Not a member? - Register and login now.
All registered users can read our entire magazine archive.

WMI - Whisky Magazine Index

WMI 1,313.7 +14.0%

WMI Online – April 2015
A new Top Three

Pappy Van Winkle squeaked past Ardbeg to clinch third place in the WMI during March, though it took the Acker Merrall & Condit auction in New York on 28th March 2015 to seal the deal. It was a first for the WMI to record the top three traded whiskies over the last 12 months as a Scotch (The Macallan), a Japanese (Karuizawa), and an American whiskey brand (Van Winkle).

The rest of the top 25 is changing fast though. Glenmorangie lost ranking points for a third straight month, sinking down to 10th position, it’s lowest position since the WMI began. Don’t be overly discouraged: average Glenmorangie prices remain the strongest they’ve ever been, with little change since last September. The recent top prices of desirable bottlings such as the Glenmorangie Margaux Cask 1987 indicates that these are dependable long-term additions to your collection. Glenmorangie’s current position reflects fewer high value bottles coming to auction relative to the better selling brands above it. Sadly, Brora lost its grip on a top 25 position after a 34 month run stretching back to June 2012, joining former top 25 regulars such as Bunnahabhain, Mortlach and Linkwood in the lower division.

Watch out for a major new online whisky auction enterprise opening this month. is a London-based business looking to find a place at the increasingly crowded online auction table. From the website, there are some attractive new features such as a free valuation service, a preview of the auction lots before bidding opens, the ability to create watch lists, and a welcome search function to allow users to view lots by country or category. Seller’s fees are 10%, but buyer’s fees will be 15% plus VAT on the hammer prices making it slightly more expensive than the typical 10% charged by the most of the UK’s current online-only enterprises, but less expensive than most of the UK’s live auction sale rooms (the exception being Mulberry Bank Auctions who recently slashed their live auction commissions to 10%). Tune in from April 13th to watch what happens in their inaugural sale.

However, my whisky auction of the month, possibly auction of the year, will be the colossal “Chinese and Western Wine” sale planned as part of the 2015 Spring Auctions programme at Poly Auctions, Hong Kong. The whisky lots start at lot 1745 with a Port Ellen 1982 Whisky Magazine Editor’s Choice bottled in 2006 and run through to lot 2009. This will be the first appearance of last year’s The Glenlivet 50 Years Old Winchester Collection 1964 but there’s more; a vertical of vintage Macallan from 1957 – 1986, The Macallan 62 Years Old in Lalique, Glenfarclas 60 Years Old, The Dalmore 50 Years Old Candela, The Balvenie 50 Years Old 1937, Springbank 50 Years Old, and a Glenfiddich 1937 64 Years Old. This last Glenfiddich made £40,000 at Christies, London in 2012 so lot 1873 is definitely one to watch. The Japanese whisky starts at lot 1874 and the range of Karuizawa on offer is truly staggering. If prices are good, it may be sufficient to lift Hanyu above Bruichladdich, Highland Park, and Glenmorangie to earn a top ten WMI ranking in May.

We shall see…

Top 25 Chart

Price Chg
1 Macallan +2.2%
2 Karuizawa +11.4%
3 Ardbeg +1.3%
4 Van Winkle +10.6%
5 Bowmore +3.4%
6 Springbank -2.3%
7 Port Ellen +1.7%
8 Glenmorangie +1.7%
9 Glenlivet +4.5%
10 Glenfiddich +10.0%
11 Highland Park -2.9%
12 Bruichladdich +6.2%
13 Hanyu +0.1%
14 Laphroaig +2.1%
15 Lagavulin +9.5%
16 Dalmore -5.0%
17 Caol Ila +13.1%
18 Balvenie +7.6%
19 Yamazaki -24.8%
20 Glen Grant +5.7%
21 Glenfarclas +7.9%
22 Rosebank +7.6%
23 Talisker +2.4%
24 Ah Hirsch +7.7%
25 Brora -2.2%

Brand Explorer

Beginners’ Guide

Read the Beginners’ Guide to WMI

Coming auctions


Battle of the Brands
Second round to Karuizawa

April 2015, Issue 127

That was the year that was 2014
A roundup of the year in the auction house

March 2015, Issue 126

Crunch Time
Chasing the top dram

March 2015, Issue 126

Whisky and the Environment
The seeking of a sustainable strategy

January 2015, Issue 125

The Man Who Sold Haig Club
Jonny on auction watch

January 2015, Issue 125

Whisky gift and present finder