Here are my highlights from our March Whisky & Spirits auction.
Macallan once again dominated much of the upper end of the auction including taking this month’s top lot, The Macallan 40 Year Old Red Collection, that fetched a hammer price of £20500. There was plenty of interest in The Macallan James Bond Decades Collection with each of the six releases available in the auction including a complete set that sold for £10,000. Individual bottles sold for between £1200 and £2600.
Reviving a decades-old tradition of spirits being bottled exclusively for the Savoy’s world-famous bar, this bottle of Macallan 21 Year Old, one of only 121 bottled by Speciality Drinks as part of the Savoy Collection, sold for £2500.
Besides Macallan, there were a number of stunning bottles from other highly sought after distilleries. From a Highland collectors’ favourite, The Dalmore 45 Year Old, one of only 500 bottles released in 2018, sold for £8000. This Bowmore 1965 Full Strength fetched £4300 and a Bowmore Bicentenary 1779-1979 decanter sold for £2500.
The deliciously dark Glenfarclas 1957 Family Cask sold for £4000 while, at a year its junior, this decanter of Glenfarclas 1958 40 Year Old bottled by Signatory Vintage and presented in a wooden case with matching miniature saw a winning bid of £1600. From fellow indie bottler Douglas Laing’s Old Malt Cask range, this Brora 1971 29 Year Old bottled at cask strength, sold for £3600.
This auction was notable for its beautiful old blends in superb condition for their age such as this White Horse Spring Cap bottle from the 1960s with its original box that fetched £360 and this King George IV Spring Cap from the 1950s (sold for £250). A half bottle of White Horse bottled in 1955 fetched £240 while an older 1940s Haig Gold Label, also in impeccable condition, sold for £190.
Other vintage blend highlights included a 1950s Buchanan’s De Luxe Spring Cap with original box (£120), a 1960s Ballantine’s Finest (£110) and a pair of Haig’s Dimple Spring Cap bottles from the 1950s fetching £95 each. The lesser-seen Buchanan’s Black & White Extra Light, bottled in the 1960s and distributed in the USA by the Fleischmann Distilling Corporation, fetched a hammer price of £360.
The top blend of the night however, went to a more modern release in the distinctive shape of the Dewar’s 1893 Legacy Collection (sold for £3200). Presented in a crystal decanter mounted with a design inspired by a Scottish Dirk (dagger) decorated with silver, gold and sapphire highlights. The blend contains 20 long-aged whiskies from Aberfeldy and Royal Brackla Distilleries among others. Bottled in 2013, this was the first edition in the Legacy Collection series celebrating the first grant of a Royal Warrant by Queen Victoria in 1893.
We had Green Chartreuse spanning the 1950s to the 2000s. A couple of Chartreuse Green dating from between 1956 and 1964 fetched £800 and £700 each, while a Chartreuse Green ‘Le Cabochon’, produced only briefly in the mid 1960s, sold for £500.
There was continued growth in prices for vintage liqueurs, particularly dating from the 1950s and 1960s. This litre of 1960s Campari fetched £220 and this Suze Gentiane sold for £150. Fernet Branca also saw strong prices with 1950s bottles fetching around £200 each and 1960s-1970s bottlings fetching in the region of £100 each.