Who says August is a quiet month? Nothing tackles the August myth more than a look at our August auction results for Japanese whisky. Karuizawa 37 Year Old Pearl Geisha stole the show with a hammer price of £20500. Karuizawa 38 Year Old Pearl Geisha came in at £13600, meanwhile the Karuizawa 1984 Cask #3663 hit £3100 with Hibiki 30 Year Old Kacho Fugetsu also at £3100. Two other notable results from Japan were Hibiki 30 Year Old Gold Label which finished at £2800 and the Chichibu 2009 White Wine Cask #2369 which reached £1950.
The Macallan 1957 Rinaldi 25th Anniversary reached a hammer price of £5000. The Macallan 30 Year Old Sherry Oak (Blue Box) finished up at £4800 and The Macallan 1954 Campbell, Hope & King came in at £4200. The Macallan Diamond Jubilee 2012 reached £3700.
Rosebank 21 Year Old Roses Edition 1, True Love reached an impressive £4800, the highest ever achieved at auction for this bottle. Rosebank 21 Year Old Roses Edition 2 and Edition 3 ended at £1750 and £1550 respectively.
Glen Grant 65 Year Old 1950 bottled by Wealth Solutions finished at £4200, while Springbank 35 Year Old, part of the Millennium Set, ended at £3200. Talisker 1973 28 Year Old showed well at £2200.
American whiskeys were equally strong; Michter’s 25 Year Old Single Barrel Straight Rye finished up at £5200, whilst a 1990s bottling of Old Charter 13 Year Old Proprietor’s Reserve achieved a hammer price of £360.
Away from whisky, Hennessy Timeless Cognac finished at £4200 and Richard Hennessy ended up at £2500. The Royal Navy Rum Flagon from 1976 achieved a hammer price of £1900 and Chartreuse Yellow bottled between 1941 and 1951 ended at £1350.
Karuizawa 37 Year Old Cask #4056, Pearl Geisha – Elixir Distillers
A bottle of Karuizawa 37 Year Old, one of a pair of Pearl Geishas released in 2018. This sherry-aged malt was distilled in the early 1980s and bottled by Elixir Distillers exclusively for The Whisky Exchange. Each bottle in the pair has complementary labels designed by The Whisky Exchange’s creative director Raj Chavda and are presented in individual wooden cases.
This is bottle number 22 of 71; this was bottled from cask number 4056.
Karuizawa was founded in 1955 and was Japan’s smallest whisky distillery. In 1959, it became the first Japanese distillery to export whisky overseas. Karuizawa distillery stopped production in 2000 and closed definitively in 2011.
Winning bid £20,500
Michter’s 25 Year Old Single Barrel Straight Rye
A bottle of Michter’s 25 Year Old Single Barrel Straight Rye Whiskey. This was matured in new charred American white oak barrels.
This is bottle number 87 of 106; it was bottled from barrel number 14L719.
Winning bid £5,200
Macallan 1957 Handwritten Label, Bottled 1982 – Rinaldi 25th Anniversary
A bottle of The Macallan 1957, bottled in 1982 for Rinaldi to celebrate the Italian importer’s 25th anniversary. This bottle has a handwritten label and is presented in a wooden box with a certificate of authenticity.
Winning bid £5,000
Rosebank 21 Year Old, Rosebank Roses Edition I – True Love
A bottle of Rosebank 21 Year Old, bottled by Speciality Drinks Ltd. This release, True Love, is the first edition in the Rosebank Roses series.
This is one of 498 bottles.
Rosebank was a Lowland distillery that operated on the same site from 1840 until it was mothballed in 1993. The whisky produced there typified the light, floral Lowland style, and like some of its neighbours, the whisky was triple-distilled. Jim Murray (Whisky Bible) maintained that Rosebank should be ranked in the top 5 of all Scottish malts.
Winning bid £4,800
Glen Grant 1950 Single Cask, 65 Year Old – Wealth Solutions
A bottle of Glen Grant 65 Year Old, exclusively bottled for Polish company Wealth Solutions. This was distilled in 1950, matured in a single American white oak cask (which was likely first used to transport sherry to the UK), and bottled on 14 October 2015 by Gordon & MacPhail. This is presented in a numbered decanter with stopper in a round wooden box. The booklet details the history of Glen Grant distillery, as well as independent bottler Gordon & MacPhail and Wealth Solutions.
This is bottle number 57 of 218; it was bottled from cask number 2747.
Winning bid £4,200
Hennessy Timeless, Baccarat Crystal Decanter
A bottle of Hennessy Timeless Cognac, presented in a Baccarat Crystal decanter.
Hennessy Timeless was created in 1999 to showcase the company’s past and look forward to the future promised by the new Millennium.
The Timeless expression is a blend of 11 vintages dating back to the start of the 20th century: 1900, 1918, 1929, 1939, 1947, 1953, 1959, 1961, 1970, 1983 and 1990, each of which were deemed exceptional from the day they entered the Hennessy cellars.
This is bottle number 1377 of 2000.
Winning bid £4,200
Bowmore 1966 Cask #3315, 40 Year Old – Duncan Taylor
A bottle of Bowmore 40 Year Old from independent bottler Duncan Taylor. This was distilled in May 1966 and bottled from a single cask in August 2006. This bottle comes in a presentation box.
This is bottle number 112 of 153; it was bottled from cask number 3315.
Bowmore started distilling in 1779, though there is no evidence of whisky production until John Simpson was granted a licence to distil in 1816. The distillery passed through several hands, and even supplied a cask to Windsor Castle, before it was purchased by perhaps its most famous owner, Stanley P Morrison, in 1963. Bowmore maintains its own floor maltings which supply 40% of its barley, and is known for its medium-peated character. The whisky is left to mature in the No.1 Vaults, which is said to inhabit a unique microclimate, perfect for long periods of maturation.
Winning bid £3,200
Springbank 35 Year Old, Millennium Set
A bottle of Springbank 35 Year Old, bottled as part of the Millennium series. This was originally sold as part of a set which included whiskies ranging from 25 to 50 years old.
Springbank is a family-owned Campbeltown distillery, founded in 1828. The complete process of whisky production is carried out on site, from malting the barley to bottling the whisky. Today, it is one of only three distilleries remaining in Campbeltown.
Winning bid £3,200
Hibiki 30 Year Old, Kagami Crystal
A bottle of Hibiki 30 Year Old blended Japanese whisky. This is a critically acclaimed blend from Suntory and is presented in a Kagami crystal decanter.
Winning bid £3,100
Remy Martin Louis XIII Cognac, Baccarat Crystal – Bottled 1990s
A bottle of Rémy Martin Louis XIII Cognac, presented in a Baccarat crystal decanter with stopper. This is composed of Grande Champagne eaux-de-vie aged between 40 and 100 years. We estimate this was bottled in the 1990s.
This is bottle number CR 8338.
Winning bid £2,700
A limited edition bottle of Talisker 28 Year Old single malt Scotch whisky from the Isle of Skye. This was distilled in 1973, matured in a single cask and bottled at a natural cask strength of 43.3% ABV. This bottling was originally released through UK off-licence chain Oddbins.
This is bottle number 34 of 100; it was bottled from cask number 4633.
Talisker was founded in 1830 by Hugh MacAskill and is the oldest distillery on the Isle of Skye. The Scottish poet Robert Louis Stevenson described it as ‘the king o’ drinks’, and it is known for its powerful peat smoke and maritime character.
Winning bid £2,200