Drams Under the Hammer: June 2022

Drams Under the Hammer: June 2022

What to watch in the auction world this month

Auction News | 10 Jun 2022 | By Bradley Weir

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From the world's largest bottle of whisky to dwindling ghost stocks, here's everything you need to know about the whisky auction world this month.

Coming Up …

Two casks from dwindling ghost stocks are up for sale

Two casks from ghost stocks

Diageo and Sotherby’s have announced the opening of a very valuable auction, featuring two extremely rare casks of Single Malt Scotch Whisky, sourced directly from the original ‘ghost’ stocks from distilleries Brora and Port Ellen.

Each cask comes with the opportunity to collaborate on a commission with an artist to create one-off pieces that reflect both the distilleries and the whiskies they produce. The auction begun on the last day of May and will run through to the 14th of June, giving time for anybody interested in such a rare piece of history.

Jonny Fowle, Head of Whisky at Sotheby’s said, “This partnership between Sotheby's’ and Diageo showcases an unrivalled offering of rare whisky casks at auction. On trying the 1982 Brora I was astounded by its quality – the rich cooked fruit flavours elevating its signature lightly peated character. The Port Ellen is a masterclass in 1970s Islay smoke with significant cask influence, which, especially when from a closed distillery, is precisely the style that the world’s top whisky collectors seek out.”

The first – Port Ellen 1979 – will be auctioned with a one-off artefact by Ini Archibong, a unique sculpture with a physical expression of “Dram and the Water” – representing both the precious nature of the liquid inside as well as the distillery’s prized resource.

The second is The Brora 1982 cask which will be offered alongside a print by New Zealand based-photographer Trey Ratcliff. Whoever wins the cask will travel to Scotland alongside Ratcliff to capture images which are said to bring to life landscapes that have helped shape the whisky.

Generously, 5% of the hammer price from both casks will be donated by Diageo to Care International to support their work in Ukraine.

Cape Town’s private cellar auction

As first picked up by Business Insider South Africa, a collection of over 1,000 bottles of whisky and wine are set to be auctioned off in Cape Town through High Street Auctions, with an incredible array of various whiskies, including many Scotch.

The auction begun this past Thursday 9th, and will end on Monday 13th, with the identity of the seller remaining unnamed. The collection is said to feature winers from more than 27 estates across the country of South Africa along with the Scotch, and all eyes will be glued to see just how much money a collection this size will bring in.

Among the Scotch includes Glenfiddich, Doctors Special and Howard MacLaren. All information including a full catalogue of those drams available can be found on the website of the auction house.

What you missed…

Largest Bottle of whisky sells for over £1.1m

The top of the 5"11 Intrepid

Last month’s Drams under the Hammer featured a look at the world’s tallest bottle of whisky – The Intrepid – as it prepared for auction at Edinburgh-Lyon. The giant 5”11 liquid equated to 311 litres, and the 32-year-old scotch malt happened to be another world record broken by The Macallan.

The auction was a huge success, and auction leader Colin Fraser’s prediction that there would be significant global interest in the auction was an accurate one. The grand total of the auction was a highly impressive £1,105,000.

Rather generously, 25% of the total is to be donated to Marie Curie, meaning a stunning donation of £276,250 has been made.

Port Ellen Cask sells for £100,000

A bottle of 12-year-old Port Ellen

In Joe Wilson’s most recent edition of Auction News, a phenomenally rare 12-year-old Port Ellen was highlighted, produced to mark the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to the distillery back in the 1980’s.

The auction for this impressive find has now closed, with an impressive £100,000 coming in for the bottle. The timing of this auction – almost in conjunction with the Queen’s most recent platinum jubilee celebrations – were impeccable, with the Queen on the mind of everybody across the world helping to elevate the interest in the bottle further.

As found in both Whisky News and a previous article for Whisky Mag, Port Ellen is set to host a new distillery – Portintruan – and there’s no doubt that Port Ellen is going to be on the mind of whisky collectors and enthusiasts in the next year or so in preparation for this opening.

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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