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Issue 123 - Karuizawa Overtakes Ardbeg

Whisky Magazine Issue 123
October 2014


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Karuizawa Overtakes Ardbeg

Jonny on auction watch

Karuizawa is the hip collectible whisky of the moment. Bonhams, Hong Kong had amassed such a jaw-dropping selection from the closed Japanese distillery for its exceptional sale in August that it wasn't just a question of whether it would break into the top ten, but how high it could get. This issue's interim chart dates from mid-August as the results of the month end sales were pending as we went to press, but by then Karuizawa had already jumped the trading activity of Ardbeg, itself well known as a cult, collectible whisky. The average trading price of Karuizawa rose to £1,204 this month, whilst Ardbeg fell slightly to £455 after enjoying a ten month run in third place. Karuizawa becomes only the eighth whisky brand ever to secure a top three ranking in the WMI.

Bear in mind that the substantial gains made by Bowmore at the Distiller's Charity Auction in October 2013 will be wiped from the index after 12 months. Fewer prestige bottles of Bowmore (itself owned by Japanese company Suntory), coupled with an anticipated rush of Karuizawa bottlings from Number One Drinks to be sold at Bonhams, Hong Kong in November could see the closed Japanese distillery challenge for second place by the end of the year.

Auction Watch

News broke that Bonhams, New York had cancelled their planned whisky auction in October citing an inability to meet profit targets and no further US whisky auctions have been scheduled (their Edinburgh and Hong Kong operations are unaffected by this new...

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