August Auction Highlights 2017

Wayne & Harrison have been travelling the length and breadth of the UK again and have picked up another unique variety of whiskies for our August auction. One we’re particularly excited about is a 1967 Laphroaig from Cadenhead’s increasingly sought after ‘dumpy’ series from the 1980s. When peat meets Sherry you know you’re in for a treat. Joined by this is the now notorious ‘Fine Old Brora’ for the Royal Marine Hotel; These were hand bottled and often labelled up in different fashions at the hotel, hence that prominent skewiff label. You could argue that a few of these have surfaced recently but nevertheless, this is still an incredibly scares whisky that will eventually dry up.

Another treasure we’re proud to of discovered is an official Glentauchers. Bottled before 1987 when James Buchanan & Co Ltd owned the distillery. Like many imports of this period, it was bottled at just 5 years old. What makes this bottle so rare is that almost 0% of spirit was set aside for single malts, instead, it contributed to big branded blends such as Ballantine’s, Black & White and Teachers. These official Glentauchers are virtually non-existent and this appearance here at Whisky-Online Auctions is the first time one has appeared in an online auction.

Moving on and we’ve got a rather interesting collection of First Casks – The First Casks is a range of whiskies bottled by Signatory exclusively for a company called Direct Wines. To acquire these whiskies you would simply sign-up to their mail order and every so often you’d receive their latest batch. Similar to how the SMWS works. The majority of their bottlings are single casks of significant age and tend not to number in the high hundreds. There’s a number of great drams in this series many of which you’ll find in this sale. A handful of highlights include the likes of a 1965 31-year-old Glen Grant, 1965 29-year-old Macallan and an extremely dark 1968 26-year-old Glenrothes, not forgetting the 1967 28-year-old Laphroaig! Examples we’ve never had before include a 1975 23-year-old Glendronach and a very intriguing 1973 21-year-old Longmorn. The great thing about this series is not much is known about it so often or not you can uncover a gem or two.

The Caol Ila Managers Dram is back, despite its level this one’s in clean condition and comes from an ex-distillery worker. Giving the Managers Dram a run for its money is a much harder to find 1968 Caol Ila bottled by Gordon & MacPhail for their CASK series. This bottle was purchased on Islay by the vendor in the late 1980s and has been in their possession ever since. Other notable Islayers include the famous 1976 Ardbeg from cask 2390 a 1976 Laphroaig and a selection of Bruichladdich Legacy from series one through to six.

Over the last year or so we’ve been auctioning a series of whiskies from ’The Syndicate’s’ – there’s not much known about The Syndicate’s but from what we’ve gathered they were buying casks from Islay since the late 1970s. Mainly Lagavulin, many of which from 1979; although you’ll find expressions from Laphroaig & Caol Ila running through to the 1990s. The Syndicate’s made a huge impact with their investment to an extent you could say they saved “Lagavulin” from shutting down and today The Syndicate’s are reaping the rewards with stunning examples such as their latest offering – A 1979 38-year-old Lagavulin from a single cask. To hold old stock such as this is incredible, even the distillery themselves have not bottled whisky this old. It’s going to be interesting to see what the future holds for these Syndicate bottlings and we’re looking forward to see if any new expressions pop up – Until then take a look at we have on offer in this sale.

Elsewhere in our August sale, you’ll find many official releases from all regions of Scotland to pre-war vintages from G&M – old blends from White Horse and an ancient wine from 1802. We’ve even got another full cask for those looking to bottle their own whisky or that die-hard drinker who’s brazen enough to challenge their wife. Regardless this is a very diverse sale and we’re sure there’s something for you.

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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July 2017 Auction Results

Top three Auction Results July 2017

There are two very interesting results at the top end of this month’s auction. Firstly we learn that the market value for that Ardbeg 1974 is £15,100. This bottling has changed hands privately a few times but this was the first time in a long while that it had been seen at auction. Understandably, given that there are – or were – only 36 bottles in existence, it finished up at a whopping five figure sum, by far the most expensive bottle of Ardbeg sold at auction.

Secondly, it was interesting to see the result of the cask of Port Charlotte 2004 which finished up at £9300. A solid and impressive result but also perhaps much more in line with regular market prices for bonded mature stocks – especially after the extremes of last month’s two 1993 Macallans. This was a terrific cask of Port Charlotte so, whoever bought it, can expect a pretty great bottling from it when the time comes.

Auction Results - Brora 1972 Rare Malts

Other notable examples from the upper end of the sale were the Macallan 40-year-old 2016 release at £7300 – an impressive climb from its initial retail price. There was also an interesting disparity between the three bottles of Brora 1972 Rare Malts. Each was the ever so slightly more common 58.7% version. They finished up at £5900, £3300 and £3000 respectively, interestingly enough the descending prices matched the filling levels in each bottle. You might argue that this is three bottles in one sale having an overall effect on pricing but I doubt that the price – fill level correspondence is coincidental. The fact that the only bottle with the fill level well into the neck fetched a whopping £5900 – almost double the cheapest bottle – says a lot about the power of the fill level in these kinds of bottlings.

Another rather telling result was the Cadenhead Dumpy 1965 Clynelish which fetched £4700. It seems that almost all great old whiskies such as this one are now hovering around the £5000 mark or higher.

The Macallan 30-year-old blue box hit an impressive £4100, it’s looking increasingly likely that this bottle’s new trading level is set to remain above the £4000 mark from here on out. Similarly, the Port Ellen festival cask bottling finishing at £3400 suggests this bottling is unlikely to be picked up for anything below the £3000 mark anytime soon. The Ardbeg 1815 edition fetched £3300 which goes to show that if you set a bottle’s initial retail price on the high side then it’s often a slow burn at auction before it starts to climb higher.

Back to Macallan and the old 18-year-olds just seem to be going from height to heigh with the 1967 vintage fetching a whopping  £2400 and the 1971 £2100. Add to that the fact that even the Diamond Jubilee release is now hitting £2350 and the 1980 Gran Reserva at £2100 and you start to wonder if there will soon be any older limited edition Macallans available below the £2000 mark?

Browsing through the rest of the upper end of the sale the Laphroaig 1967 27-year-old First Cask edition jumps out at £2050. Like almost all 1960s Laphroaigs now, these bottlings are fought over more and more keenly each time they turn up at auction. Understandable given the almost otherworldly brilliance of the liquid. Speaking of brilliant liquid, other similar results were the Talisker 100 proof NAS bottling for £1350, the 1977 Brora Douglas Laing for £1300 and the Laphroaig Cairdeas 30-year-old for £1000. All terrific drams with solid results driven by the sheer desirability of the liquid.

Glenmorangie 30-year-old looks to go from strength to strength with the Oloroso version selling for an impressive £1300. Similarly, the Bunnahabhain 1965 nudged past the four figure mark to a healthy £1050; nice to see these old Bunna bottlings getting the attention they deserve. Likewise, the 34-year-old Bunnahabhain fetched a solid £725 as well.

Another whisky which is gaining increasing attention at auction is Ledaig 1972, this vintage has long been well regarded and more and more people are now cottoning on with the Connoisseur’s Choice bottling fetching £750. Not to mention the Douglas Murdoch 20-year-old Ledaig hitting an eye-catching £625 – not so long ago this bottling could be scooped up for £150-200.

Moving further down the sale some other solid results were the Clynelish Flora & Fauna 1982 Cask Strength bottling for £430. The Campbell & Clark 1969 Glen Mhor for £400, these have always been some of the best Glen Mhor bottlings and it’s nice to finally see them moving on from the £200-250 range. After this, we tend to get into more familiar territory where everything seems to be hitting the upper end of its natural market value. It seems genuine bargains are increasingly a thing of the past at whisky auctions as more and more new buyers emerge and educate themselves on old and rare whiskies.

A 12-year-old 1980s ceramic flagon of Springbank for £130 looks like something of a steal considering how terrific these old Springbanks can be. Similarly, a 16-year-old White Horse Lagavulin at £125 looks pretty good considering most have been around the £160 mark lately. And of course, a Speyburn 1974 Connoisseur’s Choice for £82.50 is a pretty serious bargain too! But beyond this, the thing that strikes most is more surprise at just how much some bottles have climbed during the past year. Even types of whiskies such as old blends that would once have been around the £40 mark and heading up towards three figures. One thing is for sure, interest in whisky, be it old and rare, modern or unusual, is only going from strength to strength.

Whisky Auction Bottle Highlights

Next Auction Starts Wednesday 30th August

If you are looking to sell your whisky and would like to take advantage of our  5% sellers commission, record hammer prices and fast payouts then contact us today to get your FREE valuation, Expert Advice and take part in our next auction.

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