves meaning every bid is a potential winning bid.

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All the best from all of us here at Whisky Online Auctions.

 

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March Auction Results 2017

If last night’s sale proved anything it is that, for the right bottles, Macallan is still the unassailable king at auction. The first edition Lalique 50-year-old finished up at a whopping £65,210. There’s been a lot of chatter about the charity sale of the full Lalique set in Hong Kong recently, but this record result is more impressive for the fact this was not a charity sale which makes this not only the most expensive Macallan auctioned in the UK to date but also the most expensive non-charity bottle sold at any UK auction thus far. How long that record will stand is anyone’s guess in today’s constantly surprising market. But this remarkable and telling result must surely be causing collectors to think long and hard about top end bottles they might have stashed away. What would top the Lalique? Possibly certain Japanese bottles and definitely the Peter Blake 60-year-old Macallan – if one ever surfaces again – and the 1926 Fine & Rare would certainly be the other strong contender.

March Auction Records

You know it’s a pretty special auction when the Macallan 1928 50-year-old is second on your list of bottles to talk about. The fact that this legendary bottle finished up at – again a new record price – £25,100, even without a box and not in tip top condition speaks volumes about the desirability and potency of this famous bottling. On the flip side, however, the fact it sold for less than half the price of the Lalique also says something about the unique power of Macallan’s modern day iconic series. How long before we see another one of these bottlings? Who knows, but one in perfect condition can’t be far off the £30,000 mark next time around…

Karuizawa 1964 - 48 Year Old

Looking through the other highlights in the upper ends of the sale there’s a number of bottles which would ordinarily be auction standouts, however, in this sale they feel understandably overshadowed. The Karuizawa 1964 48-year-old for Wealth Solutions finished up at a healthy £16,300 – down a little from its initial forays into auction but still impressive. The Macallan 1948 continues to hold at its new five figure trading level with a hammer price of £12,300. The beautiful Macallan 1949 50-year-old in Baccarat crystal for Japan – a stunning and remarkably hard to find bottle – finished up at £10,200. This really was a sale that belonged to Macallan.

Elsewhere the Black Bowmore 42-year-old held strong at £10,100, repeating the previous result. Interestingly the 1st edition Black Bowmore only fetched £4800, a good price but one which no doubt reflected the lower filling level in this example. This will likely become more and more of a problem in the coming years as these bottles – notorious for their poor quality corks – begin to the suffer the effects of evaporation more and more. Further strong results for Macallan with the 1938 handwritten label fetching a cool £6100, the 40-year-old Pinerolo at £3100 – not long ago these were around the £1200 mark – and the 1950 handwritten at £3500. All showing consistent strong demand. Likewise, the 25-year-old crystal decanter and the 1962 25-year-old Anniversary Malt Macallans settled on £2900 and £2600 respectively – further demonstrating the huge increase in demand there’s been lately for these classic era official Macallan bottlings. Much of this upper section of the sale was a slew of Macallans, most of which were above the £2000 mark, it seems likely that this is set to become the new trading boundary for these older releases.

The Ardbeg 1967 Signatory hit £2150 and the Talisker 1955 £2000, showing that amazing old peat and sherry big beast drams are going nowhere but upwards in value and desirability. Bowmore 30-year-old Sea Dragon showed an impressive leap with a hammer price of £1850 and a second example for £1200, these were very recently around £800-1000 so it will be interesting to see if this represents a new trading level for this bottling. With the high-level Macallans you kind of expect crazy prices now, but the 1990 Exceptional cask selling for £1300 and it’s sibling 1981 bottling for £1250 looks somewhat bewildering, perhaps this is a spike or this often overlooked little series is going to suddenly spring from the shadows.

Other surprises were the Glenlivet Vintages 20cl box set hitting £1100 – especially considering the filling levels. The Clynelish 1972 Rare Malts 57.1% inched past the four figure mark to £1050. It’s hardly surprising these 72 Clynelish Rare Malts are starting to creep up – the liquid inside quite remarkable. Another name that has surprised a few times in recent sales is Midleton; the 1991 bottling fetched an impressive £1050, is this series about to take shift upwards in value?

Similarly £925 looks like a remarkable price for the Bruichladdich 1970 I Was There valinch bottling. These can often be picked up for less than half this price. A 1980s Lagavulin 12-year-old White Horse bottling for £800 suggests this rarity is taking a further rung on the ladder towards the £1000 mark, where it will probably be before too long. Speaking of White Horse a 1940s spring cap example, a 1940s 8-year-old and a 1955 bottling fetched £725 a piece and £700 respectfully. It’s nice to see these older, legendary blends being so appreciated but it’s also curious as White Horse bottlings have been somewhat inconsistent as of late with some older examples selling for a lot less.

The SMWS got a look in with a rare early example of their Ledaig 42.3 selling for £625. From this point in the sale onwards, prices seem to settle back down a bit too consistent levels with most bottlings hitting their upper market values quite consistently. It’s a story of few surprises and even fewer bargains. Although, a Peter Dawson spring cap from around 1950 for £160 and a Laphroaig 10-year-old circa 1990 for the same price both look decidedly drinkable. A Johnnie Walker Black Label from the 1960s for £90 also looks like a no-brainer.

But overall the trends this year seem to be prices rising and bargains getting fewer and further between. Good news for sellers as ever so if you do have a stash of old bottles somewhere, well, you’ll be quids in with today’s market the way it is should you decide to sell.

 

March Auction Highlights

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