Sukhinder Singh is putting part of his miniatures collection, including some very rare examples of early bottlings, up for auction in our #massivemini sale ending Tuesday 24 August 2021.
Sukhinder will be selling 400 miniatures from his collection amassed over several decades to match the standard size bottles he also owns. The majority of the miniatures are single malt or blended Scotch, but there are also some spectacular gin, Cognac and rum lots too.
We used this opportunity to ask him a few questions…
First of all, tell us a little about your miniature whisky collection.
I started collecting miniatures over 35 years ago, back in the early 2000s I had around 5000 different single malt miniatures.
My interest started changing from miniatures to bottles and I decided to sell most of my collection to concentrate on old and rare bottles of malt.
I sold 98% of the collection to a gentleman who was setting up a museum in Norway where I believe they are now displayed in a restaurant/bar. I did not fully lose my interest in miniatures and continued collecting by matching minis to bottles I had in my collection. l kept buying super rare miniatures as well as old blends from the early 1900s. Many of the old blend miniatures came from my dear friend David Maund, who resided as the chairman of the UK Mini Bottle Club for over two decades.
I have again decided to thin down my collection of miniatures and from now on I will only collect one miniature from each distillery dating back to as old as possible.
I now have around 100 miniatures that I will be keeping.
The history of our love of miniatures is almost as interesting as the minis themselves. Why do you think people like miniatures?
There are two types of people who buy miniatures, the collector and the drinker.
Miniature collecting has been going on since miniatures began back in the early 1900s. In the early years I remember buying a number of collections from people who had been collecting for over 40 years. What I do like about miniatures is that large collections are easier to display. Each miniature tells a story of the liquid and the distillery.
Over the last five or so years, as prices for bottle of the rarer single malts have increased, more people are looking at miniatures of the same so they can open and try the liquid. In some cases the miniatures seem to work out cheaper by the measure than buying a large bottle.
I’ve been lucky to get a preview of the amazing minis you are selling at auction. What are your personal highlights from the collection?
There are a number of stars including a Glenfiddich Special with its original box that was bottled in the 1940s. A superb Glen Grant Gordon & MacPhail bottled in the 1930s. This is the only known example of a miniature from G&M which I believe was the first they ever bottled.
There are dozens of old blended Scotch whiskies mostly bottled in the 1930s and 1940s. A lot of these were part of the collection of David Maund, he amassed a collection of around 10,000 different scotch whiskies. These minis were some of the best that he owned.
We are seeing demand for miniatures grow. What about you?
At one point some 20 years ago, I thought the hobby would die out as it was difficult and costly to find miniatures from around the world.
Then as the internet became more popular, it was much easier to find fellow enthusiasts and new miniatures. Over the last ten years, the hobby has grown considerably and prices for rarer miniatures now fetch thousands of pounds.