Auction News: Bigger is better?

Auction News: Bigger is better?

Whisky Auctioneer's expert offers his thoughts on December

Auction News | 23 Dec 2021 | By Joe Wilson

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“They wrote the book on it” is an idiom many use to emphasise an individual’s expertise in their chosen field. Opportunities to use it literally are naturally less common, but at Whisky Auctioneer, we have had the privilege of doing so twice this year. In June, we auctioned an exclusive selection of Samaroli bottles from the archives of Emmanuel Dron, which were prominently featured in his Collecting Scotch Whisky: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, and we kicked off December with the complete Rare Malts Selection from the collection of Ulf Buxrud, author of Rare Malts: Facts, Figures and Taste.

Full of sought-after whiskies served with exceptional provenance, the sale of the Rare Malts Selection was a fitting start to our annual end-of-year auction largesse. Offering thousands of whiskies and an extra week to browse them at your leisure, our extended December sale (starting today, 23 December) is always met with an excitement to match its festive “bigger is better” philosophy.

This, of course, is the prevailing wisdom of the season – particularly in childhood, when it is usually the biggest box under the tree that draws the eye. As we get older, however, we realise that the greatest gifts can often come in the smallest parcels, and it is this, in fact, that provides the central theme to this year’s instalment.
Glenfiddich 1937 64 Years Old

The auction contains some of the rarest low-yield bottlings of whisky ever produced. We have, for example, one of just 99 bottles of 1964 Bowmore drawn exclusively for Oddbins from one Oloroso sherry hogshead. An incredible whisky, this is from the same batch of casks that produced the legendary Black Bowmore. Meanwhile, those that became the Mortlach Generations decanter from Gordon & MacPhail were filled all the way back in 1938 – this spectacular 70-year-old, featured in our auction, was the oldest ever single malt at the time of its release, and equally rare at just 54 bottles. Not far behind it in age or locality, the 1937 Rare Collection from neighbouring Glenfiddich is a holy grail for collectors – only 64 exist, and it is a former auction price record-holder.

As is perhaps to be expected, the very rarest Scotch in our December auction comes from the sparsest whisky region. However, this is the only thing unsurprising about it. Distilled over a century ago, the Springbank 1919 is a marvel through its existence alone. This is a whisky that survived the decimation of the Campbeltown distilling tradition in the 1920s, when more casks were abandoned than sold; even when it came to be bottled in 1970, single malt was not the fashionable whisky category that it is today. A mere 24 of these bottles were repackaged by the distillery in the 1980s, with a presentation more befitting their historic status, and we are thrilled to offer one such iconic treasure in our December auction.
Bowmore 1964

From the Rare Malts Selection to a selection of the very rarest malts, this month is a captivating end to another hugely exciting year at Whisky Auctioneer. Before we turn our attention to the next, we would like to extend our warmest thanks to all those who have taken part in our auctions, and we look forward to sharing many more whiskies with you in 2022.

This article is sponsored by Whisky Auctioneer and is created in partnership with the team at Whisky Magazine. This sponsorship does not influence Whisky Magazine's coverage of auctions and Whisky Auctioneer do not have input on editorial decisions.

About Whisky Auctioneer

Whisky Auctioneer is one of the global market leaders and trusted authorities on the buying and selling of whisky and spirits at auction. Founded in 2013 and located in Perth, Whisky Auctioneer utilises its expertise and knowledge combined with its auction platform, to increase interest and passion in the whisky and spirits community.
Whisky Auctioneer endeavours to make the market more accessible for buyers and sellers of any background and geography. Its monthly global auctions feature some of the most comprehensive selections of old, rare and collectible whiskies and spirits available online.
Whisky Auctioneer became the first online auction house to sell a million-pound bottle and outperformed the nearest traditional auction house by 200 per cent in value from spirits sales in 2020, showcasing the move that whisky collectors, investors and drinkers have already made online and firmly establishing their leading position within the modern secondary whisky market.
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