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Issue 137 - The Glassed Samurai

Whisky Magazine Issue 137
July 2016


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The Glassed Samurai

Karuizawa hits the high spot... again

The mighty Karuizawa continues to set auction records in Hong Kong and the UK. Currently, the Samurai and Geisha bottlings are the most sought after editions making regular auction appearances with prices climbing. In the UK-based online auctions especially, the value of limited edition Karuizawa released three to ten years ago seems to be trapped, like a spider under a glass. No matter what auction they are consigned to, the price appears to have found its natural plateau with prices stable, or slightly deflating, over the past to nine to 12 months. The market remains strong, but buyers are only willing to risk paying the current market value for these bottles. The Karuizawa Noh 1976 32 Years Old Cask #6719 sold for £2,600 in Scotch Whisky Auction's 47th auction in March 2015, and made £2,700 in the 62nd auction in June 2016. Karuizawa Noh 1983 28 Years Old Cask #7576 reached £2,100 in their 50th auction, but had fallen to £1,850 in their 61st auction. As Karuizawa single malt whisky rarely escapes from its glass prison these days, we are now firmly in the era of Karuizawa ownership as a medium to long-term investment.

Auction Watch

April's most lucrative live auction was the first of the Polyauction sales for 2016, which racked up over £435,000 of bottles eligible for the WMI. The balance fell in favour of Japanese whiskies, though the major brand Scotch whiskies made a decent showing. There were eight bottles that broke the equivalent of the £10,000 barrier: the...

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