Categories: Auction, Auction Results


Macallan had another good showing in our latest auction. With the 2018 release of the 52-year-old hitting a hefty £55,000. It’s another sobering example of how much things have changed for whisky, given that what would have been the talk of the town a few years back now looks like normal market value.

Similarly, the 2017 40-year-old also stood tall at £14,000, the 1946 52-year-old at £10,100 and the rarely seen 1985 Fine & Rare release at £7,500. Macallan’s power shows no sign of dimming any time soon it would seem.

No Surprises

It wasn’t too surprising to see the next four Macallans – two Private Eyes, a Diamond Jubilee and a Royal Marriage – all sitting around the £3000 – 3400 mark. However, it was perhaps more notable that the Springbank 1965 Local Barley also hit £3000. These bottlings keep on creeping up – how long before they’re all above £5000? £10,000?

The rarely seen 1966 Ardbeg 32-year-old by Cadenhead performed well at £2,700 as did the highly reputed 1973 Talisker 28-year-old, of which only 100 bottles were produced for Oddbins, which finished up at £2400. Not many people have tasted this whisky so it remains a little ‘under the radar’ in terms of how well appreciated it is. What’s for sure is that it remains one the best Talisker’s ever bottled and this price still looks good all things considered.

Other interesting results

Other interesting results in the upper ends of the sale were the Dalmore 1960 25-year-old and the Bruichladdich 1964 40-year-old, both official bottlings fetched £1650 a piece. Both of those bottles are starting to gain a little more recognition and traction these days.

A 22-year-old Rare Malts bottling of 1972 Clynelish did well at £1300 – again another distillery and vintage which seems to only be going in an upwards direction in terms of prices. Although, the 1977 21-year-old Rare Malts Brora just beneath it at £1200 was also impressive – a price that outstrips even the 1975s in the same series.

And a rather beautiful old bottle of Strathisla 1937 bottled by Gordon & MacPhail in the 1970s finished up at £1150. Quite a good price for a prospective drinker considering the level. Dipping beneath the four-figure mark it seems that everything was sticking to the upper end of its current market value.

Predictable Prices

The 1980s litre of Laphroaig 10-year-old for £875, Clynelish Manager’s Dram 17-year-old for £825, a Midleton 1985 Release for £750, the Aberlour 1964 25-year-old for £575. Everywhere you look it was the same story: strong, if slightly predictable prices.

There were a few curiosities though, such as the Macallan 1990 12-year-old Buccaneer bottling at £600. There are only 96 of them but at only 40% it still looks like a bit of an oddity. On a different note, three of the new Clynelish 20-year-old for the 200th anniversary of the distillery all fetched £500. It will be interesting to see if this price is maintained or if this is just the initial auction spike before settling down to a longer-term increase. Time will tell…

Tasty Talisker

A 1970s bottling of Talisker 8-year-old still looks pretty tasty at £480. These bottlings haven’t shifted upwards in the same way the old 12-year-old Lagavulin’s have over the past couple of years. No doubt their jump will come, and probably sooner rather than later, but for now, the value remains pretty good from a drinking perspective.

Another Talisker which has been rather dormant in terms of price is the 1982 20-year-old Special Release. This latest bottle finished up at £280, a price which made for an interesting contrast with a lovely old Berry’s St James blend from the 1960s which hit £290.

It seems quite a lot of official Taliskers at all price levels are a little static right now, how long before they start to shift again? And does this mean it’s a particularly good time to buy Talisker?

Good Value Drinkers

Scrolling down through the rest of the auction there were a few nice bottles below the £200 mark which represented good value buys for drinkers and enthusiasts. However, the general buoyancy of the market seems pretty well sustained overall. Prices are up year on year and they show no signs of dropping – despite some reports elsewhere speculating on the current secondary market prices.

There does seem to be a little evidence that mid-summer remains a good time to go bargain hunting. But, as ever, it’s a far tougher and less thankful task that it was even up until a couple of years ago. On one hand, you can get wee gems like the Moray Golf Club Glen Grant for £90. But on the other, established series and bottlings like the Laphroaig 12-year-old Cairdeas remain resolute at £110.

Wee Bargains

Similar price range but one represents a wee bargain, the other a consistent and solid market value. Both represent the core range of an auction that a few years ago sat around the £40-80 range of prices but which has now shifted, almost entirely, up a level to the £80-120 range.

You can say the same thing for most of the bottles sitting in that same price bracket in this latest sale. Arran 1997 Rowan Tree for £105, Auchentoshan 12-year-old 1970s and Knockando 12-year-old Manager’s Dram for £97.50 each. Balvenie 12-year-old Signature batch 1 for £90. These were all £50-60 bottles not so long ago.

Their elevation perhaps says as much, if not more, about the core health of the secondary market than the five-figure Macallans at the top. Interesting times…

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