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Issue 136 - Top End Volatility

Whisky Magazine Issue 136
June 2016


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Top End Volatility

Has the bottom fallen out of collectibles

Bonhams first Edinburgh sale of the year may have been shorter than we are used to, but there was no shortage of quality on offer. The top bottle was the Glenfiddich 50 Years Old from 1991 that sold for £12,000, which helped Glenfiddich retain a top five spot in the WMI. Yet, this venerable release from 25 years ago has hit a bit of a lull as a collectible. Bonhams handled another one 12 months ago that sold for £2,000 more than this one, and in the summer of 2014, they achieved £16,000 for a bottle. Perhaps former buyers have spent the last two years buying Hanyu and Karuizawa rather than chasing Scotch whisky collectibles? Whilst I can vouch that the liquid from the 1930s inside the bottle is truly exceptional, the apparent shedding of a quarter of its value in under two years is concerning. That might make buyers hesitate before they lay out that kind of money for the next one that goes under the hammer. Yet, it offers a relative saving compared to the later Glenfiddich 50 Years Old Rare Collection. If you're in the market, this lull might be just the opportunity you need to acquire a bottle at the lowest price you can hope for before prices inevitably climb again.


Sotheby's, Hong Kong had an enticing sale from the private cellar of an international collector of rare wines and whiskies in early April. The whiskies turned out to be a handful of lots tucked away at the end of the sale, but fortunately, they consisted of top class Japanese rarities rel...

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