Whisky Magazine Issue 89
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Jonny McCormick reports on the year's top priced bottle and salutes Glenmorangie's gains.
Any whisky auction worth its salt will have its spectacular.
Indubitably, it will be a trophy malt of notable pedigree, and these days owning such a legacy bottle will be an expensive business.
Perhaps it's being sold by someone who has never tasted it, to be bought by someone who will never taste it. But for some collectors, that's not always the point. Dry-lipped anticipation passes into a daring game of brinkmanship; adrenaline-fuelled bids stack up while soberly-made budgets are discarded in the heat of the moment. When the gavel falls, the buyer is top dog and their decision can make worldwide headlines. It will inspire jawdropping awe and respectful admiration pricked with jealousy. Few distilleries can pull off the four figure, let alone five figure price ticket.
What a month! Firstly, Bonham's made a welcome commitment to ongoing whisky sales in New York and announced its intention to host sales in Hong Kong. Secondly, on a background of austerity measures across Europe, a bottle of pre-war Glenfiddich, disgorged after 64 years maturation in 2001, sold for a staggering £21,000 in Edinburgh (£25,200 with premiums and tax). Lastly, with fierce competition for the WMI top rankings, Glenmorangie overtook Ardbeg to clinch third place and now has Bowmore in its sights. Bunnahabhain dropped out the top 25 after a 12 month stay after peaking at 17th position in March 2010 although its nadir was December 2008 when it was ranked 59th.
At Bonham's, Edinburg...