Bonhams roars back in the U.S.
Whisky auctions at Bonhams are back! Only a year after they decided to suspend their October 2014 auction in New York, they re-opened their doors to whisky collectors and put on quite a show. Linking salerooms in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, top-notch drams were fought over producing some outstanding results and boosting the standings of Scotch whisky brands on the WMI.
The top whisky lot was The Dalmore Eos 1959 distilled 1951, which fetched a spectacular $22,000. Three bottles hit hammer prices of $20,000: The Balvenie Cask 191 50 Years Old, Gordon & MacPhail Generations Glenlivet 70 Years Old, and The Macallan Millennium Decanter 50 Years Old distilled in 1949. For the first sale ever, there was a complete set of Black Bowmore and a complete set of the Bowmore Trilogy (Black, Gold, and White) for sale: The Bowmore Trilogy made $20,000, whilst the original three bottles sold for less at $17,000. Not bad, for the convenience of acquiring an entire set in one transaction.
Brands outside of the WMI top 25 performed well, including the gloriously dark Glenrothes 1979 Single Cask #13458 for $1,920 and an Isle of Jura 40 Years Old 1966 that made $2,800. There were single cask exclusives from Park Avenue Liquor such as a tasty looking Glenfarclas 1981 27 Years Old single cask. I was delighted to see a couple of three bottle lots of Editor’s Choice Port Ellen 1982 bottled nearly a decade ago. These Islay beauties were a Whisky Magazine and Park Avenue Liquor Shop single cask selection from Douglas Laing, and the trio made a respectable $2,500 - $3,000.
However, in the midst of the high prices, there were still some relative bargains to be had. A series of early edition Glenfarclas Family Casks looked particularly good value: Glenfarclas 1960 $1,800, Glenfarclas 1963 $800, and Glenfarclas 1969 $700.
Let’s hope Bonhams take encouragement from these results and schedules at least two major whisky sales in the U.S. in 2016.
Finally, please take a look at the Kilchoman website for details of a special charity auction to buy the only bottle of their first Kilchoman 10 year old. The web auction will be available during the 7th – 14th December to help raise money for the Beatson Cancer Charity, a charity selected due to the recent illness of John MacLellan, the Kilchoman Distillery Manager. Please bid generously and help them raise a lot of money!
McTears, Glasgow - 17th Feb
Bonhams, Edinburgh - 2nd Mar
Tennant's Auctioneer - 5th Mar
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