September 2014 Whisky Auction preview
The autumn whisky auction season is shaping up well, with plenty of hot prospects to look forward to. There have been a few lots of whisky sold at Christies, London (Sept 11th), some high value vintage Macallan sold at Tennant’s (Sept 13th), with more whiskies to look forward to at Spink’s, Singapore (Sept 19th). The catalogues of the two major Scottish sales have now been published, so what gems do they have in store for us?
All six salesrooms will be in action simultaneously at Taylor’s Auctions in Montrose on Sept 20th, but saleroom 6 is the one you want for bidding on whisky. There are over 400 lots, with bargains galore to be had on vintage editions and old style whiskies. Standout lots for collectors include Lot 4153, a white label Cadenhead cask strength Glendronach 1970 58.9% (estimate £240-280), Lot 4019, a pre-Royal Warrant litre bottle of Laphroaig 10 Years Old (estimates £40-£60), Lot 4171, a black label Connoisseurs Choice Glenlossie 11 Years Old (estimate £250-300), a value pick of Lot 4133 Càrn Mòr Celebration of the Cask bottling of Bunnahabhain 23 Years Old (estimate £35-£45) plus lots of rooting about to enjoy for miniature collectors. There are some rather attractive White Horse Glen Elgin (lot 4007, 4041, 4064), a few ‘sunset’ era Highland Park bottlings (Lot 4045, 4073, 4146), and several Cadenhead dumpies (Lot 4009, 4031, 4077, 4107, 4215, 4344).
Mulberry Banks Auctions rescheduled their auction date to September 23rd and it all gets going at 10am. Look out for Lot 11, the Tullibardine 15 Years Old 1992 bottled for Whisky Magazine in 2007 for Whisky Live Glasgow with an estimate of £50-80. Lot 48 is the Springbank Millennium Collection with all six bottles and matching miniatures with an asking price of £4,500-6,500. This is the first set to appear at live auction since January this year, though that last set sold for £3,600. Will it reach Mulberry’s target? Relative to the retail prices of some new 50 year old whiskies, the six full sized bottles in the Collection still may offer very good value.
Elsewhere, there are a few familiar looking bottles of The Macallan that were unsold in auctions earlier in the year, further huge flagons of samples from Whyte & MacKay owned distilleries including The Dalmore, plenty of Manager’s Drams and Flora & Fauna editions, and some interesting vintage spirit discoveries. Some estimates look a little steep, such as the Highland Park Saint Magnus 12 year old with the estimate of £300-£360. These estimates may be set at the vendor’s insistence rather than the customers accepting the counsel of the auction house specialists, of course. Highland Park Earl Magnus 15 year old can make this price (as there were half as many bottles produced), but the Saint Magnus is regarded as a lower value edition. Out of interest, a quick check of Scotch Whisky Auctions, their Glasgow neighbours, finds that the best price they have sold a Saint Magnus for is £140. Finally, a great little curiosity is the Douglas Laing ceramic bottled in the mid-1980s as the official Halley’s Comet scotch whisky. Yours, for an estimated £50-70. Reach for the stars!
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