Secret Scotch Society!


Posted in: Whisky
Posted on: 28 August 2014
Secret Scotch Society! As summer draws to a close and the weather starts to take a turn for the worse, there was a ray of light in the gloom, The Rare & Collectable Whisky Auction at McTear’s. Many of the favourite drinkers’ lots and many bottles of the rare & collectable variety were all on show at this last auction of the summer.
The August auction saw a great number of Scotch Malt Whisky Society bottling with a good percentage of these being the first release from a number of distilleries. The first and rarest was the Glenfarclas 1.1 (lot 760) which sold towards the higher end of its estimate at £1,800. The next in line was the first SMWS release from Highland Park distillery, bottle code 4.1, this achieved a hammer of £700 at the mid-point of its estimate. Then there were the three Japanese distillery releases from the SMWS, the best performer was the Yamazaki 119.1(lot 863) which obliterated its estimate to achieve a hammer price of £600. Next up was from the Hakushu (lot 864)distillery, SMWS code 120.1 again outstripped its estimate to reach £500.
Bottles from some of the now closed distilleries continue to perform well at auction with the Brora 22 year old Rare Malts Selection (lot 674) being the pick of the bunch and sold for £1,300. Another couple of bottles from the Rare Malts Selection to have a good day were the Glenlochy 26 year old (lot 622) making a highly respectable £650 and also the St. Magdalene 23 year old (lot 677), which also had the buyers bidding furiously, settled on a hammer of £400. Other notable bottles were the Kinclaith 1969(lot 735) bottled by Signatory Vintage which achieved £550 and there was also another Brora, his time a 30 year old bottled by Douglas Laing (lot 916) for their Old & Rare Platinum Selection, sold for a tremendous £800.
As always there were a few great Macallan lots, the standout being the 1946 Select Reserve (lot 900) bottling which eventually settled on a price of £5,000. The 1950 bottling took a flyer and sold for £2,200 breaking past the high end of its estimate by £400. Time does not permit me to mention all of the great Macallan performances in this particular auction, but I will mention the 26 year old Signatory vintage bottling (lot 794) which sold for £500 and will be heading to its new owner in London.
There were a few more notable bottles that also worth a mention, a good few from Islay and Speyside. I shall start in Islay with the Bowmore 1957 Distillation (lot 751) with a great deal of interest from bidders the hammer eventually fell at a price of £2,600. Further south on the mesmeric island of Islay is the Ardbeg distillery and this particular 1976 Hand Bottled (lot 796) beauty had the Ardbeg hunters in fierce competition and the value of the bottle was realised at £900.
The Speysiders also had a profitable outing, starting at the ever increasingly popular Mortlach distillery. This particular whisky was distilled in 1936 (lot891) and bottled by Gordon & MacPhail and achieved a hammer of £950 going above its estimate. Glen Grant is another distillery that, like Mortlach, does not seem to generate a particularly profitable return for its bottles at auction, this however is starting to change slowly but surely, proven by the £750 the 1936 distillation (lot 896) of Glen Grant made at the auction. The popularity of Balvenie is well know and also appears to be on the rise as can be seen from the £1,100 the 1973 Vintage( lot 932) went on to make after some tense bidding between a few online rivals.
Most of The Rare & Collectable Whisky Auctions at McTear’s have a selection of other spirits most notably cognac. This auction differed only in the higher quality of the bottles, especially the Richard Hennessy in a Baccarat crystal (lot 950) decanter which sold for £1,200 and shall be making its way to California and its delighted new owner. A couple of the Courvoisier Erte bottles made a £1000 each (lots 994 & 997) a tremendous result for their previous owner.
The Rare & Collectable Whisky Auction in October shall take a slightly different direction, with a dedicated auction for wine, port and eau de vie directly after the whisky auction ends. We hope that you will join McTear’s again on October 1st for the two auctions.
To discuss selling or buying whisky, wine and other spirits at McTear’s, please contact specialists Stephen McGinty and Dominic Hughes on 0141 810 2880 or email Stephen@mctears.co.uk, Dominic @mctears.co.uk





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