July was a great month for the classics. Bowmore, Macallan, Karuizawa, Laphroaig, Ardbeg, Dalmore and Glenfiddich. The Black Bowmore 1964 42 Year Old smashed its previous best by £4000, albeit was last with us in February 2018. Macallan 40 Year Old prices have held fairly steadily for some time now, and certainly show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
We were delighted to auction Ardbeg 1965 39 Year Old bottled from casks 3678 and 3679. Only 261 bottles were ever released. Prices for these have risen sharply over the last few years and this one, originally allocated to Moet Hennessy Australia, sold for over £10000.
We had our first Karuizawa 1981 Fazzino make its way over from Japan. We’ve seen a few of these turn up on the UK market and the price has softened a little as a result, but as is the way with Karuizawa, this is expected to level out and rise again.
Dalmore has enviable stocks of old whisky and this Dalmore 1966 40 Year Old finished with a strong hammer price of £5800.
Glenfiddich Ultimate 38 Year Old bottled exclusively for the Chinese market sold for £5500 whilst the Laphroaig 1980 Friends of Laphroaig Edition showed strongly, as older Laphroaig in general continues to go from strength to strength with increasing demand. Another dark sherry bomb achieving top prices!
Meanwhile old Royal Navy Rum Flagons remain as popular as ever. Prices for these can fluctuate somewhat depending on condition so the careful bidder can still pick one up to suit any budget. Sticking with rum, Long Pond 1941 bottled by Gordon & MacPhail reached £2500.
Finally, the most famous American whiskey brand, Jack Daniel’s Old No.7 Brand 5 Year Old made 1948, bottled 1955 achieved a hammer price of £3700.
A limited edition bottle of Black Bowmore 1964. This was distilled on 5 November 1964, matured in five oloroso sherry casks for 42 years and bottled at natural cask strength in 2007.
This is bottle number 540 of 827.
The Bowmore distillery underwent an extensive upgrade in late 1963, and this bottling comes from the first distillation following the conversion. This expression is the first in the Trilogy series and was bottled 12 years after the ‘Final Edition’ of Black Bowmore was released in 1995. The Trilogy was completed with a 43 Year Old White Bowmore released in 2008, and a 44 Year Old Gold Bowmore released in 2009.
Winning bid £17,600
A bottle of The Macallan 40 Year Old. This was matured in sherry seasoned Spanish oak casks for a minimum of 40 years and bottled at 45% ABV for release in 2016. The bottle is presented in a wooden case and includes the original outer packaging.
This is bottle number 95 of 500.
Winning bid £14,800
A bottle of Ardbeg 39 Year Old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky. This was distilled in 1965 and bottled from two casks in 2005. This comes in a hand blown bottle with a numbered wax seal, and includes a miniature bottle of the same whisky. This was imported to Australia by Moet Hennessy Australia Pty Limited.
This is bottle number 179 of 261; it was bottled from cask numbers 3678 and 3679.
Ardbeg distillery began producing whisky commercially in 1815 and quickly became a valued fixture in the Islay community, with housing, a school and even a bowling green on the site. The distillery went through tough times in the early 20th century and was acquired by DCL and Hiram Walker in 1959. An increased demand for peated whisky in the 1960s and ’70s saw Ardbeg source malt from nearby Port Ellen, and the late 1970s marked the end of an era of self-sufficiency for the distillery. Mothballed in the 1980s and purchased by Glenmorangie in 1997, today it is part of LVMH. Despite its turbulent history, the distillery maintains a cult following, with over 120000 members of the Ardbeg Committee worldwide.
Winning bid £10,200
A bottle of Karuizawa 35 Year Old. This was distilled in 1981, matured in a single sherry cask and bottled at cask strength in 2017. This comes in a lockable, lacquered presentation case with a pair of keys. The bottle and box were designed by American pop artist Charles Fazzino and feature Japanese winter scenes.
This is one of 505 bottles from cask number 6412.
Karuizawa was founded in 1955 and was Japan’s smallest whisky distillery. In 1959, it became the first distillery to export whisky overseas. Karuizawa distillery stopped production in 2000 and closed for good in 2011.
Winning bid £6,400
A bottle of The Dalmore 40 Year Old. This was distilled on 21 March 1966 and comes in a presentation box with a certificate of authenticity signed by Master Distiller Richard Paterson.
This is bottle number 925 of 1000.
Dalmore distillery was founded in 1839 by Alexander Matheson, and was taken over by the Mackenzie family in 1878. The distillery remained family-owned until 1960, when one of Dalmore’s biggest customers, Whyte & Mackay, took control of the distillery. Always a significant contributor to blends, the 12 year old expression was one of the few single malt bottlings from Dalmore. In recent times, the core range has expanded and luxury expressions such as the Constellation collection (21 vintage malts from 1964 to 1992) were released.
Winning bid £5,800
A bottle of Glenfiddich Ultimate 38 Year Old, exclusively bottled for the Chinese market. This whisky is matured in a combination of American oak barrels and European oak butts, then transferred for a further two months’ maturation in Warehouse number 8. This is presented in a crystal decanter decorated with 24K gold and comes with crystal stopper in a presentation box. The bottling code indicates this was bottled in 2013.
This is bottle number 631. The Glenfiddich Ultimate number on the card is 578.
Winning bid £5,500
A limited edition bottle of Laphroaig 27 Year Old bottled exclusively for the Friends of Laphroaig. This was distilled in 1980, matured in five oloroso sherry casks and selected by Master Blender Robert Hicks and Distillery Manager John Campbell before bottling at cask strength in 2007. This comes with a certificate signed by all the members of Laphroaig distillery staff
This is bottle number 25 of 94.
The label carries a royal warrant by appointment to HRH The Prince of Wales.
Winning bid £4,000
A bottle of Jack Daniel’s Old No.7 Brand 5 Year Old Tennessee whiskey, bottled at 45% ABV. The US tax strip states that this whiskey was made in autumn 1948 and bottled in spring 1955.
Wining bid £3,700