Category Archives: Auction Highlights

NOVEMBER AUCTION HIGHLIGHTS 2018

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Auction closes 28th November from 8 pm.

Black Bowmore 1964
1st Edition

If there’s ever a whisky worthy of the word ‘legendary’, it has to be the Black Bowmore. And if you’re ever going to splash out and buy one, I would certainly look no further than this example. Sadly, the Black Bowmore’s are usually notorious victims to the ‘Angel’s Share’ and particularly the first editions; which many have been officially re-sealed over the years due to their wax seals. But not this one.

This particular bottle has been in the pipeline for some time now and on our recent trip to Scotland, we managed to secure it for our November sale. It has been in the sellers’ possession for many years where it has been stored and cared for perfectly. It’s almost impossible to find these in such pristine condition with such a well preserved filling level these days.

Ardbeg 1965 + Matching Miniature
Museum Edition

The only official vintage Ardbeg distilled in the 1960s. A vatting of two casks from 1965 left at the distillery when LVMH took over. Casks 3678 and 3679 made up a yield of a mere 261 bottles at just short of 40 years old.

Old, official Ardbeg’ seem to be a thing of the past these days. There’s hardly any hitting the market; to put things into perspective, we’ve sold less than a handful this year. Which is rather scary! Where are they? Are they stuck in collections? Or are they being consumed? Who knows; but one thing is for sure, their supply is very thin indeed. This is a great opportunity to secure yourself one of the most desirable Ardbge’s ever released.

Port Ellen 1979
1st Release

Here’s another distillery bottling we’re seeing less and less of on the market –  we’ve had our fair share of these over the years, but the last time the First Release appeared in one of our auctions was back in February 2017. This displays how scares these official Port Ellen’s are becoming and if you think about the recognition this distillery holds, as well as its history, it’s bewildering where these stand in the current market. It’s not only a historic bottling, but the liquid itself stands up to its status.

Port Ellen 1st Release

Casks Held In Bond

This month we have three casks that are currently maturing in bond, in Scotland. Up first is a 1990 Macallan; It is an excellent cask, and at times unusual in a good way, example of Macallan. One which feels ready now and would probably not benefit from too much further ageing. The strength and flavours are all evenly matched and well integrated. A good, very tasty whole that outweighs the sum of its parts. Read full tasting notes »

Then we have two 2005 Tullibardine’s: Cask 186 is a fascinating cask. Unlike most other contemporary Tullibardine’s. This one shows real individuality, great texture and a beguiling fruitiness. Could easily be bottled now or left to age for at least another decade quite comfortably. A very fun style of whisky that should make for a great conversation stoker. Read full tasting notes »

2005 Tullibardine whisky cask for auction

While cask 267 is an excellent, clean and richly flavoured sherry cask which has served this Tullibardine well. Would continue to mature well for at least another decade. Read full tasting notes »

Tullibardine whisky cask for sale

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

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NOVEMBER AUCTION – CASKS HELD IN BOND – TASTING NOTES

Whisky Casks For Sale

This month’s auction features three whisky casks that are currently maturing in Scotland. First up is a an excellent, and at times unusual Macallan. This would currently yield approximately 208 x 70cl bottles of whisky currently at 28 years old.

Then we have a fascinating Tullibardine that’s unlike most other contemporary Tullibardine’s which shows real individuality. This one would currently yield approximately 211 x 70cl bottles of whisky currently at 13 years old.

And finally another Tullibardine that is a clean and richly flavoured sherry cask which has served this cask well. This would currently yield approximately 307 x 70cl bottles of whisky also currently at 13 years old.

Macallan 1990. Cask #4070. 48.4%

Colour: White wine

Nose: A soft buttery note to begin which unfolds nicely onto coal hearths, damp earth, linseed oil, furniture polish and delicate tertiary notes of coconut, lemon balm, dried herbs and cough medicine. There is a resilient cereal note running underneath as well; crisp, lean and malty. In time there are notes of dried banana chips, sunflower seeds and other trail mix qualities. The overall impression is one of a fine-textured, well-balanced malt whisky.

Palate: Good weight and texture. Slightly petroly and oily with notes of grassy olive oil and mineral oil. Very light camphor and wax aspects as well. More well-structured cereal qualities, some natural sweetness and hints of various dried herbs. These ever so slight medical aspects resurge with these notes of cough medicine and orange throat sweets. Get’s spicier over time as well, towards freshly ground white pepper and cinnamon bark.

Finish: Long, spicy, dry, slightly mineral and with some unusual notes of steel wool, pine needles, wood resins and coal dust. Still rather precise and punchy.

Comments: An excellent, and at times unusual in a good way, example of Macallan. One which feels ready now and would probably not benefit from too much further ageing. The strength and flavours are all evenly matched and well integrated. A good, very tasty whole that outweighs the sum of its parts.

1990 Macallan Whisky Cask For Sale

Tullibardine 2005. Cask #186. 57.7%

Colour: Oaked white wine.

Nose: Potted plants in a greenhouse. Lots of greenery, cut grass, cactus, green banana, peppery salad leaves and some rather oily, fatty green fruit notes as well. Lime cordial, gomme syrup, various fruit liqueurs and a fascinating note of mustardy vinagrette. Quite unusual, but big, oily and very inviting with this rather opulent fruitiness. Unlike many other Tullibardines. Continues with notes of gauze, oily rag, marzipan and sweetened herbal extracts.

Palate: Big, fatty, spicy, sooty, herbal and rich. There’s a rather impressive oiliness and aspects of crisp maltiness, lean bacon fat, turmeric, salted flat breads, muesli, sweet oatmeal and wood glue. Quite unlike most other malt whiskies of similar age. In time it goes towards cod live oil, white flowers and soft waxes. There’s also a fermenting, yeasty quality about it – hints of sourdough, fizzy lemon and ink.

Finish: Rather long and mouth coating. It’s a big, textural, fatty style of distillate. Leaves behind notes of mixed dried herbs, wood spice, glue and strong, earthy teas.

Comments: A fascinating cask. Unlike most other contemporary Tullibardines. This one shows real individuality, great texture and a beguiling fruitiness. Could easily be bottled now or left to age for at least another decade quite comfortably. A very fun style of whisky that should make for a great conversation stoker.

2005 Tullibardine whisky cask for auction

Tullibardine 2005. Cask #267. 58.4%

Colour: deep amber / polished rosewood.

Nose: This one feels very much about the cask at first nosing. Lots of sweetened black tea, jasmine, tea tree oils, creme de menthe, black pepper and cured meats. Thick, fatty, earthy and with plenty hessian and coal dust. There’s also toasted oak, ripe banana, milk chocolate, walnuts and mixed dark fruits soaked in cognac. Quite excellent.

Palate: Big, thick, resinous and sweet sherry. Lots of coco, walnuts, strawberry wine, gingerbread, lemon thyme, espresso, bovril and damp sack cloth. Some wee touches of treacle, salty old oloroso and rancio as well. It’s really the sherry that does the talking with this one but it’s an excellent and characterful – and most importantly clean – style of sherry so it works very well.

Finish: Long, earthy, gingery, spicy and ultimately syrupy, sweet and slightly mentholated. Comments: An excellent, clean and richly flavoured sherry cask which has served this Tullibardine well. Would continue to mature well for at least another decade.

Comments: An excellent, clean and richly flavoured sherry cask which has served this Tullibardine well. Would continue to mature well for at least another decade.

 

Tullibardine whisky cask for sale

If you are interested in buying this cask, you can register to bid on our auction here: https://www.whisky-onlineauctions.com/create-account/

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Alex Barclay Miniature Auction Part 3

Whisky Miniature Auction Now Live!

It’s time for the third of our auctions dedicated to the miniature collection of Alex Barclay, president of the Mini Bottle Club.  Back in the summer, the team travelled to Birmingham to collect over 5,000 miniatures from Alex – the collection is so large that we’re splitting it into five auctions of around 1,000 bottles each. You can read more about Alex and his incredible collection in our interview with the man himself here.

Malts Of Scotland

This month’s auction features hundreds of miniatures from one of the more recent arrivals on the independent bottling scene: Malts of Scotland. This German company was only established in 2005 but they’ve had a big impact in a short time, and won the Independent Bottler of The Year from Whisky Magazine’s Independent Bottlers Challenge in 2016.

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You’ll have to check out the auction itself to find all the amazing MoS bottlings, but a few very interesting lots caught our eye.  Some of the oldest malts include the Lochside 1967, the Glenrothes 1968 and the Bunnahabhain 1966 – the latter one of only 48 minis produced. Islay fans, meanwhile, will be excited to see the sherried Port Ellen 1982 and Caol Ila 1979, as well as the more recent Laphroaig 1990, sherried Bowmore 1995 and sherried Port Charlotte 2001. All of these bottlings are at natural cask strength, with the PC bottled at a very hefty 66.1%.

Other highlights from Malts of Scotland include a wide selection of drams from distilleries that are rarely seen outside of official bottlings, such as the Macallan 1989 and ‘Talimburg’ 1994, plus a rare (misspelled) ‘Ayreshire’ 1992 single grain – presumably from Girvan – and world whiskies such as the Paul John 2009, Heaven Hill 2001 and the intriguing Tullahoma 2011 Tennessee Bourbon 2011, most likely George Dickel.

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Irish Whiskey

The other major theme of this month’s auction is Irish Whiskey and as you would expect from a collector of Alex’s stature there are some absolutely astonishing bottles.

From the familiar names we have some incredibly old and rare Jameson’s, including a  war-era Jameson 7yo, ‘Made only from Barley, Malt, Wheat and Oats’!  There’s also a 1930s Jameson 7yo and a clear glass US import Jameson 7yo 1926-1934.  We also have some very rare Jamesons bottled under license by various Irish grocers and wine merchants, such as the Jameson Vat 10 for O’Malley’s in Limerick and the beautiful Mooney’s Extra Superior.

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It’s not just about Jameson’s, of course – there are very collectable examples from other well-known brands including Paddy’s 10yo, Gilbey’s Redbreast 12yo and a very old Power’s bottled for Aer Lingus.  

The real gems, however, are the ancient old blends and pot still whiskeys.  As is sadly often the case with very old miniatures, some of the bottles have low fill levels, but we know that collectors understand the value of these bottles as beautiful historical objects in their own right.

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A few of the dozens of fantastic old Irish minis: from Belfast, there’s Kirker & Greer’s Shamrock Whiskey or the ancient Irish Whiskey Company (another wonderful label), then there are US imports such as Mitchell’s Shamrock 14yo and Original Irish; and curiosities such as the Ballyhooley Whisky – a blend of Scottish and Irish whisk(e)ys with its own tasting cup – or the splendidly cheesy Leprechaun ‘As distilled in the glen by the little green men’.

The absolute stars of the Irish side of this auction, though, are the miniatures from the long-extinct Brusna distillery, better known as Locke’s and Kilbeggan. Kilbeggan is Ireland’s oldest distillery, founded in 1757, but production stopped in the 1954 and the distillery was closed in its bicentennial year, 1957. We have a trio of these wonderful miniatures: Locke’s Old Kilbeggan 15yo, Locke’s Liqueur and John Locke & Co. Pure Pot Still, with a drawing of the distillery on the label.

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Elsewhere in the auction, there are plenty of excellent OB single malts, including Glenturret 1965 and Glenmorangie 1963 and dozens of Glenlivets and Glenfarclases (Glenfarcli?). I particularly liked this Glenfarclas for the Aquascutum Club and the Ross’s Rare Old Glenlivet 12yo.  Once again, there’s truly something for everyone in this month’s miniature auction – Good Luck and Happy Bidding!

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OCTOBER AUCTION HIGHLIGHTS 2018

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Black Bowmore 1964
2nd Edition

When it comes to dark, heavily sherried whiskies the first whisky that comes to mind has to be the Black Bowmore. There’s a lot of hype over certain whiskies and sometimes the romance can spoil one’s expectations – but not this one! I’ve been lucky enough to try this on several occasions and it has blown me away every time.

This example was originally purchased in 1994 by the vendor direct from Gordon & MacPhail for their bar. This was a time when single malt whisky was yet to boom and a time when a case of 6 Black Bowmore cost a mere £504.16. The vendor said many locals preferred a pint and a shot of the going blend so the bottle sat behind the bar unopened for the best part of 15 years until he retired.

It’s been nearly a years since we’ve auction one of the original three Black Bowmore’s which puts into perspective how rare these ‘legendary’ whiskies are now becoming.

Sherriff’s Bowmore 8-year-old
Bottled 1960s

Another rare treat from Bowmore is this utterly beautiful Bowmore that wears its age on its sleeve. This was bottled under the Sherriff’s label sometime during the 1960s, but I’m not entirely convinced which side. Going from the collection this comes from it could possibly be the late-1960s which would make this an early 1960s distillate. If it was bottled in the early-mid-1960s we’re looking at mid-late-1950s distillate. Either way, you’re in for a treat as this has been ranked higher than the Black Bowmore.

Islay Mist D. Johnston & Co. Laphroaig Distillery
Strength 25 Under Proof

Without a doubt the most stunning and interesting whisky in this sale.

Islay Mist is a blend that was first created in the 1920s as a bit of a fluke by Ian Hunter, the distillery manager at Laphroaig. He was appointed by Hugh Morrison of Islay House to choose a whisky for his son’s 21st Birthday. Ian thought Laphroaig alone would be too peaty for some guests so he created a vatting with a number of Speyside whiskies. It was such a success it has long since been the go-to peated blend ever since.

Until 1992 Laphroaig has always been the base malt along with other key distilleries that often included Glenlivet & Glen Grant. This example from the 1950s is by far the oldest example we have ever come across. The whiskies composed to make up Islay Mist were generally at least 8 years old which means that it is possible this will contain whisky distilled in the 1940s.

For us, although surrounded by some of the most well thought of whiskies in the World, has to be the one to look out for in this sale. A classic example of old school blended whisky in pristine condition and yet another unseen whisky soon to join our sales archive.

Springbank 12-year-old – Sherry Cask
57.1% (100 PROOF SIKES)

Among the most desirable Springbank’s out there has to be this 100 Proof Springbank. We’ve only seen this variation appear once before and that was in one of our sales back in 2015. It’s very likely this is the same liquid as the legendary Samaroli Springbank. There’s no firm way to confirm this, however, their strengths are identical as is the colour of the liquid; so it would suggest it is the same incredible whisky as the famous Samaroli version which is one of only a tiny handful of whiskies to score 98/100 on whiskyfun. A great find and a very rare chance to get this extremely obscure variation of a legendary bottling.

Springbank 1977 Official Bottling
DOWTS Label

Another incredibly rare Springbank appearing in our October sale is this unusual official offering. This was bottled in 1996 as a private enterprise. The label was designed by artist Emma Dunbar. I spoke with Emma and her inspiration was based on the tasting notes at the time. DOWTS, I believe are the initials of the surnames of the original 5 people of the syndicate. The ‘stickmen’ represent the people’s occupations/hobbies.  There’s no ABV stated, however, the beading suggests its high and most certainly cask strength. Definitely, one to look out for whether you’re a drinker or collector!

Springbank Millennium Set

The Springbank Millennium Collection was originally launched back September 1998; the first to be released was the 25-year-old followed by the 30-year-old in March 1999, the 35-year-old in September 1999, the 40-year-old in March 2000, the 45-year-old in September 2000 and finally the 50-year-old in March 2001. As the vendor was the original purchaser he was able to complete the set with the miniatures which can also be found in this sale. A beautiful set with liquid to boot.

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

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OCTOBER AUCTION – CASK HELD IN BOND – TASTING NOTES

Macallan Whisky Cask For Sale

Maturing stock is becoming a regular feature in our monthly auctions now.  And this month we have another Macallan cask that will hit 30 years old in June next year.  Have a read of our tasting notes and let us know what you think…

Cask #9313: Originally filled on the 12/06/1989  into a 3rd fill Hogshead. This cask would currently yield approximately 213 x 70cl bottles of whisky currently at 29 years of age.

Colour: Straw

Nose: Light and very fresh. Cut grass, bailed hay, straw, citrus rind, peppery watercress and some light notes of shoe polish and new leather. Definitely towards the softer side of Macallan. With a little breathing time it begins to reveal herbal notes such as fresh oregano and rosemary. Also some earthier, rootier qualities and a sweetness that alludes to milk bottle sweets.

Palate: Similarly soft, delicate and gentle. Lots of citrus oils, earthy turmeric, a gentle sunflower oil note and some supple mineral notes. Again these greener qualities come through as chopped parsley and chives, cut grass and a foresty bracken note. Some hints of pine resin, clove, more polish notes and a light green pepper aspect.

Finish: Medium in length. A rising sootiness, more lemon aspects although this time manifesting in a more medicinal, cough syrupy fashion. These soft peppery qualities persist into the aftertaste giving a warming sensation.

Conclusions: A cask which really shows the lighter side of Macallan. Could potentially last until 30 quite well, although probably not much beyond. At the moment the alcohol level gives good bite and mouthfeel which helps bolster the otherwise rather soft qualities of the distillate.

If you are interested in buying this cask, you can register to bid on our auction here: https://www.whisky-onlineauctions.com/create-account/

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SEPTEMBER AUCTION HIGHLIGHTS 2018

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Macallan 65-year-old in Lalique

After over 10 years since the first release of the 50-year-old back in 2006, the collaboration with Macallan & Lalique has come a long way. This Macallan 65-year-old is the final release in the series and completes the Six Pillars collection. At the time of its release in 2016, this was one of the oldest and rarest whiskies the distillery had to boast. Drawn from ex-Sherry casks we can only imagine the flavours such whisky has to offer.  Lalique’s contribution was inspired by Rene Lalique’s legacy, Marc Larminaux. The design is based around a single peerless drop of The Macallan. These were limited to 450 Worldwide.

Bowmore 1964 Fino Sherry Cask

Part of a legendary trilogy of different wood matured 1964 Bowmore’s. This, along with pretty much any Bowmore distilled in 1964 is regarded among the best whisky ever bottled. A stunning bottling and an absolutely exquisite whisky.

Cask Held In Bond

We have yet another Tobermory cask up for auction in this sale.  This is a really excellent, characterful Tobermory. Devoid of any of this distillery’s usual problematic cardboard or overly mashy or grainy notes. This is lean, medical, muscular and well-defined. The kind of cask which is. Continue reading »

Managers Drams

We have a haul of Managers Drams in this sale ranging from the Cardhu bottled in 1998  through to the Knockando bottled 2012.

This series is becoming harder and harder to obtain due to the fact they’re highly collectable and particularly very good quality. As more and more realise how good these whiskies are, the prices will only continue to climb as we’ve seen in the last several months.

Ones to look out for that I’ve tried amongst this bunch include the Cardhu bottled at a hefty 63% and quite easily the two Oban’s. Particularly the 16-year-old sherry cask bottled for the distilleries Bicentenary. This one tops the Cardhu with a strength of 64% but does not need interfering with any water whatsoever.

Rare Malts Selection

Joining the Managers Drams is another pinnacle series under the house of Diageo. The Rare Malts Selection. First launched back in 1995 to champion their rare stock – interestingly it was not just to showcase long aged whiskies but instead to display each distilleries best qualities in their natural form. In this sale, you will find a small selection of some of the more desirable examples. Including a 1970 St Magdalene 58.1%, a 1971 Glenury Royal 61.3%, a 1971 Hillside 62.0%, and a 1973 Cardhu 60.5% – this is one of the hardest to find strength variants in the Rare Malts series and hardly ever turns up in auction. And finally a 1975 Brora 54.9% & 1982 58.1%.

First Ever Bottling Of Distillery 111
Scotch Malt Whisky Society

From the Archives. The distillery stands close to the ruins of Dunyvaig castle, once the stronghold of the Lord of the Isles. Here is a great opportunity to see just how different the cask makes in the flavour of mature whisky.

Wetsuits and burnt toast
This whisky is quite different from the next one. It has spent the last 15 years in a first-fill, Spanish oak dry-oloroso butt. Its colour is that of old Madeira (or polished mahogany). The neat nose is redolent of sherry, with some soap flakes and fudge. With water an extraordinary scent of neoprene (the stuff wetsuits are made of) is first noted, then a trace of marzipan, exotic smoke, caramelised sugar heather stalks, sea tangle, burnt toast. Winter smells. Great with smoked salmon, or upon retiring from a walk.

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

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Alex Barclay Miniature Auction Part 2

Auction 2 of 5

It’s time for the next instalment of our auctions dedicated to the Alex Barclay Miniature Collection. A couple of months ago, Wayne, Harrison & Sarah travelled to Birmingham to collect over 5000 miniatures from Alex Barclay, president of the Mini Bottle Club. The collection is so large that we are splitting it into five auctions of around a thousand bottles each. For more information about Alex’s extraordinary collection, check out our exclusive interview on the blog here.

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This month’s selection includes a very large number of miniatures from two of the UK’s best independent bottlers: Gordon & MacPhail and Signatory.  Both of these companies were well ahead of the game and have played important roles in creating the market for single malt whiskies as we know it today, so of course there are some absolutely fantastic bottles up for sale in this auction.

The headline minis in this month’s auction include some very rare old vintage malts from highly sought-after distilleries.

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Gordon & Macphail were the de facto official bottlers of Macallan for many years, and the auction has several great examples, including the high strength Macallan 100 Proof, Macallan 15yo 100 Proof and a very rare 4cl version of Macallan 15yo 100 Proof for Italy.  They also bottled what is widely believed to be Macallan as the Pride of Strathspey – there’s a wonderful 1937 Pride of Strathspey 50yo included this month.  Not to be outdone, Signatory, who are also famous for their vintage bottlings, have this cask strength Macallan 1964 bottled early in the company’s history in 1992.

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Staying with blue chip distilleries and there are some fabulous 50 year-olds from Gordon & MacPhail, including three Mortlachs from 1936, 1938 and 1939 and a Glenlivet 1940, all with the Book of Kells-style font.  These are in great condition considering they were bottled thirty years ago in the mid to late 1980s.

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Gordon & MacPhail were also early bottlers of Talisker, and there are a few of their iconic bottlings including this Talisker 100 Proof from the famous black label ‘Eagle’ series and a couple of lovely Talisker 1955 Cask Strength bottlings from 1992 and 1993.

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Both G&M and Signatory have 1967 Laphroaigs in this auction as well, with the G&M Laphroaig 1967 an early brown label Connoisseurs Choice bottling from the early 1980s  and the Signatory bottling a cask strength Laphroaig 1967 bottled in 1995.

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There are hundreds more brilliant single malts available from both these bottlers in this month’s auction, with very rare experimental drams from Mosstowie and Glen Craig, seldom-seen long-dead distilleries including Coleburn, Convalmore, Glen Flagler, Kinclaith and Ben Wyvis and, of course, a slew of highly desirable drams from more familiar ghost distilleries such as Port Ellen, Rosebank, Lochside and Brora.  

The really rare stars of this auction, though are even older. The depth of Alex’s collection never ceases to amaze us and this is illustrated best by the amazing old blends and single malts from the 1950s, ‘40s and even earlier.  

72799-1033-1The headline-grabbers here are a pair of minis blended using whisky from Orkney’s fabled Stromness distillery, which closed in 1928 and was demolished during the 1940s: Old Orkney and Old Orkney Relics Grand 12yo, the latter a truly beautiful bottle that sadly has preserved only a small amount of its original contents.

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These treasures line up alongside more familiar gems including brilliantly-preserved examples of White Horse 1956, King George IV, Black & White, a fantastic, very rare Cardow (Cardhu) bottled late 1950s or early ‘60s, a stunning old Islay Mist in incredible condition and a gorgeous, very old Ainslie & Heilbron’s King’s Liqueur. More esoteric ancient treasures include an antique Strathmohr (not to be confused with the later Strathmore) and the medicinally-themed Special Fortification. We don’t know very much about this one, other than it’s very old and the label is wonderful – many of Alex’s miniatures are real works of art.

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There’s really something for everyone in this month’s auction! Good Luck, and Happy Bidding.

 

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AUGUST AUCTION HIGHLIGHTS 2018

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Mortlach 1938 Crystal Decanter
60-Year-Old

Taking the spotlight in our August auction is a very special and historic whisky that was ahead of its time when bottled in 1999. We’ve not seen this bottle appear in an online auction since we last auctioned it back in 2012.  Continue reading »

Talisker Rare Old Liqueur Whisky

After an anxious 10 months, we’re eager to share with you these two extraordinary bottles of Talisker Whisky. Whenever we quote Old, Rare & Obscure whisky these two bottles define exactly that. This class of whisky turns up once in a lifetime and even after nearly 30 years handling old & rare whisky we’ve never laid our eyes on such interesting and beautiful bottles.

Bottled by Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries Ltd. Park Brewery, Wolverhampton – we believe these were distilled at Carbost, Isle Of Skye in February 1940 and filled into sherry casks that were left to mature for at least 17 years until they were bottled in March 1957.

These two identical bottles were given to the vendor by their father over 30 years ago. They have been stored in what we assume could be their original wooden crate ever since. The vendor believes that their father purchased a whole case of 12 back in the 1950s and consumed most of them over the years.

These aren’t official bottlings but it was very common back in the day for breweries to own casks of whisky and bottle Scotch & other spirits under their own label. These sort of whiskies rarely made it out of the town where they were supplied. They often found their way into local pubs, groceries and private households where they were consumed.

I imagine a local artist designed the very quirky and original label which states it’s a ”RARE OLD LIQUEUR 70 PROOF and interestingly quotes ”IT’S A FINE SPEERIT THE TALISKER; THERE’S NO A PETTER MADE”. The label design itself is nothing like you see today; even the top of the cap is branded with FIDE DE FORTITUDINE meaning Fath & Fortitude.

The liquid itself we can only imagine will be remarkable; Talisker from this period is virtually non-existent and those who have ever tasted any of the G&M bottlings distilled in the 1940s will agree these should be equally as stunning if not better. These are whiskies even the diehard malt maniacs dream about. A once in a lifetime opportunity!

Cardow 100% Pot Still

Another incredibly rare old bottle that has never seen the light of auction is a 100% Pot Still Cardow Highland Malt Scotch Whisky. Cardow is the former name of Cardhu and was used between the 1950s to approximately 1965. Cardow/dhu bottled during this period is almost impossible to find. The nearest example I can think of is a run of official 8-year-olds that first appeared in 1965 and even those turn up once in a blue moon.

Macallan-Glenlivet Liqueur Whisky

We don’t post a great deal about Macallan in these posts but this one is well worth a mention as it’s somewhat significant compared to the variations we commonly seeAnd it’s not only because it’s bottled at 100 proof but instead because it specifies Liqueur Whisky prominently across the label. Liqueur was a term used to identify a whisky as being high quality and was used from around the 1920s to the 1970s.

This is one of the earliest examples of Macallan with an age statement and although bottled by Gordon & MacPhail is deemed an official bottling. This example is specifically from a parcel of stock that was circulating in 1971 and is most likely from a significant supply of Macallan distilled in 1958. These hardly ever turn up in auction, especially in such crisp condition as this one.

Casks Held In Bond

This months auction features three casks that are currently maturing in bond. Highlighting the lot has to be the 1989 Macallan: This is a whisky that is ready for bottling now. More textbook on the palate but the nose is really terrific. Overall an excellent Macallan that shows the distillery character up front and in a lighter profile than usual. The emphasis on fruits is extremely interesting.

Then we have for the first time two 1994 Tobermory’s. Cask #5105 is an excellent mid-aged Tobermory. Good sweetness and texture. Lacking some of the more ‘unlikely’ characteristics this distillery could be prone to in this era. The cask has had a clear voice with these sweeter aspects, although I expect this could easily improve further over another five years of maturation.  Whereas cask #39 is quieter and the distillate louder. It should comfortably mature well for a further 5-10 years. It still retains a lovely freshness and fragrant quality. A very interesting and rather good example of Tobermory.

What Else To Look Out For…

The early noughties appears to be a period where so many quality whiskies were being released.  The following are a handful you will find in this sale – starting with a rather rare 1962 41-year-old Auchentoshan. We’ve never seen this variation until now; and with just a mere 112 bottles produced, there’s no surprise why!

Next, we have a particularly appetising 1965 Springbank Local Barley bottled in 2001. There was a run of these from numerous sister casks and must be from one of the last parcels of stock from 1965 that was bottled by the distillery. An epic era for Springbank that’s sadly long lost.

Then we have the fabled 1968 Bunnahabhain Auld Acquaintance bottled in 2002; that unsurprisingly due to its sheer excellence has not appeared in one of our auctions since February 2017.

Another rarity that hardly sees the light of auction is the first official release of Brora 30-year-old bottled in 2002. This consists of whiskies distilled in the greatest vintage for Brora, the early 1970s.

Finally one of my favourite drams. The Ord 30-year-old bottled in 2005 by Diageo for their annual Special Releases. Ord seems to be one of those distilleries that gets overlooked and I don’t understand why. Even their old 12-year-old bottlings are fantastic.

Old Blended Whisky

As always we have managed to unearth several interesting old blends. You will find another Benmore, but this time a slightly more interesting example given it prominently states Dallas Dhu Distillery on the label.

Dallas Dhu distillery was owned by Benmore Distillers from 1921 until 1930. It was mothballed in 1929 and sporadically until it finally closed in 1983. Rumour has it that the distillery is going to be revived but only time will tell. This will certainly contain a proportion of whisky distilled at the Dallas Dhu distillery. Anyone interesting in Dallas Dhu or old whisky for that matter should definitely give this one a whirl.

My pick of the bunch has to be the Duffs Liqueur Scotch Whisky. We collected this bottle from the vendor’s house in Kirkintilloch – northeast of central Glasgow. If you’re thinking you have seen this label before, you’re right. It is pretty much identical to a ‘Black Bottle’ we auctioned in 2017. When we uplifted this, there was an old hanging tag around the neck of the bottle where the vendor’s Grandfather had written the following note…

”Given to my grandfather
First World War 1914-1918
DO NOT OPEN

Although we would love this to be a First World War whisky, we’d be more comfortable indicating c.1930. Nevertheless, this is a beautiful looking old bottle and I can only imagine the whisky would be a memorable one.

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

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Mortlach 1938 60 Year Old Gordon & MacPhail

 

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Rare pre-war Mortlach goes under the hammer
29th August – 5th September

We’re very excited to present this extremely rare bottling of Mortlach 60 year old.  Distilled on 20th October 1938, the spirit was matured in Cask 2657 – which had previously held a high-quality sherry – by Gordon & MacPhail before being bottled in 1999 at the grand old age of 60 years old.

Gordon & MacPhail have a spectacular track record with Mortlach 1938 (not to mention 1936 and 1939!).  Bottlings from the 1938 vintage have been released from the Elgin-based bottler since the early 1980s, originally under the old white label and Connoisseurs Choice brands. In 1988, the first special presentation G&M Mortlach 1938 appeared as a 50yo bottled under the iconic ‘Book of Kells’ label.

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Everyone knows about the incredible Mortlach 1938 70 year old Gordon & MacPhail ‘Generations’ series that was the world’s oldest whisky at the time of release in 2008, but a lot of people aren’t quite so familiar with this particular Mortlach 1938 – a sister cask to the Generations – that was released at the turn of the century.

There are a few possible reasons for this. Firstly, the whisky appeared in 1999, when every distillery and bottler in Scotland was churning out Millennium special editions, and every week saw unprecedented numbers of new releases on the market. Secondly, there were just 100 of these beautiful bottles released, and speaking of the bottle, many of you will have seen the elegant crystal decanter and noticed that it’s the same as the Dalmore 50 year old we auctioned last month!

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The beautiful copper presentation case, meanwhile was designed and made by Forsyth’s of Rothes, the distillery coppersmiths, in the style of a windowed wash still front using only burnished copper, wood and brass, as a tribute to the craftsmanship of the coppersmiths and the coopers. The brass lock, meanwhile, ‘recalls bygone times when glass-encased spirit safes were sealed and checked daily by excisemen’. The handmade nature of the case is reflected in the visible dimple marks from the coppersmith’s hammers.

The case has a special drawer containing a crystal stopper and a separate miniature bottle of the same spirit with the more familiar Book of Kells-inspired label that many people will associate with previous bottlings of Mortlach 1938 and other Gordon & MacPhail prestige bottlings from the likes of Clynelish, Strathisla and Glen Grant. The miniature itself is highly prized, and has gone for as much as £260 at previous auctions.

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We’re looking forward to seeing what this 60 year old Mortlach achieves – a measure of the rarity of this bottle is that we’ve only ever had it on sale once before, way back in December 2012, when it made £4200. We believe that 2012 auction is the only time that this bottle has ever been auctioned online anywhere in the UK until now.

We expect bidding to be particularly fierce for this beautiful bottle of Mortlach and a price far in excess of the previous record – who knows when it will come up again?

1280 x 720 FB SlideShow Mortlach 60yo

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AUGUST AUCTION – MORE CASKS HELD IN BOND – TASTING NOTES

Two Tobermory Whisky Casks For Sale

Joining the 1989 Macallan in our August whisky sale are two 1994 Tobermory casks.

Cask #39 was originally filled on the 14/12/1994 into a First Fill Hogshead. This cask would currently yield approximately 244 x 70cl bottles of whisky currently at 24 years old.

Whilst cask #5015 was originally filled on the 20/06/1994  into aFirst Fill Butt. This cask would currently yield approximately 461 x 70cl bottles of whisky currently at 24 years old.

Whisky Online Auctions Tasting Notes: Tobermory 1993. Cask #39

Colour: Pale Gold

Nose: A more straightforward, lemony and briny example. Lots of soot, yeasty notes, chalk, limestone, minerals and sea air. Impressively fragrant and floral, with more of these notes of linen, bath salts and fabric softener. Background hints of lemon peel, gravel and menthol cigarettes. Quite a lot of cereal qualities as well.

Palate: Very taught, chiselled and pure in style. Brittle minerality, toasted cereals and seeds, some brake fluid, light medicines and more chalky notes. A more typical, perhaps ‘classical Tobermory’ example but in a good way. Perhaps more idiosyncratic and characterful than cask 5015. More lemony and yeasty notes. Lots of hay and grasses as well.

Finish: Long, ashy, mineral, brittle, flinty and slightly saline. A slightly chemical aspect as well but in a good, characterful way.

Comments: The cask here is quieter and the distillate louder. It should comfortably mature well for a further 5-10 years. It still retains a lovely freshness and fragrant quality. A very interesting and rather good example of Tobermory.

Whisky Online Auctions Tasting Notes: Tobermory 1993. Cask #5015

Colour: Gold

Nose: A good and pleasingly textured sweetness. Notes of lemon cake, poppy seed, some beach sand and sandalwood. Fresh, clean and elegantly coastal. Develops further tertiary notes of bread, sourdough, fabric softeners and lemon barley water. The underlying maltier tones get more pronounced with time.

Palate: Many toasted cereal notes, butterscotch, cream soda and hints of grass and olive oil. Again it’s quite clean and with a kind of porridge-like stodgy texture. Some brittle, concrete and chalky notes along with some soot and mustard seed. Surprisingly powerful and still possessing some hints of sea air and beach minerals.

Finish: Medium-long. Some wood ash, butter, more taught minerality and a few white floral aspects. Good.

Comments: An excellent mid-aged Tobermory. Good sweetness and texture. Lacking some of the more ‘unlikely’ characteristics this distillery could be prone to in this era. The cask has had a clear voice with these sweeter aspects, although I expect this could easily improve further over another five years of maturation.

If you are interested in buying this cask, you can register to bid on our auction here: https://www.whisky-onlineauctions.com/create-account/

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