Whisky Auction Update February 10, 2023
February 10, 2023 –––––– Jonny McCormick
At this week's Sotheby’s New York auction, Lot 1, the Macallan Distil Your World Cask Strength Edition exclusive to Sotheby's, sold today for a hammer price of $200,000 becoming the most expensive bottle of whisky auctioned in 2023 so far. It’s a separate whisky from the main release of 1,000 bottles of Distil Your World New York that came out in April 2022: this one is a single cask expression of one component from that whisky’s recipe. Distilled in 2002 and bottled at 55% ABV, it’s one of only two bottles produced—the other is in the Macallan archive at the distillery. The bottle is being offered by the Macallan, and the winning bidder will receive an invitation to dine at El Celler de Can Roca, Spain, in the bargain. All proceeds from this sale will benefit ChaShaMa, a New York City-based non-profit supporting the arts.
The Sotheby’s auction concludes today, and we'll cover the full results in next week's post. In the meantime, you still have all weekend to pore over what’s on offer at Scotch Whisky Auctions and Irish Whiskey Auctions. If you’ve set your heart on finding a new bottle to fall in love with, then Whisky.Auction’s sale wraps up on Valentine’s Day. Why not make a date with this Rosebank 21 year old Roses Edition I – True Love? It could be love at first sip.
Irish Whiskey Auctions has a bottle of Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Chapter 2 46 year old on the block, as well as a rare bottle of Midleton Very Rare 30th Anniversary Pearl Edition created by then master distiller Brian Nation and master distiller emeritus Barry Crockett. There’s also a hard-to-find bottle of Bushmills 19 year old Grand Cru Cask Finish released for the Chinese market, which should fetch a good price. For Redbreast fans, there is a small number Redbreast Christmas Cake Edition sets on sale, the recent bottling for the Midleton Barrel Club.
Scotch Whisky Auctions has 6,386 lots on offer this month. Take a look at the beautiful dark color of the whisky on the new Laphroaig 1996 single cask distillery exclusive. It was distilled back when Iain Henderson was the distillery manager, and the current distillery manager Barry MacAffer’s signature on the label indicates that he has selected this cask. Few distillery exclusives are available at 25 years or older, so it’s another good reason to keep returning to Islay.
Early February Results
Let’s catch up on results from the first week of February, after our report last week on the 20 highest hammer prices for the month of January. The end of the Whisky Auctioneer sale was the main event, with the highest bids split between scotch and Japanese whisky:
•The seven-bottle set of Karuizawa 1984 30 year old Samurai Collection fetched $60,035, the highest hammer price for Japanese whisky in the auction.
•A Hibiki 35 year old, one of only 150 bottles, sold for $54,031, while Hanyu 1990 Ichiro’s Malt Card Queen of Hearts went for $34,820.
•Bowmore ARC-52, the Islay single malt bottled in collaboration with British luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin and originally released in September 2022 for $75,000, topped the list. Whisky Auctioneer sold decanter No. 10 of 100 for a hammer price of $102,660, earning pride of place as our lot of the week.
There was a lot more on offer for Bowmore fans, with all three bottles of Bowmore Trilogy available in individual lots; Black Bowmore 1964 42 year old and White Bowmore 1964 43 year old fetched $21,913 apiece, while Gold Bowmore 1964 44 year old made $18,911. For drinkers wanting one of the more affordable Bowmore Aston Martin bottlings in this sale, you could have grabbed a Bowmore Aston Martin 10 year old Dark and Intense for as little as $54, a Bowmore Aston Martin 15 year old Golden and Elegant for just $97, and a Bowmore Aston Martin Masters’ Selection 22 year old for $471, while the Bowmore Aston Martin Masters’ Selection 21 year old would have cost you $600.
A number of high-value lots failed to find new owners at Whisky Auctioneer, most notably Dalmore Decades The No. 5 collection, which was on the auction block for the second time. In December, the bidding on The No. 5 collection had reached $267,768 but failed to meet the reserve, while this past week, interest stalled at $210,122. While the reserve price is undisclosed, the collection was priced at $275,000 on release last year. Only 15 sets were produced, and Whisky Auctioneer has been offering presentation set No. 5.
Lot of the Week
Sold at Auction: February 6th at Whisky AuctioneerHammer Price: $102,660