Drams under the hammer

Drams under the hammer

What to watch in April

News | 09 Apr 2021

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It’s our April instalment of some of the finest and most notable whiskies going to auction over the next month. Read on to find out what’s being offered, how to get involved, and how you can see whisky history in the making…

Ainslie's King's Legend Spring Cap

This is just one of the highlights from Whisky.Auction this month, picked out by director Isabel Graham-Yooll. This whisky is particularly special, in part because of its spring cap closure (comprising a foil-covered metal spring), which is known for being an extremely secure seal for bottles of spirits. The spring cap (or ‘Kork-N-Seal’) was commonly used around the early-mid 20th century, and while one might expect that the fill levels of whiskies bottled so long ago might have dropped a little over time, these spring cap closures actually suffer less evaporation, leaving the liquid inside superbly well-preserved (and particularly sought after by old bottle enthusiasts). The auction ends on the 13th April – click here for more information.

Brora auction

Meanwhile, Whisky Auctioneer is to host the first ever dedicated Brora whisky auction, showcasing over 50 Brora bottles as part of the largest collection of Brora ever to be held in one auction. Dormant for decades and sometimes a generation, whisky from ‘lost distilleries’ is often regarded as having quasi-mythical status. This is perhaps true for the Sutherland distillery of Brora, which closed in 1983 and whose whisky has become increasingly sought-after in recent years.

The auction will include whiskies from the Old Clynelish distillery (now known as Brora) distilled prior to its brief closure in the late sixties. Whisky Auctioneer describes these whiskies as being particularly desirable for their 'idiosyncratic style' and 'elusive' waxy character that is unique to these vintage drams. The sale will also feature various expressions from the historic 1972 Brora vintage, a chapter of whisky history all on its own. These include the 1972 Cask Strength 40-year-old decanter, which was the oldest Brora ever released at the time and is a sibling to some of the most legendary expressions ever produced at the distillery. To register to take part in the Exclusive Brora auction, which will be held between the 15th - 19th of April, visit the Whisky Auctioneer website.

Two bottles of The Macallan 10 Year Old 100 Proof

These two bottles are another offering from Whisky.Auction. They date from the 1980s and 1990s respectively, and contain the classic sherried Macallan – with extra power and intensity from a higher ABV. The early Macallan 100 Proof bottlings continue to rise in price today; this is in part because many Macallan fans seek out the (comparatively affordable) higher strength sherried examples for their intense flavour punch, but the fact of their collectability also makes them extremely popular. The auction of both bottles ends on the 13th March – click here for more information.

Yamazaki 18 Year Old Mizunara 2017 Release

As well as Whisky.Auction’s rare and vintage offerings, the auction house also has some modern classics going under the hammer. This rare bottling was selected by master blender Shinji Fukuyo from the distillery's Mizunara oak casks, and the whiskies used in this bottling were blended at 18 – 50 years of age. They offer 'fragrant spices, coconut, and Japanese incense', balanced with 'notes of fleshy stone fruits and smooth milk chocolate'. Shinji Fukuyo said of his creation: 'I wanted to reveal the whisky’s soul that is the Art of Mizunara — a heightened sense and awakened palate engaged through aromas and flavors never known before. Encountering it should be a moment of epiphany.' Bidding on the Yamazaki release will also end on the 13th April – click here for more information.

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