OUR JULY WHISKY AUCTION CLOSES SOON
AUCTION HIGHLIGHTS PART TWO
HISTORIC HIGHLAND PARK
Welcome to part two of this months auction highlights. First up we have a trio of amazing independent Highland Parks in this sale. We love getting these bottles, because indie HP (then as now) was so rarely independently bottled. These three Highland Parks are magnificent bottles, all containing whisky from the distillery’s golden years.
We’ll start with the Cadenhead’s 1960s Highland Park 80-Proof: a stunning bottle, and incredibly rare – we’ve never seen this white label variation before. This is from a time when, in common with many other distilleries, Highland Park was very difficult to get hold of as a single malt.
With only a handful of limited, irregular official bottlings known to have been released (the St. Magnus label bottlings). Independent bottlers were often, therefore, the only source of single malts from most distilleries.
This has to be one of the rarest Highland Parks/Cadenhead bottlings we have uncovered just for the fact we weren’t aware that this variation existed until now. This bottle is part of an amazing collection that was accumulated from the 1950s through to the 1980s which is now been auctioned off through us.
The plastic seal on this bottle is partially split but thankfully is still intact, and the beautifully minimalist Cadenhead’s label – unusual for its ‘W. Cadenhead’ rather than ‘William’ or ‘Wm’ – is in very good condition for its age.
By the end of the 1970s, Cadenhead’s were releasing many more bottlings, while Highland Park had found success overseas with a small string of vintage bottlings for the Italian market (the famous green dumpy bottlings) had begun bottling their own 8-year-old.
This Cadenhead’s Highland Park 1957-1979 21-year-old was released domestically and although the condition and level aren’t ideal, the fact that it was distilled at the same time as many of those extraordinary Italian bottlings and bottled at 80 proof (46%) means that this should still be a fantastic whisky.
Last but not least, we anticipate a lot of interest in this Scotch Malt Whisky Society Highland Park 1976 SMWS 4.36. This whisky was distilled towards the end of Highland Park’s halcyon days and bottled at 20-years-old in 1996 – a difficult time for the industry but a true Golden Age for whisky connoisseurs, who were paying prices that would make today’s collectors weep.
HIGH PROOF MACALLAN / GORDON & MACPHAIL
Ending on some top trumps, we have a couple of Macallans. Beginning with the Macallan 12-year-old 100 Proof. This bottle is from an original case of 12 and is from the same collection as the Cadenhead Highland Park above. The case has a rotation number 1971 which indicated that this whisky was distilled in 1959.
The sensational colour on this Gordon & MacPhail bottling can only be from rich first fill sherry casks, providing a fascinating contrast with the very rare Macallan 10-year-old 100 Proof from a little later in the decade when G&M were de facto official bottlers for the distillery. This is one of the earliest examples we’ve found of Macallan 100-proof at 10-years-old. What a comparative tasting these two would make!
Whilst we’re on the subject of Gordon & MacPhail we will add in the 1970s Gordon & MacPhail also released dozens of semi-official single malts from Glen Grant and Glenlivet – for example, this Glen Grant 35-year-old. This one was bottled in the early 1970s and therefore will contain single malt whisky distilled in the late 1930s. These old G&M bottlings are massively underrated and can still be picked up for decent money; especially if you compare them to today’s equivalent.