Whisky Magazine Issue 126
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A roundup of the year in the auction house
Arguably, 2014 was the WMI's most eventful year yet. The zeitgeist for Japanese whisky enabled a number of new names to penetrate the top 25 of the index, relegating several long staying Scotch brands. Karuizawa was the star performer of the year, with the bottlings from Number One Drinks Company being the most abundant and most sought after. The combination of single cask, cask strength Japanese whiskies with highly evocative labels released in different markets from the closed cult distillery proved impossible to resist. Bonhams, Hong Kong championed the category, and hosted an additional Japanese and Rare Whisky sale in August. Strong Karuizawa results in online auctions in the UK have fanned the flames. Meanwhile, Yamazaki and Hanyu staked a claim in the top 25 as well. Bonhams, Hong Kong won the Whisky Magazine Auction House of the Year 2014 and helped Asia to overtake Europe to become the most valuable live whisky auction market. It is not a coincidence that seven of the ten most expensive bottles auctioned last year were sold in Hong Kong.
The Macallan ruled supreme at the top of the chart for a fifth year running. They opened the year setting a new world record for the most expensive bottle of whisky ever sold at auction with Sotheby's, Hong Kong. The global total spent on The Macallan at auction grew by over 75% last year, outperforming many of its rival Scotch whisky brands. For the first time in WMI history, one brand achieved the feat of selling all of the top ...