We take a look at some of the highlights from our October Whisky & Spirits Auction.
The star lots of the sale undoubtedly were the fine selection of Karuizawa Splendid Age Series, all distilled in 1981, matured in a single cask and bottled at cask strength at 35 years of age. These beautifully presented bottles would make an impressive display on any whisky collectors shelf and each sold for between £20,500 and £21,500.
From the same distillery, was the Karuizawa 1999-2000 1st to 4th batch, selling for £3,500 each. Yamazaki featured strongly with a number of Yamazaki 25 Year Olds fetching between £6,400 and £7,000 as well as continued strong showings for the Yamazaki 18 Year Old and a hammer price of £1,050 for the Yamazaki Bordeaux Wine Cask 2020 Edition.
Fairy Tales and Scary Tales
Bottles rarely seen outside of Asia were again in this month’s auction. The whiskies, independently bottled by Bar Qing and with striking labels designed by local artist Katy Ku, typically sell out within a day of release. The bottles available in the auction included a selection of single cask editions from the Fairy Tales series and the first couple of releases from the Scary Tales series.
The Highland 36 Year Old features a label inspired by Alice in Wonderland, sold for £850, while the Bowmore 23 Year Old ended the sale with a hammer price of £430. The Dracula inspired Bruichladdich 29 Year Old fetched £360.
You can read more about the ideas behind the series in our recent magazine article, including an interview with Bar Qing owner Aaron Chan.
There were four bottles of vintage Chartreuse in the auction spanning five decades between the 1940s and the 1980s. These saw plenty of interest with a flurry of late bidding. Chartreuse Green, bottled between 1941 and 1951 fetched a hammer price of £1,900 and Chartreuse Yellow (bottled 1956-1964) finished on £1,850. Chartreuse Green (bottled 1964-1966), which features the embossed coat of arms, known as ‘Le Cabochon’ in France and ‘El Gruno’ in Spain, sold for £1,600.
Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Rare and collectable malts included the long-aged Dalmore Constellation 1979 33 Year Old (sold for£6,200), Dalmore Astrum 40 Year old (£3,700) and Glenfiddich 40 Year Old from its Old and Rare Collection (£2,700). Glenfarclas 1959 Family Cask, bottled in 2015, sold for £4,000 and a similarly delicious Glenfarclas 1961 Family Cask sold for £2,500.
As for peatier whiskies, Laphroaig attracted plenty of interest. Laphroaig 10 Year Old, bottled in the 1970s fetched £2,400, the independent bottled Laphroaig 1967 28 Year Old First Cask sold for £1,650 and Laphroaig 26 Year Old 1968 from Hart Brothers sold for £1,300.
Independent bottlings, particularly from Direct Wines’ First Cask series, of which 50 bottles were on offer, and Scotch Malt Whisky Society, provided whiskies for bidders of all tastes and budgets.
The biggest bottle in the auction was no less than 4.5 litres of Ardbeg Rollercoaster Committee 10th Anniversary, which sold for £3,500.