Our May 2022 whisky auction is now underway, and there’s hundreds of top class bottles in this month’s sale from the likes of Macallan, Port Ellen, St Magdalene and Springbank to name just a few, so we’d better get cracking.
There’s a great selection of modern Macallans in this month’s auction, with all three Macallan Concept editions up for grabs, plus Macallan Folio 2 Archival, the first edition of Macallan Classic Cut from 2017 and Macallan Genesis which appeared the following year.
Golden age Macallans, meanwhile, include Macallan Private Eye, the glorious 80-proof (46%) Campbell, Hope & King bottling of Macallan 1960 from the mid-1970s, the magnificent Macallan 1980 18-year-old Gran Reserva, the non-vintage Macallan Anniversary 25-year-old, the exceptionally rare Macallan 1980-2001 Exceptional Cask 4063 and Macallan 1989-2003 Exceptional Cask 552, a couple of the Macallan Replicas, the blue wooden box Macallan 30-year-old and the Italian importer Rinaldi’s official Macallan 1965 17-year-old bottled in 1984.
Top class indie Macallans this month include Cadenhead’s dumpy Macallan 1962 20-year-old bottled at 46% in 1982, the Scottish Gantry Macallan 1990 30-year-old and figleaf Macallans Prometheus 1988 28-year-old and Crabbie 1988 30-year-old, but of course the above is just a small selection – you can see all this month’s Macallan here.
There’s a very generous helping of fantastic drams from Islay this month. Highlights from Ardbeg include a lot of the recent Ardbeg annual releases including Ardbeg Drum, Ardbeg Alligator, Ardbeg Ardbog and the 2014 Committee Release of Ardbeg Supernova, plus older favourites including a couple of bottles of Ardbeg 17-year-old, the excellent Ardbeg 1975-1998 and the first edition of Ardbeg Airigh Nam Beist from 2006. Best of all, though, is the Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Ardbeg 1972 27-year-old from 2000, one of our favourite ever Ardbegs. Check out all this month’s Ardbeg here.
Moving to Bowmore, we’ve got the recent travel retail Bowmore 21-year-old, and some lovely old bottles including a 1970s dumpy Bowmore De Luxe, the famous Glasgow Garden Festival Bowmore 15-year-old from 1988, and long-discontinued editions of Bowmore Legend, Voyage and Cask Strength. Click here for this month’s Bowmore.
There’s some lovely Port Ellens in this month’s whisky auction, which is always good news. Highlights include a couple of bottles of the Rare Malts Port Ellen 1978 20-year-old, plus its spiritual successor Port Ellen 1978 24-year-old Second Release, Douglas Laing’s Old Malt Cask Port Ellen 1982 26-year-old and Bladnoch Forum’s top quality Port Ellen 25-year-old, the latter two of which were from refill sherry butts. It’s extraordinary to think that the most expensive of these amazing whiskies went for about £100 on release.
Elsewhere, there’s some recent prestige Bruichladdich editions including Bruichladdich 1990 25-year-old, Bruichladdich 1990 27-year-old and Bruichladdich 1989 Black Art 3.1, while Caol Ila fans will be scrapping over the rare Flora & Fauna Caol Ila 15-year-old, Bladnoch Forum’s Caol Ila 1983 25-year-old and the Rare Malts edition Caol Ila 1975 20-year-old at a whopping 61.18%.
Miscellaneous noteworthy Islay whiskies in this month’s auction include the phenomenal Syndicate’s Lagavulin 15-year-old at a lively 59.2%, the first ever Distillers Edition Lagavulin 1979, a highly desirable 1988 bottling of Laphroaig 10-year-old and an earlier Unblended Laphroaig 10-year-old bottled in 1983, and the magnificent Bunnahabhain 1968-2002 Auld Acquaintance and Bunnahabhain 1968 Family Silver. There’s really something for every Islay whisky fan in this month’s whisky auction.
The supply of aged Springbanks is getting so tight now that new bottlings are often more expensive than the classics of yesteryear. There’s a lot of top class old and new Springbank releases in this month’s whisky auction, but brief highlights from days gone by include Springbank 21-year-old Circa 2000s, Springbank 1989-2004 Port Wood and Duncan Taylor’s aptly-named Peerless Springbank 1967 35-year-old alongside more recent bottlings including Springbank 18-year-old, the 2019 edition of Springbank 21-year-old and Springbank Local Barley 2011 10-year-old. Check all this month’s Springbank here.
What wonderful sherry cask whiskies we have this time! There’s loads of epic sherry monsters in this month’s whisky auction, including Highland Park 1986 Cask 2794, selected in 2006 by former distillery manager Russell Anderson, plus Glendronach 1990 22-year-old and the glorious Aberlour A’bunadh Batch 10, an early stunner bottled nearly twenty years ago in 2003 at a poky 59.8%.
Even pokier (if that’s a word) is Glen Elgin 19-year-old Centenary bottled back in 2000 at a nice round 60%, the same strength as 2016’s extraordinary Glenfarclas 105 20-year-old. By way of contrast there’s also the Glenfarclas 1998-2017 Family Cask bottling at a rather more civilised naturally low cask strength of 49.4%.
While we’re on single cask sherried whiskies, there’s a pair of beauties selected at the turn of the millennium by the legendary Duncan Elphick for The Craigellachie Hotel: Glenfarclas 1972-2001 and Glenlivet 1980-2002, and going back another decade there’s this very promising First Cask bottling of Glenlivet 1976 24-year-old.
Finally, for those who prefer their sherried drams a little gentler there’s the marvellous 1990s bottling of Glendronach 15-year-old and the utterly amazing Glen Moray 1966 26-year-old, one of the most elegant and deeply complex Speyside whiskies you’ll ever find at 43%.
There’s some very famous United Distillers/Diageo whiskies up for grabs this month – far too many to list individually but we’ll pick a few of the real highlights. First up is the outrageous Talisker 1981 20-year-old from the 2001 Special Releases, at 62% one of the greatest sherried official Taliskers ever bottled; other standout Diageo Special Releases in this month’s sale include the superb Linkwood 1978 37-year-old bottled in 2016 and the original (and never bettered) Convalmore 1978 28-year-old from 2005.
Elsewhere in this section, there’s a lengthy laundry list of legendary Rare Malts Editions, including – to name just a few – Clynelish 1972 24-year-old (the 61.3% one), Rosebank 1979 20-year-old, Glenury Royal 1970 29-year-old and St. Magdalene 1970 23-year-old, but there’s over thirty Rare Malts altogether in this auction, including gems from Brora, Hillside (Glen Esk), Teaninich and Cardhu – do yourself a favour and check out all this month’s Rare Malts here.
Miscellaneous gems from the UD/Diageo vaults this month in reverse order of release include the rare distillery-only Clynelish 20-year-old bottled in 2019 for the distillery’s 200th anniversary, Rosebank 12-year-old Flora & Fauna, another bottle of the stunning Waterloo St. St. Magdalene 1978 20-year-old and last but not least the much-loved Flora & Fauna Cask Strength Blair Athol 1981-1997, another brilliant full strength sherried dram available for buttons in the good old days.
Favourites, Curios and Other Spirits
Some cracking stuff here this month. As well as perennial unicorn fave Ladyburn 1973 27-year-old we’ve got the rare 1999 bottling of Glenmorangie Cognac Matured, a 1960s white label Glenfiddich 8-year-old Straight Malt and, even rarer, an indie Glenfiddich in the form of Glenfiddich-Glenlivet 1979 12-year-old bottled by Cadenhead’s in 1992 for their 150th Anniversary series.
Seldom-seen blended Scotches in this month’s whisky sale include Whyte & Mackay 50-year-old, bottled for the company’s 175th Anniversary, plus the lovely old school blends Royal Vat and Red Hackle 12-year-old and, most unusually of all, a House of Commons blend bottled by Gordon & MacPhail and signed by the near-teetotal Gordon Brown (!).
Non-Scotch whisk(e)y in this month’s sale includes England’s Bimber 1st Release and The Lakes Whiskymaker’s Reserve No.4 which won overall Best Single Malt Whisky at this year’s World Whisky Awards, plus Jameson 15-year-old – the marvellous old pure pot still version from the turn of the millennium – and some great old bottles of American whiskey including Jack Daniel’s 125th Anniversary and an early 1990s edition of Wild Turkey 1855 Reserve.
Finally, in not-whisky news we have a bottle of the incredible Hennessy Paradis for the cognac fans, Macallan Amber Liqueur for the maple syrup fans and a 2017 edition of Kweichow Moutai Feitian for the baiju fans.
That’s it for this month – Good Luck and Happy Bidding!
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