WHISKY-ONLINE AUCTIONS AUGUST RESULTS 2019
Heavy hitters dominated the upper end of our latest auction. The 2018 release of Macallan 52-year-old being the top dog this month with a final hammer price of £51,000.
Followed hard on the heels by the 55-year-old second edition in the Lalique series and the 62-year-old Lalique at £50,000 and £41,100 respectively. Evidently, the thirst for these top-end Macallans isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
Not to mention the fact that these kinds of five-figure hammer prices have become ubiquitous to the point of normality. It all goes to show just how far the secondary market has come in a few years.
Macallan Still Dominating
A little lower down the scale Macallan still dominated with the Fine & Rare Linley miniature collection box at £12,000 and the 1946 52-year-old at £11,800. A few lots beneath them there was also the Macallan 30-year-old Masters of Photography Rankin edition at £6800. Say what you like about Macallan but they have built a monolith of a brand.
Bowmore Stands Up
The only other names getting a look into the top end of the sale was Bowmore with a 1957 38-year-old at a well deserved £9500 next to a bonded barrel of 2004 Port Charlotte for exactly the same hammer price. A pretty fascinating result that demonstrated the serious diversity of committed bidders on the secondary market in this day and age – many different interests bidding competitively for different reasons.
Other Impressive Results
Other impressive results were the Highland Park 1958 40-year-old at £5300, the Glenlivet 1952 Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection Ultra at £5100 and the recently released Lagavulin 1979 40-year-old Syndicate bottlings are starting to find their market value with one selling for £3000. Considering it’s a 40-year-old Lagavulin this feels about correct for now.
Another Highland Park which did well was the scarcely seen 1974 Online Tasting which finished up at £1700. This is an extremely highly regarded whisky and they pop up less and less frequently these days. Another one to watch and expect to quickly vanish into the stratosphere in terms of price.
Clutch Of Port Ellen
There was a good clutch of Port Ellen official releases all, apart from the 1st release at £1800 – sitting around the £1100-1300 price range. This is an interesting series in the way its values tend to come and go in waves and occasionally jump upwards then settle for a while. At the moment they seem relatively static but don’t be surprised to see them head north again soon. One thing’s certain for now: the news of a new Port Ellen distillery hasn’t dimmed their value on the secondary market yet.
Around the £1,000 Mark
Some other notable results around the £1000 mark were the Glenmorangie 30-year-old oloroso edition at £1000 and the Bunnahabhain 1965 35-year-old at £975. It’s always a pleasure to see these bottles doing well and getting the recognition and demand the whiskies inside them deserve.
Daftmill continues to impress with its inaugural release now at £950, no doubt this one will continue to climb steadily for a while as all the various collectors/completists settle down and try to make sure the bottle is ticked off their lists. Glenmorangie also continued to impress this sale with the 1975 Cote de Nuits and the 1975 Tain L’Hermitage both hitting £925. While a Mortlach 1971 Special Releases 32-year-old and a Glen Garioch 1978 40-year-old both performed respectively well at £900 and £825 apiece.
One notable result was a full set of the four Highland Park Valhalla collection sold as one lot for £825. At just over £200 per bottle this doesn’t represent much of any real growth on original retail. Perhaps a sign that interest in these more outlandish viking-heavy Highland Parks is beginning to stagnate?
Moving further down the sale much of the upper and mid-three-figure results were pretty much as you would expect them to be. This seems, without fail, to be the most consistent and often least surprising section of any whisky auction these days. It’s always nice to see lesser spotted and interesting bottlings like the old official Tomatin 1962 at a healthy £725 and sherried Dallas Dhu 1982 24-year-old for £675.
At the same price, we find the first real bargain of the sale: a 1975 Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseur’s Choice Ardbeg bottled in 1997. Even with a bottling strength of 40%, this is a wee bit of a steal in today’s market for this liquid. Curious to see it only £30 higher than the Glenmorangie 1988 Madeira Matured at £330. Different palates and different perspectives as ever.
Another two very drinkably priced bottles were the early 1970s official Glenfarclas 8-year-old and the Hart Brother’s bottling of 1974 20-year-old Caol Ila. Both sitting side by side at £310 apiece. Not cheap but at the same time a good example of why the secondary market is such a good place to buy whisky now – you never know what you’ll find slipping through the net in each month. Cast your eye about and be patient and you’ll always find wee bargains like these, in any sale.
And speaking of contrasts. An unboxed version of the Rosebank 12-year-old Flora & Fauna finished at £290, exactly matching the Dewar’s White Label rotation 1929 at the same hammer price. This was a sale very much of contrary comparisons and pairings it seems. Further evidence an increasingly mature and diverse secondary market.