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Issue 133 - Karuizawa Reaches Number One

Whisky Magazine Issue 133
January 2016


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Karuizawa Reaches Number One

It's taken nine years for The Macallan to be toppled

It has been a long time coming, but we can announce that Karuizawa has overtaken The Macallan to take the top slot of the WMI. The data for the index stretches back to early 2007, and incredibly, The Macallan has been number 1 since the column was launched in Whisky Magazine Issue 86. Contenders from Bowmore and Ardbeg to Glenfiddich have tried valiantly, but none of them have quite looked capable of unseating the sherried Speysider from its lofty position. During 2015, we watched as Karuizawa notched up huge sales in live auctions in Hong Kong, stealthily eroding The Macallan's lead. By late October, the result hung in the balance; with Karuizawa hot on its heels, The Macallan kept ahead by a nose thanks to a few prize bottles. In 2014, the top prices at live auction were bids for rare, collectable Macallan, but in 2015, Karuizawa commanded many of the top prices and set a new record for the most expensive standard sized bottle of whisky ever sold at live auction. The switch came after November, when spending on the closed cult Japanese distillery accelerated again during Bonhams final Hong Kong whisky sale of the year. The Macallan had to yield – Karuizawa is now the world's most collectable single malt whisky.


November saw the start of the traditional winter frenzy of global whisky auctions. Two key sales in Hong Kong helped Karuizawa to take the crown. At Acker Merrall & Condit Auctions, several bottles of Karuizawa 30 Years Old sold for K$26,000 / £2,...

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