Drams Under the Hammer: February 2023

Drams Under the Hammer: February 2023

What to watch in the auction world this month

Auction News | 02 Feb 2023 | By Bradley Weir

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This month's Drams Under the Hammer features an exclusive partnership between Whisky Auctioneer and Spheric Spirits, with the offering of the earliest numbers of their first ten releases. Also up for auction this month is a range of exceptional bottlings from the SWMS, including rare expressions from Lagavulin and Glenfarclas.

What you missed...

Craft Irish Whiskey launches first concept store, including record-breaking The Emerald Isle



Throughout December and January, The Craft Irish Whiskey Co’s pop up in Selfridges, London gave visitors the opportunity to lay witness to some of the rarest Irish single malt in existence, as part of the company’s launching if its first concept store. The store is located in the prestigious Wonder Room.

Those that have followed the world of whisky auctioning for a number of years will remember The Emerald Isle, which, in 2021, sold for $2 million, becoming the world’s most expensive whiskey, breaking The Macallan’s record of $1.9m for its 1926 expression.

The Emerald Isle is housed in a handcrafted display space, and the purchaser of the whiskey will receive it through the company’s ‘white glove’ delivery service, made personally by founder and CEO Jay Bradley.

Along with the Emerald Isle expression, the pop up also included the last remaining bottles of the inaugral release, The Devil's Keep, and the world's first (and only) Fabergé Celtic Egg.



Ben Nevis 1926 Single Cask sells for over £20,000



Last month's Drams Under the Hammer featured an incredibly special 1926 Ben Nevis single cask expression, which was distilled over a century ago in the height of America's prohibition.

The early releases have only become rarer and rarer, while the opportunities to buy them on auction are few and far between. This expression was available at Whisky Auctioneer last month, and has sold for an impressive £20,000. A total of 15 bids were made on the rare expression, and there's no guessing how long it will take for another Ben Nevis expression to become available on auction.

Visit here for the full results of this auction, and others.

Coming up...

Exclusive to Whisky Auctioneer: Spheric Spirits



Words by Heather Storgaard

In their January auction, Whisky Auctioneer is partnering with Spheric Spirits, a young independent bottler, to exclusively offer the earliest numbers of their first ten releases. Founders Benedict and Claudio focus particularly on the unique flavours of “Old School” whisky.

Highlights include the Ben Nevis 1996 Spheric Spirits 26 Year Old, from the distillery known to be prized by independent bottlers, and the Springbank 1994 Spheric Spirits 27 Year Old, especially considering the relative scarcity of Springbank bottles in recent years.

Ardbeg 1967 Kingsbury 29 Year Old



Words by Heather Storgaard

Distilled in March 1967 and matured in single sherry cask #922 until June 1996, this exceptional 29 Year Old Ardbeg from Kingsbury's of Japan has near mythical status in the world of collectible Ardbeg. Rated an impressive 97 points on Serge Valentin's WhiskyFun.com, this is the highest rated Ardbeg on the site.

Also featured in Whisky Auctioneer’s January auction is another rarity from the independent bottlers, in the form of a 45 year old Glenfiddich distilled in 1964.

Lagavulin 1980 SMWS 1.1 (plus more!)



Words by Heather Storgaard

Whisky Auctioneer’s January auction has an array of exceptional SMWS bottlings, including bottles from Lagavulin and Glenfarclas.

The Lagavulin 1980 SMWS 15 Year Old 111.1 was the very first bottle of the iconic Islay whisky released by the society.

For SMWS fans, Glenfarclas is intrinsically linked with the society, being the first single malt ever to be bottled by them. An array of SMWS Glenfarclas bottles are available, as the second half of renowned collector Luc Timmermans collection goes under the hammer.

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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