Our April auction featured collectors favourites, rare finds and stunning vintage spirits and liqueurs so here we take a look through some of the highlights.
In anticipation of coming events in the UK, our top lots of the month went to bottles celebrating a large Royal occasion in the shape of two bottles of Macallan Diamond Jubilee 2012, fetching £5,600 and £5,400. Not to be outdone, this Bowmore Bicentenary bottled in 1979 in a hand-blown decanter in celebration of 200 years of distilling at Bowmore sold for a hammer price of £3,000.
Among other highlights were a single cask bottling of Glenugie 1966 30 Year Old from The Bottlers, bottled at cask strength of 62.4% sold for £2,500 and a half bottle of Talisker Pure Malt from the 1960s, with a slightly damaged label but a perfect closure and healthy looking fill level sold for £1,550. Bottled slightly earlier in the 1950s but impeccably preserved, this blended Dewar’s White Label Spring Cap fetched an impressive £350.
There were superb pre-millennium releases such as these 1990s bottlings of Macallan 10 Year Old 100 Proof (sold for £1,550), Lagavulin 16 Year Old White Horse (£380), Bowmore Cask Strength (£280) and Talisker 10 Year Old Map Label (£310). For fans of Campbeltown like myself, these 1990s Springbank 21 Year Old (£825), Springbank 15 Year Old Green Thistle (£430) and Springbank 12 Year Old 100 Proof (£1,700) definitely got my mouth watering.
Amazing vintage rums in the auction included a pair of Royal Navy Rum Flagons, dated 1953 and 1960 respectively. Both were in excellent condition and sold for £1,650 and £1,600. A 1960s bottling of one of the world’s most recognisable rums, a Bacardi Carta Blanca, saw plenty of late bids and eventually settled on a hammer price of £575. Bottled even earlier in the 1940s but still in nearly immaculate condition was this Lemon Hart Rum, featuring a note on the label stating ‘agreed maximum retail price 27/- per bottle’. What was once no more than 27 Shillings sold for £625.
Top Cognac lot this month went to Richard Hennessy in its beautiful Baccarat crystal decanter, selling for £2,500 after a late flurry of bids. There were strong results for a pair of Martell Silver Jubilee Cognacs, fetching £1,500 and £1,450 a piece. These were released to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 1977 and contain a blend of four vintages – 1815, 1906,1914 and 1918.
If you like your Cognac to have a touch of bling there were a couple of bottles from Hennessy’s Exclusive Collection, firstly the Hennessy XO Exclusive Collection I Magnificence decorated with no less than 82 Swarovski crystals and the Hennessy XO Exclusive Collection V, presented in a gold bottle. Both sold for £825.
For fans of more traditional vintage Cognacs, there were early 20th century eaux de vies including this Hine & Co 1934 Cognac (sold for £490) and this Berry Brothers & Co St James Choicest Cognac 1904 (£700) as well as a pair of Croizet Bonaparte Vintage 1914, fetching £360 each.
Continuing its popularity at auction Remy Martin Louis XIII Baccarat Decanters ranging from the 1960s to 1990s fetched between £1,250 and £1,700.
Japan lead the way among the non-scotch whiskies this month with the likes of this Yamazaki 25 Year Old (sold for £5,600), Karuizawa 1981 Cask #152 (£5,200) and Hibiki 30 Year Old (£4,800), but there were plenty of stellar bottles among North American and Irish whiskeys as well.
Midleton was well represented with vintages of Midleton Very Rare from 1990 to 2018 fetching prices as high as £1,450 for the Midleton Very Rare 1991.
Top American whiskeys were an Old Forester 1990 13 Year Old Birthday Bourbon and a Vintage Rye 23 Year Old which both fetched £1,450. From Canada there was a Crown Royal XR, a blend containing some of the final aged whiskies from the iconic Waterloo Distillery, which despite missing it’s red box, sold for £600.
As interest continues to be strong for vintage liqueurs, it’s worth mentioning a few mid 20th century bottles sold in the auction. Topping them was this Chartreuse Green bottled between 1941 and 1951 that fetched £1,250, followed closely by a bottle of Chartreuse Yellow from the same period (sold for £1,200). These litre bottles of Suze Gentiane and Tia Maria Cafe bottled in the 1940s to 1950s fetched £210 each.
See the full auction highlights here.