Our September auction had no shortage of amazing bottles, some very rare and unique indeed. Here’s a look at some of the highlights.
Part of this month’s sale included some incredible bottles kindly donated to raise funds for The Maclean Foundation. Set up by renowned whisky expert Charles Maclean MBE and his sons, Ewan, Jamie and Lachlan, the charity aids the provision of clean water around the world, with their initial focus on the island of Madagascar.
Among the very generous donations was our top lot in the auction, this Karuizawa Omoiyari, that fetched an incredible £26,000. One of only six bottles produced, the Omoiyari takes its name from the Japanese custom of being caring, considerate and compassionate towards the needs of others, a fitting bottle to lead the way for the charity auction.
Even rarer, were these two bottles of Port Ellen 1979 Casks 3847 & 3906, both one of one bottlings. These unique bottles fetched a hammer price of £5,200.
Among the other generously donated charity lots were this Chichibu 2010 Cask #1000 Mizunara Hogshead that sold for £2,600, a Macallan 12 Year Old Sherry Oak En Primeur (sold for £1,900), privately bottled for The Whisky Couple – Hans and Becky Offringa, and a Port Ellen 1977 35 Year Old Old & Rare Platinum Selection (£2,100).
One lucky bidder won an entire Instant Scotch Whisky Library, containing 40 books, many of which were signed first editions donated by the authors, to enjoy expanding their whisky knowledge. The library sold for £1,050.
Mature whiskies were in abundance in the auction with lots of 30 plus year old whiskies available to bid on. This Bowmore Black 1964 Final Edition, matured for 31 years, sold for £9,200. Also from Islay and containing liquid from one of the final single cask batches before the distillery closed, this Port Ellen 1983 38 Year Old sold for £3,400. Skipping across the water to it’s close neighbour, this Isle of Jura 1966 40 Year Old, one of only 98 bottles produced, fetched £3,500.
From Speyside was this Balvenie 1968 32 Year Old Vintage Cask, sold for £3,100, and a deliciously dark and enticing Strathisla 1969 32 Year Old SMWS 58.5 bottled by The Scotch Malt Whisky Society and fetching a hammer price of £2,200. A Macallan Glenlivet 1940 37 Year Old bottled for the Italian market sold for £3,700.
Closely following the Karuizawa Omoiyari with a winning bid of £25,000 was a bottle of Yamazaki Junshin. Blended by Suntory’s Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo as a tribute to Master Blender Richard Paterson, the blend contains six Yamazaki whiskies, with the oldest being a 1960 62 year old.
There were two Karuizawa bottlings from the Noh series, a Karuizawa Noh 1977 32 Year Old #4592 (sold for £10,000) and a Karuizawa Noh 1983 28 Year Old #7576 (sold for £7,600) as well as a Hanyu Ichiro’s Malt The Joker that ended the auction on £3,500.
This month’s Cognac category was also filled with an array of decadent decanters and intriguing vintage bottles. This Courvoisier Heritage De Louis Renard Cognac took the lead with a hammer price of £3,600. The stunning Baccarat Crystal decanter, one of only 50 produced, contains an exceptionally rare blend of Paradis Cognacs distilled between 1869 and 1914.
Also presented in a gorgeous crystal decanter, symbolising the royal crown worn by Francis I, was this Otard Collection du Roi Cuvee No.3. The decanter sold for £2,400 and contains some of the oldest eaux-de-vie from the Chateau Royal de Cognac. There were numerous other decanters available from the likes of Hennessy and Remy Martin for anyone looking to add an extra touch of decadence to their drinks cabinet.
The regular bottles of Cognac were not to be overlooked next to the flashier presentation of the decanters. Among them were some gems containing some very old Cognac such as this Courvoisier 60 Year Old bottled in the 1950s and sold for £380, and this Augier Freres 1906 Cognac that sold for £490.
There were some strong results for Irish whiskeys in the auction with a Midleton Very Rare 1988 reaching £10,400 despite a slightly low fill level, and a Midleton Very Rare 1991 which smashed previous auction records with a hammer price of £4,600. One of the most fought for bottles seeing plenty of late bidding was a 35cl bottle of John Jameson & Sons Redbreast 12 Year Old bottled in the 1940s, which ended on £1,400.
Chartreuse continues to show strong results with a variety of bottles leading the Liqueurs category. This Chartreuse Yellow bottled between 1912-1913 in Tarragona sold for £2,600, a Chartreuse Green bottled between 1941-1951 fetched £1,600, and a number of Chartreuse both Green and Yellow ranging from 1956 to 1985 sold for between £775 and £825 a piece.
Finally, we always love cracking open a dusty old crate and we had one this month in the shape of this pair of Royal Navy Rum Flagons, still well preserved in their original case. These sold for £2,600.