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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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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

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Port Charlotte 2004. Bourbon Cask Up For Auction

After last month’s rather staggering success of the two 1993 Macallan casks, we’re delighted to have another very interesting and desirable bonded cask of whisky up for auction. This time it’s a 2004 Port Charlotte. These Port Charlottes were sold back in 2001 – 2005 for what now looks like bargain basement prices. Very few of them have sold on the secondary ‘open’ market before, with most of the cask sales taking place privately before now. So this should be an interesting experiment to find mature, bonded Port Charlotte’s current market value. Below is my assessment of the cask’s current qualities. The sample tasted was drawn from the cask’s most recent gaging.

Port-charlotte-cask Auction Lot and Certificate

Port Charlotte 2004. Cask 969. Bourbon. Tasting Notes

Colour: Gold

Nose: Bonfire smoke, wood ash, lots of briny and dense coastal characteristics and tertiary notes of iodine, mercurochrome, TCP and ink. The medical and coastal characteristics are both powerful but in balance and the overall impression is one of good maturity and potency. This is a BIG Islay whisky. With a little breathing, there are some more typical farmyard aspects which I find typify many early 2000s Port Charlottes of this age. Notes of hay, silage, some drying seaweed, old rope and kelp. There is a sense of building and increasing complexity with time and air. With water: The farmyard aspects really come to dominate now. More earthiness, notes of bark, black olives and an eventual drift back towards medicine. Quite excellent!

Palate: The arrival is quite intense and brings with it a sense of incense and smouldering wood. This quickly passes to reveal some notes of lemon oil and lemon zest, vanilla cream, smoked fish and a broad spectrum of medical complexities. There is also an underlying spiciness that adds balance to the natural sweetness of the distillate. Overall the texture is quite fat and oily, there is a ‘meatiness’ about it which alludes to chewing smoked mussels in brine. With water: lemon juice, sea salt, fresh oysters and more of these briny aspects mixed with a nice olive oil quality. Perhaps some herbal aspects as well, suggestions of dried rosemary and more kelp notes.

Impressions: This is a well-matured Port Charlotte from a clean and nicely balanced cask which has matured the distillate well without ever overshadowing or dominating the spirit. There is a strong sense of distillery identity and a natural ‘charisma’ about the distillate. These triumvirate Port Charlotte qualities of seashore, medicine and farmyard are all present and nicely balanced which leads to a complex, intriguing and delicious dram. This could easily be bottled now but should also continue to improve quite comfortably for at least another 3-4 years in bond. I would expect it to show particularly well at around 18 – 20 years of age.

Port Charlotte 2004 - Cask 969 - Click Here

Auction Ends Wednesday 2nd August From 8 pm.

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June 2017 Auction Results

Looking over the impressive results from our latest auction it is tempting to jump upon the prices paid for the two casks of Macallan and gawp at their respective £55,900 and £52,600 hammer prices. However, while undoubtedly impressive this is pretty much bang on market value for casks of Macallan these days. It says a lot about just how far things have come in whisky and the perceived value there is in bonded stock as well as bottled whiskies these days. If we’d had these casks only a few years ago the prices would have been a fraction of what they were last night. So, if you’ve got any casks sitting around in bond – not all will fetch Macallan prices of course – you might be surprised at what you’d get for it at auction.

June Auction Top Results

Anyway, on with the bottles. Once again Macallan dominated the top end of the auction with the 1938 Fine & Rare fetching an impressive £18,600 and the 1948 51-year-old £12,900 – record prices for both bottles and further proof, as if it were needed, of Macallan’s dominance at auction. However, Bowmore and certain other older Islay whiskies are creeping up behind. The two Black Bowmores in this sale – a 1st release and a 75cl 3rd release for the US market – fetched £8400 and £7600 respectively. Not records but strong and consistent prices. Another impressive result for an Islay whisky was the Laphroaig 1966 12-year-old Cadenhead Dumpy at £2800, it seems any 60s Laphroaig will soon be unobtainable for less than the £2000 mark.

Other strong performers were, unsurprisingly, the Brora 1972 Rare Malts 61.1% at £7100, and another Rare Malts bottling, the Clynelish 1972 58.95% variant at an impressive £2200. I suspect it won’t be too long before a 72 Brora cracks the five-figure mark, and in another five years who knows how far the likes of the Clynelish might follow it.

Rare Malts Auction Results

The rest of the upper end of the sale was largely dominated by consistent and high prices for Macallans and Japanese Whiskies. One of the more interesting results was the Berry Brothers 1961 – 1973 Single Malt. Those that know this whisky know it is Bowmore inside, however before this was widely known this bottling could often be picked up for less than £180. How powerful a little knowledge can be in the whisky world as evidenced by this one selling for £1550.

Other impressive results which showed upward movement for certain bottlings were the Macallan Exceptional Cask series cask 9780 hitting £1200 – this series really seems to be on the march at the moment – and the Balvenie Rose also hitting £1200. Balvenie collectors seem to be a force to be reckoned with.

Moving down the scale further it was interesting to see bottlings such as the Balblair 1966 38-year-old and the Glen Elgin 15-year-old Manager’s Dram hitting £700 and £600 respectively. Terrific whiskies starting to attract more serious attention. The same can be said for the Mortlach 1972 22-year-old Rare Malts at £575 and the Balblair 1969 31-year-old Highland Selection series at £525. It’s nice to see Balblair getting a bit more attention as a whisky these days.

There were, what seem to me at any rate, a couple of bargains around this bit of the sale. A historic Johnnie Walker bottling of Australian Rum from the 1940s in near pristine condition seems like something of a bargain at £575. As does the 1950s Unblended Glenlivet at £400. But it’s little things like this that keep auctions interesting for buyers, as well as sellers and they, are important, especially in today’s market which is very much a seller’s market.

The Glen Old 30-year-old Special Releases hit £300, this incredible bottling seems to be finally gaining a bit more, long overdue attention at auction. The rest of this end of the sale was very much again a story of consistency with a few bargains thrown in, some Manager’s Drams, in particular, older ones such as the Cardhu and the Cragganmore, going for somewhat more ‘drinkable’ prices. Looking through the £100-250 range what also stands out is just how much the old official single malt bottlings from the 1970s and 1980s are fetching these days. Bottlings which not so long ago could be picked up quite comfortably for less than £100 are now fetching well over this price level. The common factor? They’re all examples of great, old style whisky. Let’s not forget how much the quality and desirability of the liquid itself is still driving these prices.

So, all in all, another impressive and consistent auction where rarity and quality of liquid still continue to drive prices skyward at both ends of the price spectrum. As we pass the halfway point in the year prices show no sign of flagging so it will be interesting to see how thing develop over the following six months. Until next time…

 

June Auction Highlights

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June Auction Highlights

So we’re halfway through the year and we’ve got another consistent and refreshing auction lined up. Diving straight in we’ve got two full casks of 1993 Macallan that are currently held in bond. With Macallan continuing to grow at a rapid pace and the fact their coming to the end of building a new distillery with an astonishing 36 stills, it’s obvious they see demand outstripping supply. This appearance here at Whisky Online Auctions is a great opportunity to obtain liquid from the original Macallan distillery that is believed to be closing and made silent in the near future!

From the 1950s there’s a beautiful old bottle of Jameson’s Three Star which was distilled at the original Bow St Distillery in Dublin and a very obscure unblended NAS Glenlivet which amusingly mentions it’s ‘The Only Genuine Glenlivet Whisky’.

Jumping to the 1970s and you won’t be disappointed; You’ll find a 12-year-old dumpy Glendronach, the 8-year-old tall bottle variation. Two unusual Ord, a fruit bomb of a 12-year-old and a young 5 year old for the Italian market. Elsewhere from the 1970s, there’s a 105 proof Glenfarclas 8-year-old, 10-year-old Tormore & Tomatin. 12 years old we have the classic diamond shaped Oban, the uncommon Dalmore and a very clean Glen Elgin.

The 1980s is very similar with several dumpy 12-year-old Glendronach and again the tall 8-year-olds. Three brown dumpy 12-year-old Bowmore including a 1 litre, two Glenury Royal 12 year old that hardly ever turn up in auction anymore. Others worth a mention are an alluringly dark Dalwhinnie 15-year-old, 12-year-old Dalmore and the Classic Balvenie.

Rare Malts is represented well in this sale and highlighting the lot is a 1972 Brora, we haven’t had this variation at 61.1% since early 2015 so it will be interesting to see how it compares to the other 4 variations in the current market. Beside this, there’s a 1972 Clynelish bottled at 58.95% that we’ve never even had before. Additionally, for Rare Malts, many of which are from closed distilleries include a Glenlochy 1969, a 1970 & 1971 Hillside, Glenury Royal 1970, Millburn 1975 and finally several from 1979 such as Glen Mhor, Coleburn, St Magdalene and Rosebank.

There’s an influx of Single Cask Glendronach appearing in our June auction. Many consist of UK Exclusive releases ranging from 18 year old up to 24 year old. Batch releases include a 1972 41-year-old from batch 9, a couple of 24-year-olds from batch 11, 21-year-old & 23-year-olds from batch 9, 10, 13. Not forgetting a full batch of 14 and the latest 25-year-old Grandeur.

It’s nice to see an array of Special Releases in this sale. From 2002 there’s a 1966 36-year-old Dalwhinnie, a 30-year-old Glen Ord from 2005, Glenury Royal 36-year-old from 2007, Talisker 30 year old from 2011, 35 year old from 2012 and two 35-year-old Brora from 2013 & 2013.

Whiskies with age behind them include a wonderful 1979 Auchentoshan matured in an Oloroso sherry cask for 32 years. Two 30-year-old Laphroaig, numerous Single Cask Benriach ranging from 27 year old – 40 year old. For the first time we see the 1966 40-year-old Dalmore and a 1967 45-year-old Ben Nevis. From Balblair we have one of their great releases from 2004, the 1966 38-year-old and the 1969 31 year old that hardly ever appears in auction. Last but no means least a 1963 Glenfiddich exclusively bottled for Scotland.

A few more that are well worth a mention involve a Macallan 1938 Fine & Rare, two Black Bowmore with great filling levels, an undisclosed pure single malt scotch whisky distilled in 1961 and a hugely desirable 1966 Laphroaig by Cadenhead. Finally, we have a whole host of Managers Drams ranging from early releases such as Oban & Glen Elgin to more modern releases like Talisker. Oh and a very obscure Frigate rum bottled by John Walker & Son Ltd Sydney.

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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June Auction Highlights

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May Auction Highlights

Our May Whisky Auction is Now Live!

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Wayne & Harrison sadly never made it to the Islay Festival this year but instead have been busy pounding the road uncovering whiskies from another era. You may have realised over the past couple of sales we have been auctioning a mesmerising whisky collection. Our March auction featured their Macallan collection showcased by The Macallan 50-year-old Lalique whilst our April auction displayed the likes of the Dalmore 50-year-old, Glenfiddich 50-year-old and Springbank Millennium Collection. This month see’s a multitude of mouth-watering Bowmore from the spellbinding 1955 40-year-old and 1957 38-year-old to the mind-blowing 1964 35-year-old for Oddbins; this one actually sums up the term legendary that seems to be used very freely these days. 1964 is the pinnacle year for Bowmore and this particular expression from a single Sherry Hogshead is widely regarded as the best of them all. The sad thing is there’s not many of these about due to their incredibly inviting retail price back in 2000 and the fact only 99 bottles were produced.

 

Bowmore 1964-2000 - 35 Year Old - Oddbins Exclusive - 99 Bottles
Bowmore 1964-2000 – 35 Year Old
Bowmore 1955-1995 - 40 Year Old
Bowmore 1955-1995 – 40 Year Old

 

Other bonafide Bowmore’s include the 1963 30-year-old, 1968 37-year-old and the 1972 27-year-old. We have a great selection of the Sherry Cask Vintage Labels such as a 1956, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967 & 1974. You will also find the incredibly precious 25-year-old bottled specially for the Auld Alliance reception at Chateau Lagrange in 1995. These were never sold but instead given to guests at the event. Only 75 bottles were produced with many of them now being consumed. Other old Bowmore to look out for are several 30-year-old Sea Dragons, 25 & 22-year-old Seagulls and two examples of the golfing decanters from the 1980s.

You will also find some more modern Bowmore specially bottled for the Islay festival that includes the 25-year-old for 2010, 1985 for 2012, the 1988 for 2013, the 1988 for 2015 and the 1990 for Festival 2016. There’s also a 1983 27-year-old and 1984 28-year-old from the No1 Vaults to name but a few from this wonderful distillery.

Macallan 55 Year Old - Lalique Decanter - Second Release
Macallan 55 Year Old – Lalique Decanter – Second Release

We have the very desirable and beautiful Macallan 55-year-old in Lalique. Bottled in 2007 as part of Macallan’s prestigious ongoing calibration with Lalique, this is the second release and like it’s predecessor the packaging compliments the craft of both Macallan & Lalique. The Whisky itself contains stock significantly older than the stated 55 years and represents the very best of long aged Macallan, a depth of flavour, complexity and integration between wood and distillery character that very few spirits ever achieve. With only 420 decanters released worldwide, this is a great opportunity to acquire one of the greatest Macallan’s of all time.

Moving on and you may remember the extremely ‘rare’ 14-year-old Clynelish we auctioned early this year, well it’s back except this time it’s in the green glass variation. This is exactly the same liquid bottled by the Royal Marine Hotel Brora. As before the label interestingly mentions It’s ‘A Fine Old Brora Whisky’ and Not Less Than 92 proof. We believe this would have been bottled in 1969 making this a 1955 distillate. This is a truly extraordinary piece of liquid history and marks it’s second appearance here at Whisky Online.

This month’s auction see a plethora of whiskies that are well aged and well worth a mention! Starting in the fifties you will find a 1955 Macallan bottled by Campbell Hope & King, a 1958 47-year-old single cask Glenfiddich, two 1959 46-year-olds and two 1959 34-year-olds Single Malt Irish Whiskies from the Coleraine distillery.

Onto the sixties, we have an extremely dark and alluring 1960 Glenfarclas and a 1961bottled in the 1980s. Jumping up to 1965 and we have a 35-year-old from closed distillery Glen Mhor. 1966 is represented by a 42-year-old Benriach whilst 1967 see’s a 35-year-old Macduff by Douglas Laing and an official Glenlivet and 40-year-old Tomatin. For the first time since 2015, we welcome back the 1967 40-year-old Balvenie from cask 9915 which was specially selected for World Duty-Free and the opening of Heathrow Terminal 5 in 2008. This was one of the few remaining casks from the 1960s which only yielded 109 bottles. There are several examples from Jim McEwans Celtic Heartlands including Highland Park, Macallan & Bowmore. This series represents long aged whiskies from all regions of Scotland that were bottled on Islay at the Bruichladdich distillery. Finishing with 1969 we have a 32-year-old Oban a 36-year-old Kinclaith and a 40-year-old Glengoyne.

Through the seventies, we have one of several magical Brora’s bottled by Douglas Laing. Douglas Laing has been bottling Brora since the late 1990s and this 34-year-old is one of only two ever to be bottled from a 1970 cask full stop. As we carry on we have a couple of single cask Glendronach, as well as Glenfiddich’s. Other early vintages are a 1972 32-year-old Tobermory and a 1974 Isle Of Jura. Murray McDavid is represented by a 1973 Linkwood, 1976 Strathisla and a 1979 Lagavulin. Talking of Lagavulin we have the latest bottling from The Syndicate, a 38-year-old single cask which from our knowledge is the oldest Lagavulin ever to be bottled! Not forgetting we have the 5th and final Lagavulin 13-year-old from this particular vendor who has authority over the majority of all The Syndicate bottlings.

I think we will end there although there’s still plenty of great whiskies we haven’t even mentioned. Who said May is a bad time to sell whisky!

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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Bowmore - Auction Highlights

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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 Highlights

This month’s sale is completely rammed with quality whiskies from all regions of Scotland. We will start off with just a few highlights that deserve to be mentioned on their own.

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The Macallan 50-year-old in Lalique, the highlight of any sale and surprisingly the first time we have had the pleasure of auctioning such a precious showpiece. Released back in 2006 this is the first release in an epic series of modern masterpieces which remains the ultimate in prestige and one of the best Macallan’s ever bottled.

Macallan 50 Year OldKaruizawa 1964 - 48 Year Old - Wealth Solutions

A more recent release is the 1964 Karuizawa; Bottled in 2012 for Polish collectors & investment company Wealth Solutions. Cask 3603, a 48-year-old is one of the oldest Japanese single malt whiskies in history. The whisky originates from one of the last casks from the 1960s made in the closed Japanese Karuizawa distillery.

Black Bowmores

The elite of sherry matured whisky! ”Black Bowmore” – notorious for their almost coal-black appearance and unrivalled profile. Instantly a legend when first released back in 1993. All four expressions have continued to climb in both price and rarity over the past 20+ years and have surpassed all expectations. With only one of each expressions appearing in our auction in 2016, it goes to show how scares these legendary whiskies are getting.

Speyside has the greatest number of distilleries of any of the whisky-producing areas of Scotland and therefore we see a high number of bottles from these regions. One of the highest concentrations of bottles in this sale from Speyside is Macallan. We have the likes of the legendary over 50-year-old which is widely regarded as one of the most significant bottlings in the history of Scottish malt whisky. The whisky is composed of three casks distilled between 1926 and 1928, making the whisky in fact 55 years old at least. The naturally low cask strength of 38.6% (77 proof), one of very few bottling’s ever to be released beneath the standard filling strength of 40%. Over the years this whisky has acquired a reputation as one of the greatest ever bottled, however, there are so few people who have tasted it that it remains one of the most sought after bottling’s in the world today. Alongside this, you with find an extremely rare 1949 Macallan produced for a private company in Japan. Drawn from the cask at 40.25% after spending 50 years maturing in a single sherry cask. Only 160 of these 8 sided Baccarat Crystal decanters were filled in 1999. Sticking with long aged Macallan we have the 1946 52-year-old and the 1948 51-year-old. Elsewhere and not to be sniffed at is the likes of a 1938 & 1950 Hand Written labels by Rinaldi and a whole host of various single casks and vintage releases that are too long to mention. Other great releases from Speyside include several single cask Glenfiddich’s from 1965, 1968 & 1975. A 1959, 1967 and 30-year-old Glenlivet’s from their Cellar Collection as well as the 20cl Vintage set that includes a 1967, 1967, 1969, 1970 and a 1972.

Moving onto Highland and we have a 35-year-old Brora from 2013 and a couple of the 30-year-olds from 2009 & 2010. Glenmorangie is represented well with two 1963s, two 1971 Culloden’s and a great selection of their early wood finishes. Balblair see’s a handful of vintages from 20052009 and a 33-year-old we haven’t sold since early 2014. Old Pulteney welcomes back the 40-year-old and so does Glenury Royal for the 36-year-old bottled in 2007 for Diageo’s Special Releases. Last but no means least from the Highlands is the all-time great Royal Brackla 60-year-old distilled in 1924: presented to dignitaries in 1991 to celebrate the reopening of the distillery. Only 62 bottles are believed to have been bottled! This is a bona fide fruit bomb and although bottled at 40% still holds all its minerals after so many years in the bottle.For the few Island distilleries, we have a beast of a Talisker distilled in 1955 and bottled in 1993 by Gordon & MacPhail. A 20-year-old Highland Park bottled in 2003 for their cask strength collection. These were available exclusively through the distilleries visitors centre. A 1974 Ledaig bottled in 1990 by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society and a first distillation from Arran.

Finally, we meet with Islay; if not the most popular region in Scotland that produces some of the most desirable whiskies in the world. Our personal favourite is Bowmore, in particular, the Bicentenary bottled in 1979 which is composed of casks distilled in the 1950s through to the 1960s. Over to Ardbeg from 1950s distillate, you will find two slightly different official 12-year-olds bottled in the 1960s and a super sexy 1967 single cask bottled by Signatory from a dark Oloroso sherry cask. Along with these, you will find many excellent expressions from Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain, Kilchoman & Port Ellen.

March Auction Highlights

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

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

 

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Old & Rare Whisky Show – Glasgow 2017

Whisky-Online Auctions made our first ever official appearance at a whisky festival recently, with a stand at the inaugural Old & Rare Whisky Show in Glasgow.  The show took place in the city’s Grand Central Hotel, which has recently undergone an extremely painstaking (read: expensive and time-consuming) facelift to restore it to its former glory.

https://whiskyshow.com/glasgow/exhibitors/6971/whisky-online-auctions/

WhiskyShow-old&rare2

So it was that on the Saturday and Sunday of 18th-19th February a total of around 700 committed whisky devotees flowed into the hotel’s Grand Ballroom, a beautiful high-ceilinged, multi-chandeliered space, to partake in some of the finest, oldest and rarest drams ever assembled in the UK.  The £100 ticket price seems expensive but becomes an amazing deal when one takes into account that this includes your first £50 of whisky tokens to spend at the stands.

As it was their debut event, Wayne and Harrison Ormerod from Whisky-Online were determined to impress the crowds with their drams. To that end, they put together an absolutely stellar line-up of whiskies for visitors to try. Wayne and Harrison were joined on the stand by whisky writer Tim Forbes for a bit of experienced help.

Old & Rare Whisky Show Dram List

The format of the show was very simple – all the exhibitors’ drams were sold in measures of 1cl (10ml), payable in either tokens or cash.  This system has many benefits – it encourages responsible drinking, visitors can try many more whiskies without becoming inebriated and it brings the price of the most expensive drams down so that visitors can taste whiskies at a level they might not normally be able to afford. The exhibitors really played their part as well, with some very sensible (even generous) pricing on a range of to-die-for whiskies.

Prices on the Whisky-Online Auctions stand started at just £3 for a range of cracking drams from the 1980s and earlier – standout drams included a heavily-sherried Macallan 12yo OB litre bottle from the 1980s and a pair of 12yo OB Obans, one bottled late 1970s and one just after the metric labels came into force at the beginning of the 1980s.  Along with some 1970s Glen Grant square bottles these saw plenty of action throughout the show.

Getting into the more serious stuff, the stand also had a very rare blend – a black-and-gold label Old Vatted Glenlivet estimated to have been bottled around the 1930s, priced at just £10 for 1cl.  This one became more and more popular as the show went on and word got out about it.  Also at this price was a ‘secret’ Bowmore 1961 bottled in 1974 for Berry Bros. & Rudd, a very gentle, tropical dram.

Moving up another level to around £16-20 per dram and now the customers were really spoiled with a series of very rare single malts.  These included a pair of Highland Parks: the spectacular 1955 G&M Cask and a 1961 22yo bottled for Duthie – even Serge Valentin hadn’t seen this one before.  There was also the famous 1971 Glen Garioch bottled for Oddbins in the 1990s, which was a steal for just £16.

The most popular dram at this price range, though, was the mysterious Springbank 20yo ‘Dell Fines’ – a really brilliant spirit-led dram distilled at some point during the golden period from mid-1960s to early 1970s.  No-one really knows anything about this dram, other than it was probably bottled in the late 1980s or early 1990s, and only two bottles have ever turned up on the market – one of which was now open.

Fortunately, the quality of the whisky was certainly never in doubt – it was truly extraordinary and the punters were soon flocking to the stand to try it. Opening this bottle was a real brainwave by the boys, and at £20 for a 1cl dram it represented an amazing opportunity for the show visitors, especially as the only other known bottle is retailing at £2000 elsewhere.

Finally to the Whisky-Online Auction’s two absolute ne plus ultra-highlights at the show: The Brora 40yo, which was going for £110 per cl; and the 1967 Largiemeanoch 12yo at £200 a measure.  The Brora 40yo was very popular, and it wasn’t hard to see why – this was a famously high-scoring dram and remains the oldest official Brora ever released.  The large square crystal decanter looked very impressive on the Whisky-Online Auction stand (although it was so chunky that pouring accurately without spilling was rather difficult), and just about everyone who bought a dram was taking pictures of the bottle to show their friends back home.

As for the Largiemeanoch, well… the word ‘legendary’ gets overused a lot but this is a truly legendary whisky.  Bottled, possibly by Cadenhead’s, for the Howgate Wine Co. at the end of the 1970s, Largiemeanoch 12yo is a mix of three consecutive casks bottled at 54.2% and is now regarded by many cognoscenti not only as one of the best Bowmores ever bottled, but also one of the greatest ever single malts. It’s a brilliant fusion of heavy phenolic and massively intense tropical fruit aromas and flavours. Truly breathtaking stuff.

Famously, this bottling received 97 points on Whiskyfun, and it was clear at the show that its reputation had preceded it.  There was the group of Dutch whisky enthusiasts who had bought tickets and flown over to the show specifically to taste it, and who insisted on having their pictures taken caressing it behind the stand; there was the customer who bought ten measures of it right at the start of the show to take back for his friends in Singapore; and there was the Asian man who, unable to attend the show himself, had bought his girlfriend a ticket and sent her in with a list of whiskies to buy, with the Brora and Largiemeanoch top of the list.

Special mention, however, goes to the unsuspecting fellow who misread the price ticket and ordered a dram of Largiemeanoch believing it to be £20.  After the whisky was poured he was understandably taken aback when asked for another £180, but to his eternal credit he took a sniff of the whisky and then marched straight to an ATM for the rest of the money. We can only doff our caps to him, and hope that his wife didn’t find out.

Over the course of the show over half the bottle of Largiemeanoch was sold, and there were several visitors trying (unsuccessfully) to buy the remains of both the Brora and the Largie at the end of the event. Wayne and Harrison couldn’t be tempted, though – they must have a plan for it.

Overall, the show was a great experience for the Whisky-Online Auction team and there’s no doubt that their whiskies made a lot of lucky visitors very happy. Mission accomplished, and hopefully that’s the first of many successful events for the team.

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February Whisky Auction Now Live • See The Auction Highlights

How fast is 2017 going! February is nearly over and we are onto our second auction of the year. We have some amazing whiskies lined up, some fresh faces others we haven’t seen for a long time and a handful of gems that also featured in last month’s auction.

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We will start with Macallan as we have an overwhelming selection. From the indies we have a 1938 Hand Written Label by G&M, a 1956 by Campbell Hope & King and another AS WE GET IT from the 1960s. Onto the officials, we have a whole host of the 18-year-olds from the 1960s through to the 1990s. The Anniversary Malts are represented by a multi-vintage 1958/59, several 1968s, a 1969, 1972 and a 1974. Two examples from the Fine & Rare are a 1965 36-year-old and a 1971 30-year-old. Elsewhere you will find a 1964 from the early 1980s a 1965 17-year-old and a Royal Marriage from 1981.

We have a great selection of various vintages, starting off with a 1974 single cask Ardbeg that’s never featured in one of our auctions along with cask number 1 of the 1968 Glendronach that was bottled exclusively for ANA Airways. Back again is the remarkable Highland Park 1958 40-year-old followed by a Glen Moray 1959 40-year-old. Also, you will find the very limited Benriach 1978 32-year-old that we haven’t seen since 2014, with only 40 bottles produced there’s no surprise it’s not shown up earlier. In the mix of all these incredible whiskies, we have a Dalwhinnie 1966 36-year-old, Bowmore 1972 27-year-old, Glenury Royal 40-year-old, Ardbeg 30-year-old and a 1980 27-Year-Old Laphroaig from five of the finest Oloroso Sherry casks.

Oddbins had some cracking releases in the early 2000s and we have the best of the bunch in this sale. First up is the 1960 40-year-old Laphroaig, alarmingly we haven’t sold this variation since early 2013 which may indicate many of these have been consumed. followed by the 1973 28-year-old Talisker; widely regarded as one of the best Talisker’s ever bottled, this is also sadly one of the rarest and hardest to obtain with only 100 bottles produced. Almost instantly a legend upon release. Finally, we have two of the 1973 Highland Parks, both 28 years old drawn from two sherry casks.

In this month’s auction, we have many great expressions from the indies, there’s too many to list here so be sure to go through the auction methodically as there are some beauties. Independent bottlings can often be overlooked and don’t get the credit they deserve, some of the best whiskies out there are bottled by these independent companies and you get good aged offerings that the distilleries themselves don’t even have. You also get bang for your buck when comparing them to a distillery bottling.

February Auction Highlights

That’s all we’re highlighting this month so log on and discover the rest for yourself. As ever if you have any queries please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Good luck and happy bidding, The Whisky-Online Auctions team

 

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