Whisky by Numbers at Glasgow Auction!

Posted in: Whisky
Posted on: 20 February 2015
Whisky by Numbers at Glasgow Auction! Unbelievably, on Wednesday this week McTear’s second Rare & Collectable Whisky Auction of the year took place. Oh how time flies! The auction included some rarely seen bottles, especially from The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (S.M.W.S), with a great number of first releases from distilleries the length and breadth of Scotland included. We shall return to these later, but first of all to the best performers out with the Society bottlings.
As always some of The Macallan bottles have to be mentioned. As probably the most consistent high end performer, we see these great bottlings most months and this month the trend continued. With this in mind, I shall focus on four, all of which are The Macallan 25 year old Anniversary bottles, but all coming from different years of distillation. The first up for auction was the 1967 distillation achieving a healthy hammer price of £850; next up was the 1968 distillation (lot 1054) which again performed well settling at a price of £900. The next two bottles also performed admirably for their vendors: the 1963 distillation stayed at the same price as last month making £950 and the 1972 distillation was up slightly from its previous performance last year where it achieved £850, hitting the £900 mark in the auction. Both of these bottles will be winging their way to China where interest in Scotch Malt Whisky continues to grow.
The wonderful Island of Islay beckons us next and three great bottlings from two of the island’s southern distilleries - perfect for drinking on a cold winter’s evening. Ardbeg was up first with the Ardbeg Single Cask 1375 (lot 1103) outstripping its initial estimate to achieve a price of £1100, bought by a very happy customer in Hong Kong. The second of the Ardbegs was the Very Old Guaranteed Over 30 years old (lot 1172) which made the upper end of the estimate at £600. A bottling from Laphroaig is the second of the distilleries I would like to draw your attention to: one of 972 bottles produced and with its beautiful hue almost as dark as a Black Bowmore, the Laphroaig 1980 Vintage (lot 1180), obtained a highly respectable £900.
The Balvenie distillery has been making great whiskies for many a year and this is now being reflected in the prices being achieved at auction. For instance, in this auction we had The Balvenie Vintage Cask 1966 (lot 1008), which has slowly been rising in price of recent, and which yesterday attained £100 over its estimate to reach £1200. Lot 1030 The Glenlivet 1972 Vintage Reserve was another Speyside bottle that exceeded its estimate managing a great hammer price of £650. Flying the flag for independent bottlings was lot 1350 The Milroy’s 30 year old Springbank. This lot contained 6 bottles and realised a truly great price of £1700.
Now as you will remember from my opening gambit, there were many wonderful bottles from The Scotch Malt Whisky Society being sold, some of which had not been seen at auction before. From the wealth of these bottlings which I could mention, I will highlight just three. The Lagavulin 111.1 (lot 1208), the first release from the distillery by the S.W.M.S, made £800 - slap bang in the middle of its estimate at of £700-900. Again another from Islay, this time down the road from Lagavulin to Laphroaig with their first release from S.M.W.S bottle code 29.1 (lot 1223), this bottle, unlike the Lagavulin, surpassed its estimate eventually going, after some fierce bidding, for £750. The closed Highland distillery of Brora also had its first S.M.W.S release in this truly eclectic auction. The bottle code for this most collectable of distilleries is 61.1 (lot 1234) and this item generated a great deal of interest from collectors, eventually landing on a hammer price of £1200.
McTear's is already preparing and collecting for the next Whisky Auction which will be held in March, so join the global whisky audience from 10.30am on the 25th March for the chance to bid on more Rare & Collectable whisky.

Previous blog
Coins selling for big bucks at Glasgow auction!
was posted in Coins, Banknotes & Bullion


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