Posted in: Whisky
Posted on: 03 May 2016
 PORT ELLEN – FIT FOR A QUEEN This month at McTear’s we seen the Wine Auction take a temporary back seat, as the Rare & Collectable Whisky Auction takes centre stage. And what a line-up there was, with a stunning selection of whisky for collectors, drinkers and investors alike.

Bottlings from the now-closed Islay distillery of Port Ellen have for many years been a magnet for shrewd buyers, who have been seduced by its peaty complexity, iconic status and ever-dwindling supply. However, with retail values for official new releases reaching unprecedented (read as ‘silly’) levels, many buyers have turned to established auctioneers like McTear’s to get their hands on a bottle. This month there was the crème de la crème of Port Ellen, with the 12 Year Old expression in Lot 1400 obtaining a hammer price of £8,500, it was bottled to celebrate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Islay on 9th August 1980. From every perspective, this is an unbelievable piece of whisky history: not only is it the only known bottling of Port Ellen from when the distillery was active, but it also achieved a near-perfect score of 99 on Serge Valentin’s Whiskyfun. The cherry on this already-impressive cake is that the official programme for the royal visit is also included in the lot, providing a full breakdown of Her Majesty’s itinerary on the day itself. Every tiny detail is included, such as the number plate of the Rolls Royce and the name of the Islay Brownie Pack member who presented a bouquet to Her Majesty!

Once more, there was an impressive array of Rare Malts, Flora & Fauna and Connoisseur’s Choice bottlings from some of the most legendary Scottish distilleries, but special attention must be drawn to Lot 1565, the Springbank Millennium Collection aged 25 years, hammer price £900, Lot 1566 the Springbank Millennium Collection aged 30 years, hammer price £950, Lot 1568 the Springbak Millennium Collection aged 40 years, hammer price £1,500, Lot 1570 the Springbank Millennium Collection aged 50 years, hammer price £2,800.  

Finally, McTear’s again has had a fair selection of mixed bottle lots, featuring an eclectic mix of blended whiskies from past and present.

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