In my role as the Whisky.Auction valuer my job is to track prices and trends and so our October sale was particularly exciting from my point of of view. The auction showed particularly impressive results and we can see the continuation of some growing trends. So, here are a few of my personal highlights.
Once again Macallan adopted its familiar place at the head of our auction results. This month’s top lot was The Macallan distilled in 1951. This expression is a precursor to The Macallan Fine & Rare series and finished the auction at £19,000. The auction was a rare chance for collectors to battle over this rare creamy-yellow labelled version (rather than the more common creamy-white label that went to market), one of only a handful of bottles that were gifted to VIPs when the edition was first launched.
The Macallan Distil Your World London Edition has now become a regular at our auctions despite its scarcity, being bottled exclusively for the London on trade, once again it broke into five figures and sold for £10,400.
The continued and growing interest in vintage cocktails has seen yet another increase in prices at auction for popular cocktail ingredients. In the October sale, vintage gin continued on an upward trend with a Booth’s gin from 1965 selling for a record £200 while five bottles of the ever popular Gordon’s gin from the 1950s sold for £190 to £200. The graph I’m including here shows the auction price history for Booth’s gins that were bottled in the 1960s with this particular type of closure. Note how prices have been relatively stable for the last few years despite some fluctuations but we’ve now seen a uptick in a direction that we predict will continue.
As old and rare bottles continue to increase in price focus for investment has spread and prices for more recent bottlings from certain distilleries continue to grow. We witnessed a new record auction price for 1980s Clynelish 12 Year Old bottled at 57% ABV when it sold for £2,500. This Bowmore 25 Year Old bottled in the 1990s fetched £775 and a one litre bottle of The Macallan 12 Year Old bottled in the early 2000s sold for £625.
It’s not just the ancient bottles that do well. A far more recent whisky to hit new highs was the inaugural limited edition first release from Bimber, which reached a spectacular record £1,300.