We take a look at some of the highlights from our August auction.
Our August auction was full of rare whiskies and saw plenty of competitive bidding over the course of the evening. The top lot title went to the iconic Bowmore 1964 Black Bowmore 2nd Edition which achieved a hammer price of £12,000. In late 1963 to 1964, Bowmore’s stills were converted from direct coal firing to indirect steam firing, and this bottling comes from the first distillation following the conversion. The spirit was filled into oloroso sherry casks and matured for 30 years below sea level in the distillery vaults, before bottling at 50% ABV in 1994. Another 1960s Islay distillate that did well this auction was this Laphroaig 1960 Vintage Reserve, one of only 300 bottled for retailer Oddbins and labelled with the distillation year. It sold for £5,400.
Moving from Islay to Orkney, we had two rarely seen bottles of Highland Park bottled by Gordon & MacPhail in the 1970s. The Highland Park 100 Proof saw the longest bidding battle of the auction and sold in the end for an impressive £4,500. Its partner, the Highland Park 75 Proof sold for £2,200.
From the discontinued Diageo Rare Malts Selection, this Brora 1972 22 Year Old that was the subject of competitive bidding and achieved a hammer price of £6,400. We had not one but four bottles of Glendronach 1968 25 Year Old, three of which were limited edition single casks bottled for All Nippon Airways. These fetched between £2,200 to £3,100.
We couldn’t get through a roundup without mentioning Macallan, and as usual there was plenty to choose from in the auction. The top results went to this Macallan Diamond Jubilee 2012 (sold for £9,000) and this more unusual Macallan 1989 31 Year Old matured in a single hogshead for 29 years before being finished in a Japanese Mizunara Oak cask (sold for £7,800).
Some superb Scotch Malt Whisky Society bottles went under the hammer this month featuring single malts from across the length and breadth of Scotland as well as liquid from some closed distilleries. Amongst the top performers were such rarities as this enticingly titled SMWS 61.12 Honey Porridge, Peat and Iodine, a 25 year old Brora distilled in 1977, that fetched £2,200, and this SMWS 17.25 Scapa 1965 37 Year Old, ending on a hammer price of £1,950. Other delicious sounding titles included SMWS 103.12 Caramel and Eucalyptus, a Royal Lochnagar 1972 30 year old (sold for £775), SMWS 66.214 Creme Brule and Tire Brulee, an Ardmore 1977 25 Year Old (sold for £700) and SMWS 25.31 Strawberry Sherbert, an 11 year old Rosebank distilled in 1992 (sold for £625).
The auction also saw plenty of interest in the premium Cognacs on offer with some impressive prices achieved by bottles such as this beautifully presented decanter of Frapin Cuvee 1888 Cognac (sold for £2,800), an expression containing brandies distilled before 1888, the year Frapin achieved a gold medal at the world fair in Paris. Following closely behind with a hammer price of £2,600 was this equally impressively presented Lalique decanter of Courvoisier L’Esprit De Cognac, containing eaux-de-vie up to 200 years old with the youngest element in the blend distilled in the 1930s. One of the most intense bidding battles of the evening was for this Lheraud 1906 Grande Champagne Cognac, bottled for the Ritz hotel in London, which eventually concluded on a hammer price of £3,200.
Finally, a deserving of a mention a great result for this Albion 1983 Full Proof Demerara Rum, matured for 25 years and bottled by Velier which sold for £2,800.