Whisky Auction Update May 19, 2023: Macallan Fine & Rare's Legacy Collection Triumph
May 19, 2023 –––––– Jonny McCormick
Our auction roundup for the first two weeks of May is highlighted by Sotheby’s, New York which sold a sole owner’s whisky collection that included the most complete set of Macallan Fine & Rare in a single auction. Called The Legacy Collection, it offered 56 bottles of Macallan Fine & Rare, with nearly 40 different expressions dating back to 1937. Some 42 bottles sold for a combined hammer price of $980,000. The highest hammer price in the sale went to a highly scarce bottle of Macallan Fine & Rare 1957, which fetched $160,000. This expression was originally bottled in 1972 at 15 years old and then rebottled for the Macallan Fine & Rare series in 2009—this sale was one of only two bottles produced in 750 ml size for the U.S. market. Here's the complete wrap-up from the major houses.
Auction ended May 8th
- Scotch: Glenturret 1972 50 year old, $57,472. Bottled in Lalique crystal, the art deco design of the box was inspired by stalks of barley.
- Japanese: Karuizawa 1965 50 year old Cask No. 2372, $36,630. One of the trilogy of Karuizawa 50 year old releases from French retailer La Maison Du Whisky.
- American: Lottas Home 13 year old Papa’s Private Family Reserve, $25,894. A limited-edition bottling of a single barrel rye whiskey selected for a German retailer, one of only 60 bottles.
Sotheby’s, New York
Auction ended May 11th
The Legacy Collection
- Scotch: Macallan Fine & Rare 1957 15 year old, $160,000. The pinnacle of this fine collection of Macallan Fine & Rare bottlings.
- Irish: Midleton Very Rare 30th Anniversary Pearl Edition, $14,000. A good purchase, as one sold for over $10,000 more last month.
- American: Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 23 year old, $3,800. The bottling code indicates that this was released in 2014.
Scotch Whisky Auctions
Auction ended May 14th
- Scotch: Macallan 1950 Exceptional Cask. No.13, $44,815. A 67 year old single cask expression released in 2018, one of only 336 bottles.
- Japanese: Shirakawa 1958, $13,694. Released in 2022, this single malt comes from the Shirakawa Distillery, which was demolished in 2003. The whisky's true age is unknown as it was discovered in stainless steel tanks having been disgorged from the casks at some unknown point in time to prevent further maturation.
- American: Michter’s 20 year old, $3,984. A limited-release Kentucky straight bourbon of significant age.
Lot of the Week
Two years ago this week, Brora Distillery reopened its doors after being closed since 1983. Before that momentous day, Diageo chose to release a 40 year old bottling in 2019 to mark the 200th anniversary of the distillery, tactically releasing exactly 1,819 bottles.
Lot: Brora 1978 40 year old 200th Anniversary
Sold at: Scotch Whisky Auctions
Hammer Price: $4,979
Bottles to watch in auctions ending in the next week:
May 21st, Unicorn Auctions: Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 23 year old. A rare first release at this age statement, this was bottled in 1998 and sealed with gold wax.
May 22nd, Just Whisky: RyeLaw. An early auction appearance from Scotland's newest rye whisky distilled at InchDairnie Distillery in Fife.
May 23rd, The Grand Whisky Auctions: Bowmore Claret Bordeaux Wine Casked. A historic Islay whisky released in 1999 that was finished in red wine casks from Suntory's wineries in Bordeaux.