Our first auction of the year saw some impressive prices across all categories. Here are some of the highlights.
New year, and Macallan continues to feature strongly at auction. This month saw a wide range of Macallans going under the hammer and some impressive results. We had not one, but two bottles of the sought after Macallan ‘Handwritten Label’ distilled in 1938 bottled in the 1980s. Both bottles saw competitive bidding at the close of the auction with one finishing as our top lot at £12,600. Also attracting considerable interest was the Ralph Steadman designed Macallan Private Eye released in 1996 to celebrate the 35th anniversary of satirical news magazine Private Eye. This lot was listed with a copy of the Macallan sponsored Private Eye Times published by The National Portrait Gallery to accompany their exhibition celebrating the magazine’s anniversary.
Other Macallan highlights include a Macallan Folio 5 which sold for £1800 continuing the trend of rising prices for the bottles in this series and a 1970s bottling of Macallan 10 Year Old 100 Proof that saw a long running bidding battle which eventually ended at a record £3,300.
The regions were well represented with 30 year old official distillery releases available from across Islay, Speyside, the Highlands and Islands. A rare single cask Glenlochy 1963 30 Year Old from Signatory vintage fetched £1,650. No official bottlings were ever released during the lifetime of this now silent distillery so indie bottlings can provide a rare chance to sample this spirit. Among the official distillery bottlings available were collectors favourites such as the Laphroaig 30 Year Old, originally released in the early 2000s and a truly delicious dram awarded 93 points on WhiskyFun, and the Talisker 30 Year Old from Diageo’s 2006 range of Special Releases. Released at cask strength of 51.9% this provides an interesting contrast to Talisker’s usual standard 45.8% abv 30 Year Old.
Older whisky is no guarantee of better whisky but for any collectors interested in mature whiskies the auction featured some truly excellent vintage malts. Among these were a couple of excellent single cask bottlings from Signatory Vintage, including an enticing, heavily sherried Glenfarclas 1959 bottled at 34 years of age which sold for £1,650. A bottle of Balvenie 40 Year Old Batch 7 attracted plenty of admirers and bidding concluded at £3000.
Looking beyond whisky, we saw some spirited bidding in other categories. Two bottles of Kweichow Moutai 50 Year Old Baijiu finished with impressive hammer prices beyond £3000. In the Cognac section were two bottles of 1865 Bisquit Dubouche bottled in the 1930s bottled exclusively for the UK market, which fetched £2,100 and £1,850. Perhaps the longest bidding war of the evening was for a hotly contested rarely seen bottle of limited edition Tapatio 10 year old Diamante Anejo Tequila that eventually sold for £1800. This was the final Tequila made under the command of Master Distiller Don Felipe Camarena for the distillery’s 75th anniversary in 2012 and is one of only 75 bottles produced.