Whisky Magazine Issue 121
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Karuizawa hits the high spots
Karuizawa has rocketed into the top 25, becoming the highest placed non-Scotch whisky in WMI history. The cult, closed Japanese distillery, adored for its robust sherry matured style, has climbed the ranks all year and made the breakthrough this month. The bottles released by Number One Drinks Company represents the last few hundred casks saved following the distillery's closure in 2000. Karuizawa has secured 14th place, moving into the WMI's top league following a stunning performance at auction by Bonhams, Hong Kong.
A year ago, the WMI eligibility criteria widened which opened up the index, as trading in other whisky categories began to grow. Look carefully and you will spot not one, but two new entries, as Pappy Van Winkle jumped up to 23rd. The colossal interest in bourbons from the closed Stitzel-Weller distillery, magnified by recent shortages of Pappy's at the stores, has led to massive competition when small parcels of stock appear at auction. Christies, New York though more crucially, the April auction at Bonhams, New York, helped propel Van Winkle bottles up thirteen places. Bunnahabhain and Linkwood were the casualties, knocked out of the top 25 by the new entries. With Old Fitzgerald ranked 38th and Yamazaki zooming up to 40th, it may just be the beginning of a reshuffle in the rankings.
The average price of Karuizawa at live auction currently sits at £1,167 per bottle, making it the third highest value whisky behind The Macallan and The D...