Tag Archives: Bruichladdich

April Auction: SMWS Collection

Our April auction is upon us and we’ve got a very special group of lots – a remarkable collection of over seventy rare old bottlings from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society sourced from a private collector in Macclesfield. Most of these bottles were bought in the 1990s and there are some very rare editions from highly-sought after distilleries.

If you’re not very familiar with The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, here’s a few facts to get you going and to explain why we’re so excited about this collection.

  • The Society was founded in Edinburgh in 1983 and is therefore celebrating its 35th anniversary this year. In those 35 years the Society has grown enormously and is now represented, at last count, in 21 countries outside the UK.
  • The Society began as a private club led by Pip Hills, who had been cycling around Scotland visiting distilleries for some years. Hills clubbed together with some friends to buy a cask of Glenfarclas which they would share and drink together. The remainder of that cask became the first Society bottling when the club was formally established in 1983.
  • The Society’s original premises are at The Vaults in Leith, Edinburgh. A London bar and tasting venue was purchased in 1996 with the proceeds of a share scheme for members, while a second Edinburgh venue was established in 2004 at 28 Queen Street, in the same year that the Society was purchased by Glenmorangie.  The Society was sold in 2015 to a consortium of private investors.
  • SMWS single malts have always been bottled at full strength from single casks, without dilution, chill-filtration or additional colouring.  These practices were very unusual in 1983 but are now common among independent bottlers.
  • Distillery names are never mentioned on Society bottlings.  Instead, each whisky is identified by a two number code and occasional clues in Society publications. The first number represents the distillery, and the second identifies the cask. Therefore, the first bottling from the first distillery was 1.1, while 43.10 is the tenth bottling from the 43rd distillery. Lists of which numbers represent which distilleries are widely available on the internet but have never been confirmed by the Society.
  • Casks are chosen by the Society’s Tasting Panel, who approve each bottling and compose concise tasting notes to be published on the label and in the Society’s in-house magazine. As each bottling is from a single cask, expressions from the most popular distilleries sell out very quickly.

Now you’re up to speed on the key facts, here’s a small selection of the highlights from our auction this month. There’s a few areas of interest as follows:

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Old vintages: Highlights here include a pair of Bruichladdichs from 1968 and 1969, a Glen Garioch 1968, a Glenturret 1969, and one of the absolute standout lots, a 26 year old Ardbeg 1966 – the last bottle of this we had sold for £1600 over two years ago, so who knows what this will end up going for.

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Low Cask Numbers: These are always highly sought-after and are hard to come by as many were bottled long before collecting whisky became popular. There are a lot of these in this fantastic collection, including the first ever SMWS bottlings of Glen Scotia, Craigellachie and the incredibly rare Glencraig (distilled on a Lomond still at Glenburgie). There’s also the second bottlings from Clynelish, Glen Ord, Miltonduff, Glenturret, and the closed distilleries Imperial and Glenugie. Bidding on all of these lots will be absolutely fierce.

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Closed or Rare Distilleries: We’ve got single-digit casks from closed distilleries including Dallas Dhu, Millburn, North Port and another standout lot: SMWS 61.3, distilled in 1977 at Brora. There are also several bottles from distilleries that are rarely bottled independently, including Dalmore, Talisker, Isle of Jura, Scapa, Glenlossie, Royal Brackla and Lagavulin.

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Popular Distilleries: Clearly our collector had very good taste, as there are some mouth-watering lots from great distilleries.  We particularly like the look of long-aged Clynelish 1983 and 1976, and the Ardbeg 1977 and 1974 – these classic vintages will be fought over, as will Brora 1981, Highland Park 1976, Laphroaig 1978, Caol Ila 1983, heavily sherried expressions from Ben Nevis and Glenglassaugh (both from the 1984 vintage) and the special edition society bottlings: Longrow 1990 – the first release from Longrow, bottled for the Millennium, another Longrow 1990 bottled for the opening of the Queen Street venue and last, but certainly not least, the famous Glen Grant 1972 bottled in 2001 for the Society’s 18th anniversary.

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We’ve only really scratched the surface here – there are dozens more fantastic SMWS single malts available from this amazing collection in our auction this month. Check them out now, there really is something for everyone. Good Luck and Happy Bidding!

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March Auction Highlights 2018

Whisky-Online Auctions Third Auction Of 2018 Is Now Live!
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Back in the glory days not many distilleries had the facilities to bottle their own liquid and the likes of Macallan in particular would appoint independent companies such as Gordon & MacPhail with a licence to undertake what occasionally would be a laborious task. The perfect example can be seen with these two handwritten labels which were bottled in the early 1980s. These whiskies may appear the same but they tell two totally different stories. We have one example distilled before the War and another distilled some years after the War. However, what they do have in common is that they were both distilled when the distillery was still running with just two stills. The 1938 is considered one of the finest expressions from this time for its often unique peat flavours. Where the 1950 is equally impressive with more delicately oily and softer fruit complexities and metallic notes in place of the earlier phenolic styles. These older Macallan are not been produced anymore and as the years go by they seem to be getting thinner and thinner in auction.

Fast forward several decades and not only are Gordon & MacPhail still bottling Macallan, they’re also maturing their own stock. Over the years G&M have bottled some mind-blowing whiskies including examples under their Speymalt series which is solely dedicated for Macallan. This series has seriously been underestimated over the years. If you dig deep you will realise the majority of these whiskies are from single casks and are bottled at a significant age. In this sale you will find example from 1950 to 1991.

This months auction features two beautiful and remarkably crisp Bowmore’s. Both of them were distilled on 16th June 1973. The casks selected between both bottles are a run of continuous sherry casks (5173 & 51745175 & 5176) which are said to be the last remaining butts of the 1973 vintage. 1973 was the very start of a historical change in the style of Bowmore. Whisky produced was still of a high standard but was characterised by a noticeable taming of its previous qualities. As with all distilleries modernisation played a part but, crucially at Bowmore, it was the dramatic increase in production levels that would contribute to what some might argue was a compromise between quality and quantity. If you desire that pure immense tropical fruit character 1960s Bowmore has to offer, we have a rather tasty Sherriff’s.

A Highland Park that certainly doesn’t appear in auction regularly. A 1968 single cask bottled at 35 years of age. This is an official bottling produced for World Duty Free in 2003. Only 546 bottles were bottled at 51.2%. And a 1973 Dalmore finished in what they call the ”King of Grapes” Cabernet Sauvignon from the Chateau Haut-Marbuzet of Saint Estephe. This is a limited release of 1000 bottles.

The 1972 Brora has become a bit of a phenomena in the world of whisky and these examples under the Rare Malt’s label seem to rule them all. Like most whiskies today these are slowly drying up for two reasons. One is down to the fact many of these were consumed in the early days due to their crazy low retail prices and secondly both drinkers and collectors are becoming much more educated. This calibre of whisky deserves the status it has attained over the last 20+ years whereas the same can’t be said about many of the new hyped up releases we see being produced today.

We don’t generally mention modern releases such as this Glenmorangie, however, we’re partial to a bit of golf. And what’s more fitting than Glenmorangie & Dornoch. The whisky is a 16 year old from an ex Oloroso cask that has been specially commissioned by the distillery to celebrate 400 years of golf in Dornoch. Glenmorangie rarely produce single casks anymore so regardless of the occasion this is a great release.

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

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January Auction Results 2018

Every time you think these bonded casks can’t surprise you, they go right ahead and surprise you. The 1989 hogshead of Macallan in our latest auction finished up at an eye-watering £242,200. That’s the equivalent of £942 per bottle, and that’s without duty and bottling costs added on. This is the kind of price that independent bottlers and brokers just aren’t able (or willing) to pay, going to show that, if you have these sorts of casks, auction is the place for them. Looking at the constancy of the results for these bonded casks it seems the level of demand is only solidifying. Never mind investing in bottles, it looks like the smart money was on casks…

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Back to reality (sort of) and it seems like Macallan once again dominated the other top spots in this auction. The 1946 and the 40 year old for Duty Free both performed impressively at £13,200 and £12,600 respectively. Although, for my money, the 1945 Speymalt by Gordon & MacPhail is a better buy at £11,100 from a liquid perspective. This 70 year old, and its 68 year old sibling, were sold for what seems like a remarkably cheap £4000 back when they were released. Considering this bottling is the oldest Macallan ever released and is, reportedly, a extremely find dram to boot, this looks like a good buy.

The other top end bottles seemed to be broadly consistent this sale. Ardbeg Manager’s Choice at £2900, Talisker 1957 £2600 and Michter’s 25 year old Rye for £2900 were all solid results. The appetite for old Laphroaig continued unabated with the 10 year old from the late 1970s fetching an impressive £1450. These kinds of tropical old style Islay whiskies are clearly attracting serious and broader interest, someone should really make this style of whisky again.

Also interesting, and impressive, was the Dailuaine 1966 31 year old Cadenhead bottling at £1250. This is a terrific whisky, however it’s a high price for this bottling. It may be a spike or, equally likely, we might be about to see all these older Cadenhead releases begin trading at this level. Other strong and notable results around the four figure region were the Berry Brother’s 1968 Talisker – a deliciously dark and inviting dram – hitting a nice round £1000. The Macallan Special Reserve at £825 was also an impressive result for a bottling which tended to lag behind other limited official Macallans for quite some time.

The Highland Park 1967 Duncan Taylor at £625, Glendronach 1975 Ian MacLeod at £625, Springbank 21 year old at £600 and the Glen Grant Moray Bonding 10 year old at £575 all represented bottlings which were trading around the £300 mark not so long ago. All perfect examples of how quality liquid is getting more desirable and increasing in value across the board irrespective of distillery.

 

The two Bruichladdich 1970 Valinches at £500 and £525 respectively further display an increasing interest in aged Bruichladdich in the market more generally. Nice to see these terrific and rather unique old drams getting a bit more attention. Conversely the Lagavulin Syndicate 11 and 13 year old bottlings seemed to settle down to the £500 range this sale, perhaps going to show that as supply of these rarities continues the price is starting to soften accordingly.

Another trend that I’ve noticed in recent months is that bottlings which used to be relatively unknown, or could be considered safe bargains in most sales, are now broadly known about and tend to perform well in any auction. Examples would be bottlings such as the Springbank 8 year old under the Glen’s label for £320 and the Alex Ferguson 1940s blend for £360. Both fair prices for these whiskies but far more representative of their quality than recent results were. A sad time for those of use who like to hunt out lesser known delicious old drams. Good times for anyone selling.

There were, however, a few good bargains for keen eyed buyers this sale. Which in some ways is a refreshing buck of the trend from most recent sales. The Ardbeg 1974 – 1996 Connoisseur’s Choice was something of a steal at £290. As was the Glenlochy 1974 Connoisseur’s Choice for £280. The Mortlach 21 year old from the 1980s also still looks like good value considering the quality of the liquid at £250. While a Laphroaig 10 year old from the late 1980s for £235 is about the best price you’ll pay for old style tropical Laphroaig these days. Similarly the Lagavulin 16 year old White Horse 75cl for £185 was a very good price considering the recent heat around these bottlings.

By and large though, this was another sale full of consistent and top end prices with bargains few and far between. Oh to be in the 1990s again as a buyer! Anyway, a buoyant market means more whisky being brought up for sale and more interesting bottles being discovered. Happy days! Until next time…

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December Auction Results 2017

Every auction throws up a few special or fascinating results but there’s always something just a little bit more intriguing about our annual Christmas auction. The fact it runs over the festive period for an extended time and usually features an extensive selection of truly special bottles always ups the excitement. 
First up it seems the fever surrounding bonded casks of Macallan is back up to full pitch. The two top lots were a sherry butt of 1996 Macallan at £168,300 and a sherry hogshead of 1990 Macallan for £135,100. It’s interesting to note in the price rations here and how – while the extra size and content of the butt makes it the most expensive – in terms of ratio the older, more mature liquid is the one which wins if you adjust to price per bottle. Another fascinating and bewilderingly impressive result for bonded casks.
If any further proof were needed of the ‘Macallan’ effect, simply look at the prices achieved in the same sale by the bonded casks of 1992 Jura which were also under the hammer. Ranging from £7700 – £11,100. These seems like more realistic market prices for such casks and go some way to revealing just how powerful the name Macallan remains. 
On to the bottles and to my favourite bottle of the sale: the Oban Crown Hotel bottle from around 1900. First of all, what a stunning bottle to still find in this day and age! These kinds of bottles could be found with far more regularity a number of years ago, now, however, it’s exceptionally unusual to still uncover such an old, genuine bottle. What’s nice is that it is from Oban distillery, not a name you’d ever expect to discover such an aged example of. Another good illustration of the nature of today’s market is that the Macallan Lalique 50 year old sold for £45,600 and the Oban finished at £11,600. Both impressive prices but also another indicator of how skewed the perception of value is in whisky today. 

Old Oban Whisky Circa 1900

Looking over some of the many other impressive top end results it was good to see the Ardbeg 1965 hit the five figure mark at £10,000 – a record for this bottling. The Bowmore 1955 jug is also back on deserving form at £6800 – if you’ve ever tasted this bewilderingly incredible whisky then you can understand why. Same goes for the Bowmore 1957 at £6500. I wonder how long before all these old Bowmores crest the £10k mark?
Talisker 1955 and 1957 CASK by Gordon & MacPhail both finished at £2600, another unsurprising and impressive result for these incredible whiskies. Back to Bowmore again and the Bicentenary bottling continues it’s climb ever higher to £2300, a second bottle also fetched £1950. While the Clynelish 1972 White Label by Cadenhead hit £2150, again: amazing juice is in serious demand. 
Amidst all the impressive Macallan results, one of the more notable bottles was the Macallan 15 year old by Gordon & MacPhail from the 1970s. Judging by the colour you always knew it would do well, however £1950 is still an impressive result for a bottle which could be picked up for around the £400 mark a couple of years ago. 
A beautiful old bottle of Glenlivet bottled 1949 fetched £1450, which, given the age and rather unique nature of the bottle, feels like something of a bargain. Which goes to show, even at these sorts of price levels, there are still some nice bits and pieces to be found. Another example would possibly be the old Blair Athol 8 year old from the 1940s – another remarkable old single malt that, at £1050, seems like a pretty fair price in today’s market. 

 

 

 

It isn’t just whisky of course. Wray & Nephew continued to be one of the most desirable names in Rum with a private stock bottling from the 1970s fetching £1450. A super rare Glenugie 12 year old fetched £1200 and a Lagavulin 12 White Horse just squeezed past the four figure mark to £1050. I suspect we’ll see these bottles start to do this more and more often quite soon. 
Going below the £1000 mark there were plenty other impressive results. The Clynelish 1971 36 year old Murray McDavid at £750 showed that these vintages of Clynelish are always in high demand these days. The litre bottling of 12 year old Macallan at £775 was also impressive, this bottling for some reason seemed to hover at £300-400 for a long time. The Longmorn 25 year old centenary at £700 is also nice to see, the liquid is utterly incredible in this one and for a long time it seemed stuck around the £400-500 mark. 
Looking over the rest of the auction it seems that almost all aged single malts – closed or still active – from the 1960s and 1970s are sitting somewhere in the £300-600 price range these days. Gone are the times where you could pick up these sorts of bottlings occasionally sub £200. Almost anything that’s good or old now seems to carry a minimum £300-400 price tag. With many or most of the good or interesting ones sailing closer to £500+. People wonder about how long this will continue but, for these kinds of older or well aged single malt bottlings, I don’t see how the prices will ever really come down. Barring some broader economic collapse, these sorts of whiskies aren’t being made anymore and they will always be hugely desirable to drinkers and collectors alike. Basic supply and demand will rule the roost with these bottlings forevermore I suspect. A shame as it means many of us might be priced out of owning them. But if you still have these kinds of whiskies tucked away at home it’s pretty much a dream market in which to sell nowadays. 
Elsewhere in the sale pretty much everything here was hitting it’s true or high market value. Even below the £100 mark there weren’t too many bargains to be found. Seems a trend that’s set to continue into 2018. Although, my result of the sale would have to be a bottle of Bailey’s Irish Whisky for £320. Must have been the Christmas effect! Happy new year to all our clients and customers and to everyone that bids with us. We wish you all the best for 2018. Hopefully you were able to celebrate with something suitably delicious. Until next time… 

 

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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

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February 2017 Auction Results

One of the continuing trends in last night’s auction was the new trading levels of older, high-end Macallans. The Fine & Rare series continues to strengthen at auction with results of £10,600 and £8200 for the 1965 and 1971 respectively. Similarly the 1938 handwritten label – a bottle that has been static around the £5000 mark for quite some time – took a step higher again up to £6000. Other impressive prices at the top of the sale included the Laphroaig 1960 for Oddbins with a whopping £5900 hammer price, the Highland Park 1958 with a very healthy £2800 and a Macallan Royal Marriage for £2700.

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But it wasn’t just the expected heavy hitters. Increasingly we’re seeing the old and rare whiskies creeping into the very upper levels of the auction, bottles which, until recently, might not have gone into four figures at all. The Springbank 1965 Cadenhead White Label series fetched a cool £2450 and the Talisker 1957 100 proof £2250, both showing just how intense the competition and desire for these magnificent liquids are becoming these days.

The rest of the upper end of the auction was the same story of consistency and top end market value for most of the bottles. There was an impressive selection of Macallan and looking over all the various vintages and expressions so regularly seen at auction now, what strikes is just how many of these bottles have moved from the £700-1000 mark into the £1500-2000 bracket over the past year. Will this pace continue of will we see a plateau effect for a while?

Some other impressive results for older bottlings were the Macallan As We Get It 1960s bottling which finished up at £1200. Demand for older examples of this series seems to be going up and up these days. Similarly an old example of Ainslie’s King’s Legend (a Clynelish heavy blend) from around 1930 with a spring cap settled on a muscular £1250. As knowledge about old blends and their constituent malts has proliferated in recent years we’ve seen a remarkable corresponding jump in their prices at auction.

The thirst for old Midleton bottlings continues unabated with a 1987 example hitting £1100. The Laphroaig Cairdeas 30 year old passed the £1000 mark with a hammer price of £1050 and the Bowmore 1972 and Glen Moray 1959 distillery releases settled comfortably on £1000 apiece.

Midleton Auction Results

Moving down through the sale there were strong results for the scarcely seen Balblair 1951 private bottling at £900, the Bowmore 1980 Still Decanter at £925, the Glenmorangie 1993 Truffle Oak at £875, the Lochside 1965 46-year-old by Adelphi at £775. And a 1977 30-year-old Macallan by Douglas Laing and the Laphroaig 13-year-old festival bottling both at £750 look like quite remarkable prices for these bottlings.

It seems that it isn’t only the upper-end Macallans that are hitting new trading levels, but their midrange bottlings have all moved up a notch as well. The NAS Cask Strength bottling from the early 2000s hit a whopping £750, the 1990 15-year-old Easter Elchies hit £725 and the 2011 Easter Elchies hit £900! It wasn’t just Macallan though, there was a whole host of bottlings going for what some might call ‘crazy money’. Another Midleton – the 1991 bottling this time – finished up at £725, a Glendullan 1967 32 year old by Cadenheads hit a remarkable £700 (you could buy these at auction for £200-300 quite recently) as did the Ardbeg 1998 – 2011 Festival release. All quite remarkable prices. Perhaps less surprisingly a Brora 1972 cask end fetched £625.

Looking through the sale from the mid-range down there are very few bargains. A 1966 Dalwhinnie at £410 seems like a decent price but not by much, as does the Glenrothes 1972 and 1984 vintage pair for the same amount. Some of the old Gordon & MacPhail Strathislas and Glen Grants for under the £250 mark finished up at very drinkable prices.

In conclusion, though, it was a hugely impressive sale. One that cements new trading levels for numerous Macallans as well as many bottles which, as recently as last year, could be picked up for a few hundred pounds less. There were a few ‘bargains’ around the lower-mid ends of the sale but by and large it was a consistent and impressive slew of results.

 

February auction highlights

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June Auction Results

Our most recent whisky auction was one of the most impressive sales we’ve had so far this year, both in terms of variety and prices achieved.

The obvious star is the Macallan Lalique 55 Year Old Second Edition. The last time this bottle appeared in our auction – just over 2 years ago in January 2014 – it fetched £12,600. Its final hammer price last night was £25,100, just shy of double its previous best. This demonstrates a couple of things. One is the ravenous market appetite for the serious, official, high-end Macallans. If you have these kinds of bottles now might be the time to start thinking about doing something with them. And, secondly, this is one of an increasing number of examples of bottles achieving well past the £20,000 mark at Whisky Online Auctions. We have a firm track record of achieving the highest price for individual bottles at auction in the UK for the past 3 years now – if you’ve got these kinds of bottles you could do a lot worse than sell them where you are guaranteed this kind of result.

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

Going down through the rest of the auction there are more impressive results. It is not often that the second highest bottle in an auction is an independent bottling; then again, it is not often that an independent bottler can produce a 50 year old, dark sherried Glenfiddich with an outturn of only 67 bottles. So perhaps its final hammer price of £7000 is not too surprising.

The Macallan 1945 Speymalt and the 1938 official both fetched consistent and comfortably sturdy results at £5100 and £5500 respectively. In comparison with the 55yo Lalique the 68 year old Speymalt from G&M looks like a downright bargain. Both bottles exemplify the continued appetite there is for these super-aged, exceptional releases from the glory days of Macallan.

The Ardbeg Manager’s Choice 1976 hit a new record high of £3200, it’s good to see appetite for this great and legendary bottling climbing back up again after some softer results earlier this year. The two Brora 1972 Rare Malts hit £3100 apiece, a solid result consistent with the huge level of desirability there is for these bottlings currently. Other encouraging results were the Macallan Royal Marriage, at £2500 it was up a little from its usual £1700-1900 selling range. And the Glenfarclas 40 year old Millennium at £2250 was an impressive result considering it wasn’t all that long ago that these were trading around the £700 mark. This seems consistent with a broader strengthening of Glenfarclas prices at auction lately.

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One feature of this auction was a broad selection of releases from the elusive and curious Cadenhead ‘White Label’ series. This was a short lived series of bottlings produced for Oddbins by Cadenheads in the early 1990s. There were some quite remarkable whiskies in it which are now exceedingly rare. A face well evidenced by the prices many of them fetched in this auction. £2400 for the 1965 Springbank, £1250 for the 1972 Clynelish, £1150 for the Glenugie 1980. £925 for the Ardbeg 1978. Once again it goes to show that great liquid commands serious prices, old Cadenhead bottlings are seeing stronger demand than ever and a selection like this from a great and collectable series often creates something of a feeding frenzy effect. Something well worth considering in a tactical sense if you have some of these bottlings and are considering selling.

Cadenhead

Other strong results that broadly represent the sharpening demand for great liquid are: Clynelish 1972 23 year old Rare Malts for £925, Ardbeg Lord Of The Isles for £775 and Laphroaig 1968 Hart Brothers for £875. Some other notable results were the strong performance of Glenmorangie bottlings in this sale. £1150 for the Concorde bottling is sort of to be expected. But £975 for Truffle Oak, £675 for the 1972 single cask, £675 apiece for the two 30 year olds. These are terrific results for a distillery which was flagging a little at auction not so long ago.

Rum is something we don’t often talk about in these reports, but as a spirit at auction it is increasingly gaining traction and seeing impressive results. Six bottles of the Cadenhead’s Uitvlugt 1974 30 year old sold for between £600-650 each, which goes to show the demand for serious, aged rums at auction these days. Remarkable when you consider how cheap these bottlings were originally.

Looking through the auction there wasn’t too much in the way of bargains this sale. Although an 1865 Cognac for £410 seems like the steal of the century given the immense prices that almost all the good bottles in this sale fetched. Goes to show there’s always something in every sale if you are patient, vigilant and smart. And lucky. Some of the older SMWS bottlings seemed a tad more affordable than usual, although priced were very much dependent on the filling levels. The Glenburgie 1960 Connoisseur’s Choice also seems a great bargain for drinking at £215. But apart from that pretty much everything in this sale hit its true market value and bargains were thin on the ground.

commission-10As of our next auction – beginning July 27th – Whisky Online Auctions will be reducing its seller’s commission to 5%. We are the top achieving auction house for record prices when it comes to old, rare and antique bottles. Our new commission structure now makes it even easier and more profitable for sellers to capitalise on our ability to achieve these results. If you are interested to take advantage of selling with us please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

 

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April Auction Highlights

At Whisky-Online we endeavour to offer an exceptional array of old and rare whiskies including bottles rarely ever seen at auction before.

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Firstly we will start with a super scares 1972 Ardbeg single cask, Named Ping No. 1 by Juuls Vinhandel of Denmark to commemorate the 30th Business Anniversary of Michael Madsen.

Another clutch of rare Scotch Malt Whisky Society bottling’s, we see for the first time a Port Ellen 43.2, not only is this a closed distillery the liquid itself is legendary. More early releases from SMWS include Ardmore 66.1 a Girvan G7.1 and many other great releases from this iconic series like Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Glenmoranige, Talisker, Glen Scotia, St Magdalene…

Making another reappearance is the Macallan 1946 52 year old, along with the Macallan 1938 and Macallan 1950 hand written labels. staying with Macallan we have two new faces from the Fine & Rare series with vintages from 1975 and 1971 followed with a huge selection of other great Macallans including vintage Anniversary Malts not forgetting a haul of indie bottling’s.

Other notable rarities from the 1940s and 1950s starting with an unusual Munros Extra Special Liqueur followed by an incredible selection of old White Horse including bottling from 1941, 1952, 1954, 1956, and two examples from 1957. More from the fifties comprising of several variants of Haig Gold Label, Black & White, Dewars. Johnnie Walker enthusiasts won’t be disappointed with the numerous directors blends from 2008, 2010 and 2011 releases.

It doesn’t end there, more rarities from Islay that include Ardbeg Manager Choice cask 2391, Caol Ila Mangers Dram, Port Ellen First Release followed by a 21 year old Malting’s Anniversary. From Bowmore we have a 1973 vintage label, 1972 27 year old from a marriage of three casks with a yield of only 466 bottles. You will also find a couple of ceramics like the 25 year old Seagulls, 30 year old Sea Dragon and the legendry Bicentenary. From the eighties there is a Laphroaig 10 year old a Lagavulin 12 year old White Horse and a no age statement Bruichladdich.

For our Abunadh fans we have numerous different batches running from batch 15 through to 35. There’s bag full of the infamous Managers Drams. Numerous other incredible drams including a Glenfiddich 1978 single cask, four different Glenfarclas 40 year olds bottled for the Taiwanese market. A 1964 Glendronach dumpy, two 1968s including the re-opening. A young high octane Talisker 1970 100 proof, and a beautiful dumpy Springbank 30 year old sherry cask.

From elsewhere around the world we have a L’Esprit De Courvoisier Cognac in a hand-cut Lalique decanter. A half bottle of Martel Cognac circa 1940, Delamain 1969 34 year old and a wonderful one pint J.A. Dougherty’s from the pre-prohibition era. From the Far East there’s several different Kavalans, the renowned Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013 and a extremely hard to find Hakushu 25 Year Old in the rarely seen wooden box version where only around 100 bottles were ever released.

Whatever your tastes you’ll find something within this month’s selection and as always please get in touch if you have any questions, otherwise enjoy the auction, best of luck and happy bidding.

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The Whisky Online Auctions team

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January Whisky Auction Results

Undoubtedly the most fascinating aspect of our most recent auction was the rather beautiful collection of SMWS bottles up for grabs.

This is the second fairly sizeable collection of SMWS bottlings we’ve uncovered over the years – the last one being back in our Christmas sale in 2013/2014. So, almost exactly two years later, it’s interesting to see how the appetite for old SMWS bottlings remains potent and undimmed. A slew of record prices were achieved and there was fierce bidding competition throughout the whole sale, not just during the last hour of the auction.

SMWS Highlights

The understandable highlights were the Brora 1976 61.1, the Ardbeg 1975 33.2 and the Lomond 1972 98.1. The last time we sold the Brora 61.1 was in our December 2014 sale, back then it fetched a healthy £1400. This time its price doubled to a remarkable £2800, this is quite impressive when you consider that the bottle was available on a retail site for £2750, once you include the buyer fees that takes it to £3276, that’s over £500 more than the retail price. This just goes to show the power that auctions hold when two very determined buyers end up slugging it out over a bottle they both desperately want.

Likewise the Ardbeg 33.2 sold for an impressive £2450, despite a poor condition label, once again proving that the value of so many of these older SMWS bottlings is very much in the number and the liquid. It also says a lot about the sheer scarcity of early SMWS Ardbeg bottlings.

The Lomond 1972 98.1 sold for £1800, perhaps slightly more predictable when you consider this is one of just two extant bottlings of this hyper-scarce single malt – both of which have been bottled by the SMWS. It was still another record price of this bottling though.

Karuizawa 1984 - 28 Year Old - SMWS 132.1 - Graph
Karuizawa 1984 – 28 Year Old – SMWS 132.1 – Bottle Performance (January 2014 – February 2016)

Despite the general slump in Karuizawa prices at the moment the Japanese SMWS bottlings showed remarkable buoyancy as well with some serious new records being achieved. The Karuizawa 132.1 hit £1450, the Yamazaki 119.1 £1400, the Yoichi 116.1 £1100 and the Hakushu 120.1 £1050. Another impressive result was the Laphroaig 1975 29.3 at £1000, this is doubly impressive when you consider that two of these bottles sold in one lot at Bonhams back in 2013 for £1000, and that price includes their rather hefty commission. The Lagavulin 1980 111.1 – another greatly sought after rarity – was also impressive with a final hammer price of £925.

Further down the auction, other SMWS.1 editions achieved impressive new records. St Magdalene 1975 49.1: £825. Banff 1978 67.1: £700. Glenugie 1978 99.1: £625. Old Fettercairn 1969 94.1: £625. Glenlochy 1976 62.1: £600. All in all, a super successful sale for old SMWS bottlings, the demand for these is huge at the moment so if you are sitting on a stash of old SMWS bottlings then it may well be worth getting in touch…

Elsewhere in the auction there were plenty other juicy results. A pair of 1981 18 year old Macallans hit an impressive £600 each, a pair of Macallan 30 year old Fine Oaks fetched £1250 each and a Glen Grant 1949 went for £775, further evidence of the increased interest in these wonderful old G&M vintage malts.

Elements of Islay

Perhaps some of the most astonishing results were for the Elements of Islay series, the Kilchoman sold for £430 and the Bunnahabhain sold for a fantastic £700! These were not expensive bottles upon release and there were not particularly limited either. It’s unlikely those kinds of prices are sustainable but it does go to show, if you’ve got bottles from a collectable series that haven’t seen auction for quite some time, selling one can sometimes yield an incredible return. Once again, probably worth having a rummage at home…

All in all this was an exciting and fascinating auction that provided an excellent barometer of market demand for rare and high quality old whisky – especially those bottlings from the SMWS. Unlike a lot of other bottlings a sizeable proportion of bottlings in this sale were bottles that haven’t seen auction for a long time. The resulting high prices and consistent competition throughout the week of the sale show that – for the right bottles – there continues to be significant market demand.

 


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Christmas Whisky Auction now live

Welcome to Whisky Online Auctions big annual Christmas sale.

We always like to try and make this special annual extended Christmas whisky auction packed to the rafters with great bottles at all price levels and this year’s sale is no exception.

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At the top of the Christmas auction it’s difficult to know where to begin. The Karuizawa for the Nepal Tasting is an undoubted highlight, with only 50 bottles released this is sure to be a star bottle this sale. It is joined by several other terrific bottlings from this distillery from older vintages such as 1968 and 1976 to rarer examples such as the 1981 cask 4333 of which only 94 bottles were produced.

We have a welcome return of old favourites such as the Macallan 1946 and the Ardbeg 1976 Manager’s Choice. There’s a Laphroaig 40 year old, a Bowmore 1964 Fino cask and a pair of Black Bowmores (2nd & 3rd editions). There is a bottle of the Springbank 1966 Local Barley cask 443 – one of the first expressions in this series and one of the most sought after Springbanks ever bottled.

There’s an Ardbeg Gold Auriverdes, a 1957 Macallan Anniversary Malt, a 1972 Rare Malts Brora, an exceptionally rare 5 year old official bottling of Glenugie, a Knappogue Castle 1951, a 1957 Mortlach Cadenhead Dumpy, a 1959 Bruichladdich Cadenhead dumpy and near complete set of Flora & Fauna bottlings in one lot.

One of our favourite bottles in this sale is the return of the stunning Laphroaig 12 year old bottled in the 1960s by Cadenhead, these are now almost impossible to find and the whisky inside carries a well deserved and hefty reputation. All this only scratches the surface though, there just isn’t time to list all the myriad bottles of Port Ellen, Ardbeg, Springbank and SMWS releases.

There’s another wonderful and vast selection from the old First Cask series, there are numerous terrific old Glenfarclas, old Signatory, Berry Brothers and Douglas Laing releases, rare single casks, old, long-since discontinued official bottlings and stacks of great budget drinking drams. There’s nothing short of an incredible selection of bottles up for grabs so you’ll almost certainly find something to suit your collection or your drinking stash in this sale.

We’ll leave it there for now, all that remains is for you to dive in, have a rummage and enjoy the Christmas Whisky auction.


 

Good luck and happy bidding and have a fantastic time this Chrismas and New Year. We’d like to thank everyone who has participated in our auctions this year, whether as a buyer or a seller your continued custom means we can continue to put together sales of this scope and quality.

All the best for 2016 and Slante!

The Whisky Online Auctions team

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