Tag Archives: collecting

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…

Macallan-1989-Cask-1248

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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December Auction Highlights 2017

Whisky-Online Auctions December Auction Is Now Live!
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Old Oban Whisky Circa 1900

One of, if not the greatest and most fascinating bottles of whisky we’ve ever had the pleasure of auctioning. We collected this bottle from an elderly lady in West Brom. This bottle along with a 1940s Blair Athol was part of an estate the vendor inherited many years ago. Both bottles have been sat in a side cabinet ever since.
Established in 1793 Oban is the only surviving distillery in the Oban area. Today Oban is renowned for being part of the Classic Malt Selection whilst older bottlings are few and far between with the distinct diamond shaped 12 year old from the 1970s springing to mind. Reminiscing and the only other bottle remotely close to this era is the Old Mull Blend from 1917 we auctioned in December 2016. The reason why I mention this example is because Oban is known as one of the main malt contributors for Old Mull.
The hotel mentioned on the label is located in the heart of Oban and is approximately half a mile from the distillery. The hotel now trades under the name Kelvin Hotel. The hotel is a grade B listed building and is one of the oldest and most original in the 19th century planned town. From our research the Scottish architect who made alterations to the hotel in 1896 was James Begg. This relates to when we believe the whisky was bottled.
The bottle itself is so original with its beautiful imperfections. To say this bottle is over a century old and the fact it’s survived two World Wars is incredible and unbelievable. Whoever wins this bottle will certainly be sat on a serious piece of Scottish liquid history. Truthfully it deserves spotlight in a museum. One of a kind and once in a lifetime.

This month’s auction features a collection of 24 Murray McDavid bottlings. The majority of the collection consists of whiskies distilled in the late 1960s and 1970s with the exception of one or two from the early 1980s. You will find obscurity such as the 1969 Islay Trilogy; a 36 year old marriage of selected Islay malts matured in both bourbon and sherry casks. There’s some unusual cask types such as a 1967 Strathisla from Bourbon, Grenachie Banyuls casks to a 1969 Macallan from Bourbon, Marsanne, Roussanne Casks! And sought after distilleries such as Glendronach that you rarely see bottled by independents.

We’ve got another great selection of casks that are held in bond, in Scotland. There’s a 1990 Sherry Hogshead Macallan that would currently yield approximately 240 bottles at 27 years of age and a 1996 Sherry Butt that would currently yield approximately 526 bottles at 21 years of age. It’s a bold and well-structured mid-age Macallan. This one has a clear and clean sherry influence which should really start to hit perfect within the next decade. Another one that is well worth hanging onto and being patient for. Even if it is already excellent. Then we have a run of 1992 Isle of Jura. Cask 5486 would currently yield approximately 172 bottles at 47.1%. This is a solid and expressive example of Jura. Ideal for bottling within the next year given the strength. Interestingly, cask 5487 would yield approximately 64 at 32.8%. On its own this is too weak to legally be called whisky, but as a component to vat with a younger or higher abv whisky it could work extremely well. Especially with one of the other, higher abv, sister casks of Jura. Cask 5488 would currently yield approximately 197 bottled at 49.6%. Probably the best of the four Jura casks. And also the one with the most future staying power. Although, my feeling is it would not really take more than a further two years maturation and that it could quite easily be bottled now or in the next few months. Finally cask 5490 would currently yield approximately 172 at 47.4%. This is another solid mid-aged Jura. Again ideal for bottling now or in the next 12 months.

The only official vintage Ardbeg distilled in the 1960s. A vatting of two casks from 1965 left at the distillery when LVMH took over. Casks 3678 and 3679 made up a yield of a mere 261 bottles at just short of 40 years old. Surprisingly this appearance in our Special Extended Christmas sale is the first time we’ve had the pleasure of auctioning this showpiece.

The very first Macallan Lalique makes a welcome return for our highlight auction of the year. First released in 2006 with an outturn of only 470 bottles; a large proportion of the stock in this bottling was substantially older than 50 years. Another often overlooked fact about the first Lalique edition is that many of them were opened and consumed, as a result the true number that remains is now far lower than many actually realise making this the hardest in the Lalique series to acquire now. A truly remarkable feat of design, cask selection, blending and execution by Lalique and Macallan, and one of the great modern masterpieces of single malt scotch whisky. This starting block for the other entries in the Lalique series that followed remains the ultimate in prestige and one of the best Macallans ever bottled.

Blair Althol is one of two surviving distilleries in the Pitlochry area and is often overlooked as a single malt with its association to Bell’s. Available official bottlings generally date back to the late 1960s and 1970s but believe it or not, these don’t appear as often as you may think, nevermind a 1940s. The distillery was mothballed between 1932 – 1949 and rebuilt in 1949. It went with the times in the late 1950s where it was modernised. In 1973 two more stills were added and in 1975 the dark grains plant was built.

What makes this bottling so rare is the fact it’s composed of whisky from the original distillery before it was mothballed in 1932. This is the first time we’ve laid eyes on such an old bottle from this distillery and the likelihood of us coming across another would be a miracle. So, if you’re looking to add this to your collection or you’re simply as curious as us to see what it tastes like, you won’t be disappointed either way.

Finally we will end with this simple crock that holds possibly the greatest whisky we’ll ever live to see. A 1955 Bowmore bottled for the opening of the visitors center in 1974. This was passed down to the vendor by their grandfather who worked at the distillery at the time. Great provenance and surprisingly this one is rammed to the top.

Don’t stop here as there’s so much more to see. Click through to our site and browse the entire selection of unique whiskies we’ve put together for our final auction of 2017.
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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Have a wonderful Christmas & New Year from all of us here at ​Whisky Online Auctions.

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November Auction Results 2017

We should probably start with the somewhat unsurprising record price of £24,200 achieved for the Macallan 1949 50 year old Millennium decanter. What’s most amusing from a personal perspective is that it wasn’t so long ago that this sort of result (indeed this is the second time that Whisky Online has achieved a record price for this bottling) would have had all chinwagging. Nowadays, however, such prices for these old Macallan bottlings have become pretty commonplace.

The theme of the Millennium dominated the top of the auction this time with the Springbank Millennium set also performing strongly at £12,900. I’m sure I’ve written before about how this set could be picked up for £4000-5000 not so long ago. Suddenly that doesn’t seem too expensive.

Then a pleasing run of Bowmores. The most notable of which was probably the 2nd edition Black Bowmore for the US at 75cl hitting £8200. Although, in terms of Bowmore rarities, the 1969 single cask for Fecchio & Frassa was the real gem of this auction. Indeed, the fact it sold eventually for £5500 is testament to both its rarity and the lauded reputation of the liquid itself. I suspect it will be a long time before we see another of these – or another might show up next month. Stranger things have happened.

Another pair of impressive results were the two PLOWED society bottlings from Douglas Laing. With the Ardbeg 1972 fetching £4600 and the Brora 1972 a whopping £5800. Two more examples of just how intensely in demand these sorts of legendary whiskies are these days.

The Campbell Hope & King Macallans showed no signs of slowing down either. An excellent example of one of the harder to find editions in the series, the 1951, hit an impressive £4600. While the 1957 nudged £3700. I suspect these bottlings will only continue to climb in the coming months and years.

One of the more surprising results was the cask of Arran 1997. Given the strong performance of other bonded casks recently it was somewhat surprising to see this one at £4100. Given the quality of the liquid as well it looks as though someone got themselves a wee bit of a bargain.

Some other notable results were bottlings such as the Bowmore 1962 Moon Import – a serious rarity these days – at £2350. The Gordon & MacPhail Talisker 1957 CASK at £2300 – another bottling which isn’t getting cheaper anytime soon I suspect. Similarly the 1955 variant hit £2050. The Laphroaig 1967 First Cask continued its recent strength of form with a hammer price of £2050 and a Bowmore Bicentenary hit £2000. It seems amazing juice is still the ultimate bringer of serious results at auction these days.

Strong results from the SMWS collection in this sale were also in evidence with the Springbank 1965 hitting £2000 and the Lomond 1972 Yoichi 1986 116.1 both achieving £1800. There were plenty strong results from Macallan in the upper ends of the sale – something so ubiquitous from sale to sale now I’ve kind of stopped commenting on it almost – but the 15 year old 1957 by Gordon & MacPhail fetching £1700 was still rather impressive. Something that goes to show good, old Macallan just isn’t cheap no matter what bottling it is.

Deviating from Whisky it was nice to be reminded that old rums are also somewhat ‘in vogue’ with collectors and drinkers these days. The 1930s Frederick Smith example fetched an impressive £1550. Similarly Midleton collectors were out in force for the scarcely seen 1990 edition, pushing it all the way to £1500. The thirst for old and rare examples of Ainslie’s blends showed no signs of stopping with the 1940s King’s Legend hitting £1450 and the 1950s Ainslie’s Specially Selected on £925. Again these are the sorts of bottles which could be bought for less than £150 a piece not so long ago.

The superbly dark sherry SMWS early editions of Rosebank have garnered quite a reputation in recent years since a couple were opened and written about. Unsurprisingly the 25.3 Rosebank hit £1300, with the 25.4 not too far behind it on £1000. Around this price level other impressive results were the MacPhail’s 1945 44 year old. These don’t tend to perform as well as the named distillery Gordon & MacPhail bottlings from the same era but I suspect the fact it was a wartime vintage helped propel it to £1050. Not too far away was the Oban Bicentenary Manager’s Dram 16 year old for £975. For so long this bottling sat still around the £400-500 mark so it’s nice to see this great dram getting some recognition. Similarly the Aberfeldy 19 year old Manager’s Dram hit an impressive £875 – it seems this boost in prices we’ve been seeing recently for the old Manager’s Drams is here to stay.

 

Older bottlings did well across the board this sale with the 1960s Springbank 5 year old hitting £825 and the 1950s Dalmore 12 achieving £800. Both in impressive condition neither result is particularly surprising but both do represent an increase on other recent results for these bottlings. No doubt next time they’ll be even higher.

 

A few other impressive SMWS results – unsurprising given how rarely many of these bottlings turn up at auction – were the dark sherry Glenfiddich 1978 15.6 for £575. The rather crazy Inchgower 1966 18.15 for £550. And the Macallan 1977 24.17 for £500. At this point it would be remiss not to point out what was probably the bargain of the sale with the Glenlochy 1969 25 year old Rare Malts selling for £525 – not sure what happened there but I’m sad I missed it is all I can say. Goes to show there’s always something in every auction.

Looking through the rest of the sale though, it is rather hard to discern too many other bargains. One of the things that stands out is the prices paid for almost any old SMWS bottlings these days. Even some of the more mundane bottlings can fetch impressive prices. Whether this is being driven primarily by collectors of drinkers seeking real obscurities I’m not sure. Almost certainly, as usual with these things, it’s a combination of both. Until next time…

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October Auction Results 2017

Our recent auction was marked by yet another impressive result for bonded casks of Macallan. While not quite as staggering as last month’s results, these 1995 refill hogsheads both performed admirably fetching £52,100 a piece. Showing that any mature stock of Macallan in bond still commands a serious premium. There will be further casks coming to auction with Whisky Online over the next couple of sales so it will be interesting to see how they compare.

Moving to the bottles. The SMWS 26 Malts collection hit a new record result at £4400, quite a tidy improvement over the recent days where it often sold for around £2500. Strong results also for the Laphroaig 1960 at £4000 and the Caol Ila Manager’s Dram at £3400. Both bottles which are driven largely by the wonderful, and historic, character of the liquid.

The following slew of Macallan results were largely typical, consistent and high. With all bottles hitting the top end of their current market value. Demand for aged, classic era, sherry matured Macallan still seems insatiable. The 1971 34 year old Bowmore was another bottling which could be picked up for sub £1000 for a number of years, nice to see these amazing bottlings getting a little more recognition these days with the latest example finishing up at an impressive £1900. Although, given the demand for other similar quality Bowmores, I suspect this bottle will still have some way to go over the coming years.

Speaking of Bowmore, the 1961-1973 example by Berry Brothers is another of those bottles that no one really knew about until one got opened a few years back and tasted by some whisky friends and subsequently written about. Bottles back then used to change hands for less than £200 – this latest one sold for £1700! If you’ve taste the liquid however, it’s not too hard to see why. Not unlike the 30 year old Sea Dragon Bowmore which continues to be in high demand, finishing up last night at £1250

Staying on Islay it seems any Lagavulin with a bit of age can command serious money. Four bottles of the Syndicate 38 year old bottling – the oldest known bottling of Lagavulin – fetched between £1500-1550 each. This is another bottle which seems destined to fly higher in price in the coming years.

Other notable high end results were the Lochside 1966 Celtic Heartlands bottling for £1300 – these old 60s Lochside single malts are really starting to pick up serious – and deserved – attention. The Longmorn 1969 Gordon & MacPhail CASK edition for £925. Again, anyone who has tasted these bottlings will ‘get it’. And speaking of whiskies which are starting to gain overdue recognition, the Glen Elgin 15 year old Manager’s Dram hit an impressive £875. This bottling could be snapped up for £200-300 for a long time and has only recently started to ascent to new heights. Similarly the Aberfeldy and Oban Bicentenary Manager’s Drams both fetched £600 each – very healthy results for these bottles. Even the Oban 19 year old at £420 was a stronger than usual result. Could we be on the cusp of a new trading level for the older Manager’s Dram bottlings?

Midleton continue its collectable march with the 1985 release fetching a cool £775. Similarly the 1970 Bruichladdich impressed with a £725 hammer price – another step higher for this one, how long before it hits the four figure mark? It’s often said that dark  whisky is alluring and, in the case of the Cadenhead white label 1979 Springbank, it isn’t hard to see why it’s deep hue would have contributed to its £725 hammer price.

Another type of bottling that is seeing renewed interest these days are the old, legendary blends. Particularly brands such as Logan’s which are, like White Horse and Mackie’s, known to contain significant amounts of Lagavulin and Malt Mill. This beautiful 1950s example fetched a deserved £675. Macallan madness doesn’t also manifest in the official bottlings, you may not think a 1988 26 year old Macallan by Douglas Laing merited a hammer price of £600, but someone else certainly did.

A Laphroaig 10 year old from the 1980s fetched £550, even with a low filling level. As understanding of just how special these bottlings are spreads, the prices only seem to solidify.

Going through the rest of the £100-500 range of the sale the prices were by and large towards the upper end of market value for most bottles. There were a few slightly juicer bargains. The Ord 16 year old Manager’s Dram seemed to buck the trend of the other bottles form this series in the sale selling for £370, which is a tad softer than other recent results. The Ord 30 year old 2005 special release also still looks like good value at £300 considering what a stellar whisky it is. Likewise a litre of 12 year old Highland Park from the 1980s for £185 also seemed like a pretty quaffable price.

Otherwise though, there were slim pickings for bargain hunters. It seems one of the key aspects of today’s secondary whisky market is proliferation of knowledge has all but dried up bargains. Almost everything seems to fetch its consistent value these days. A great thing if you’re a seller; frustrating if you’re a buyer – especially one looking to buy to drink. Still, a buyout market also means a plentiful and regular supply of juicy bottles. So, until next month…

Next Auction Starts Wednesday 22nd November

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

Our valuers Wayne and Harrison will also be on the road this month offering FREE personal home collections. If you have any whiskies you would like to have collected or simply want to discuss how our auctions works, please feel free to call us on 01253 620376 and we’ll happily assist. Please note personal collections are subject to availability and of course we have to make them economical.

London Area – Wednesday 8th November
Scotland Area – Wednesday 15th – 16th November

 Get in touch & Book Your Free Collection
Call: 01253 620 376 | Mobile: 07767 22 22 00
Email: auctions@whisky-online. com

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September Auction Results 2017

Cast your mind back, if you will, to July and recall how we all gawped at two casks of 1993 Macallan upon which the hammer finally fell at £55,900 and £52,600. Madness we cried. Well, last night a similar pair of casks fetched £90,600 and £82,100 a piece (although Cask 2317 would currently yield 65 more bottles than Cask 2316, quality prevailed over quantity). What are we to make of this? Appetite is clearly through the roof, not just for possessing great old bottles, but also for having your own bottling from a legendary distillery – even if it isn’t official. Some will decry it as madness, others will say it is a natural function of supply and demand with ever-dwindling supply. About the only thing we can all agree on, I suspect, is: if you’ve also got a privately owned cask of mature Macallan slumbering away in a bond somewhere, perhaps now might be the time to think about doing something with it…

auction cask resultsAnd all this before we get onto the fact that a barrel of 1990 Littlemill fetched £31,100. This seems a little more manageable in the light of the Macallan results and the fact that this liquid is of significant age from a closed distillery makes this result seems just slightly more realistic. Still, suddenly owning your own cask of whisky suddenly seems like retrospectively a great idea in the 1990s.

Bowmore trilogy 1964Onto the bottles (will this become a regular thing to write in the second or third paragraphs of these reports in future?). A full set of the Bowmore ‘colours’ trilogy hit an impressive £30,100 – or about £10k a piece which is sturdy upper market value. This was followed by the Macallan 1946 – a bottle which was selling for £6000-8000 not so long ago – at £12,100. As we’ve said before in these reports, where will such bottles end up eventually? Is there a peak for such whiskies? Perhaps the most striking results were the Clynelish 1965 Corti Brothers bottling for £8100. A bundle of these turned up in America last year and already this is around double its recent retail price. The power of an immense reputation and legendary distillate still goes an exceptionally long way in today’s market. Similarly, the Glenury Royal 50-year-old selling for £8100 was quite flabbergasting. This was pretty much a retail price for this bottle given that the previous best result was with us in February this year for £4100. This is likely a spike but it does suggest this beautiful and often overlooked bottle will soon be trading at a new high.

The following run of Macallans were all at upper current market value and showed no signs of the thirst for these old sherried beauties diminishing. It was good to see the Caol Ila 15 Manager’s Dram continue its ever skyward trudge finishing at £2800 on this occasion, just a hair under the £3000 we achieved for another in September. Although, considering that almost all the legendary peat/sherry bottlings are now starting to sail past the £6000 mark, does this make the Caol Ila begin to seem a bit cheaper by comparison?

One surprise from Macallan was the Easter Elchies 2008 edition hitting a mighty £2800. While this is a great dram, it isn’t in the same league liquid wise as the old Campbell Hope & King bottlings. It goes to show that with Macallan, so much of it is about the name and about collectability. And its popularity with the deeply pocketed.

A pair of Sherriff’s Bowmore’s finished up at £2150 and £2050 a piece which is the first time these bottlings have gone past the £2000 mark. Demand for these old rarities and examples of legendary liquid seems insatiable at the moment. Although, it’s important to remember this is no doubt helped by a weak pound as well. A good time to sell if you’re in the UK and have these kinds of bottles no doubt.

There were further healthy results for a Glenfiddich 1976 Concorde edition at £1800 and a single cask 1954 Mortlach by Gordon & MacPhail for £1750. The Lagavulin 38-year-old Syndicate bottlings look reasonable around the £1500 mark for now, but I bet you anything they won’t stay at that level for long. The Ainslie’s King’s Legend 1940s bottling showed it isn’t just malts that can fetch crazy prices these days, legendary blends are attracting serious attention as well with this beautifully preserved example all the way up at £1400.

Dalmore got a look in as well with a 1981 Amoroso Sherry Finish ending up at an impressive £1300 – it seems Dalmore still has plenty of admirers out there. The Springbank 12-year-old 1990s 100 proof edition is another bottle which only seems to go from strength to strength off the back of its legendary liquid with this one hitting £1250.

Around the £1000 mark, there were a number of notable results. Including the Brora 1972 Connoisseur’s Choice which hit £1000 for the first time. The Glenfiddich 1978 34-year-old also hit the four-figure threshold. As did the Laphroaig Cairdeas 30-year-old, a bottling which has kind of crept up under the radar over the past couple of years and is now seemingly outflanking the original 30-year-old. One of the more curious bottles at the £1000 mark was the Jameson 7 year old from the 1930s, it seems appetite for Irish Whiskey is still going strong.

Talisker auction results

The rare pair of Talisker 8-year-olds from the late 1960s were two of the more interesting bottles this auction. The clear glass one hit an unsurprising £925 – being the rarer of the two variants – while the green glass one hit £700 – both solid results for beautiful bottles. Another interesting result at this level was the Lagavulin 15-year-old White Horse ceramic at £875. These have long been around the £300-400 mark and represented great value considering how stunning the whisky is. Speaking of White Horse, there was a great spread of these bottles in this auction with the 1940s example hitting the high of £925 while other examples followed at £825 and £775. Again these old legendary blends build around famous distilleries such as Lagavulin are understandably becoming more and more desirable.

There were literally too many bottles in this auction to talk about. So a few more highlights is all we really have space and time for. A 1990s Macallan As We Get It for £625 shows any sherried Macallan seems to be guaranteed a high price these days. £525 for an Edradour 30-year-old shows that even lesser regarded distilleries still have gems which can be keenly fought over. And even brand new distilleries can drive people a little crazy with the Wolfburn first release hitting £380.

I always like to try and highlight a few bargains in these sales and there were one or two. The Jura 1966 Signatory for £650 seems a fair price considering this liquid’s reputation. The Stuart’s Rare Old 27-year-old from the 1960s at £350 seems a bargain. But then, in a sale often dominated by amazing old blends, it seems unsurprising that one or two might slip through. The same could be said of the two 1930s Hanky Bannisters for £230 and £145. And the Talisker 30-year-old 2006 edition for £240 is an utter bargain. But really there were slim pickings on this front. By and large, this was a sale which on confirmed and cemented the stratospheric prices which whiskies – and other great spirits – are achieving across the board just now. Will it last? That remains to be seen. For now though, you could do a lot worse than be a seller in this market.

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Next Auction Starts Wednesday 25th October

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

Our valuers Wayne and Harrison will also be on the road this month offering FREE personal home collections. If you have any whiskies you would like to have collected or simply want to discuss how our auctions works, please feel free to call us on 01253 620376 and we’ll happily assist. Please note personal collections are subject to availability and of course we have to make them economical.

London Area – Wednesday 11th October
Scotland Area – Wednesday 18th – 19th October

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

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July 2017 Auction Results

Top three Auction Results July 2017

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

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

Auction Results - Brora 1972 Rare Malts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Whisky Auction Bottle Highlights

Next Auction Starts Wednesday 30th August

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

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Call: 01253 620 376 | Mobile: 07767 22 22 00
Email: auctions@whisky-online. com

 

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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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