Welcome to this month’s Auction Preview! We’ve unearthed some real treasures again this month, and we’re going to share some information on the more obscure examples that hardly turn up in auction.

Early 1960’s relics

We’ll begin with a look at this fascinating official bottling of Glenfarclas 8-year-old; this was bottled in the early 1960s with the classic Securo-cap and is one of the earliest versions of 105 you will find.

Not only is this an incredibly hard-to-find variation, but the whisky inside will also have been distilled before 1955 and is pretty much guaranteed to be a brilliant whisky, in all its 60% ABV glory.

It’s very interesting for other reasons as well.  Of particular note is the ‘Established 1845’ on the label – the story goes that in 1948, after George S. Grant and his brother had returned from fighting in WWII. There was a massive shindig at the distillery to celebrate both of their 21st birthdays, their parents’ Silver Wedding Anniversary and the distillery’s Centenary. All of which were believed to have occurred during the war.  It was only later discovered that the distillery was actually first licensed in 1836 – a full nine years earlier than the previously-believed 1845.

Official Balblair

Another absolute brammer from the early 1960s is this official bottle of Balblair 8-year-old, also sealed by a Securo-cap. The Securo-cap was used only for a very brief period at the beginning of the 1960s. Given this type of seal preserves the liquid level impeccably, it makes you wonder why they ever stopped using them. But hey, hindsight is a wonderful thing.

The label on this Balblair was used many times for numerous releases for a couple of decades. They were even used for private cask bottlings. This was quite common back then. Most distilleries would have a generic template and then it would be a case of replacing the age statement. You will even see some labels with a black strikethrough with the new ABV underneath.

What’s also remarkable about this whisky is the fact it is bottled at 100 proof rather than 70 proof. 100 proof is equivalent to 57% whilst 70 proof is equal to 40%. There was no need for them to bottle whisky as such a high strength back then as the majority of those who drank whisky turned to blends. Single malt whisky back in the early 1960s was a very new phenomenon.

First-Ever Brora

Another highlight in this months is the first-ever Brora bottled by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Brora 1976 SMWS 61.1 was bottled in early 1989 at a whopping 63.6%.  That’s higher than the strength most malts are filled into cask nowadays (!) – and therefore we think this whisky went into the cask completely undiluted. 

These highly desirable whiskies are now becoming very hard to open due to their value, so we opened one during the Limburg Whisky Fair earlier this year where punters can purchase a single dram. This gives enthusiasts the opportunity to sample old & rare whiskies without having to fork out thousands of pounds for a full sized-bottle.   

Sixties Springbank

We also had 4 incredible SMWS Springbanks (27.627.727.927.22) distilled in the 1960s at Limburg. Each one of them was simply amazing in their own way. This brings us on to what I can only imagine being another fabulous example from the legendary SMWS stock.

27.11, is a 1967  23-year-old bottled in 1990. This was distilled in the same era as the famous Local Barley Springbanks, but these indie bottlings tend to be better valued by comparison. The SMWS definitely had a superb stash of 1960’s Springbank around the late 1980s and early 1990s – everything we’ve tried has been glorious, and it’s a racing certainty that this bottle will follow suit.

This is it for part one, keep an eye out early next week for part two.

You can place bids on all these whiskies in our current sale here: Whisky-OnlineAuctions.com

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