Our latest sale featured some exceptional results and continues what has been a remarkable couple of months for whisky at auction. There has been much speculation as to what is causing this: a weakened post Brexit pound; the fact that these are usually some of the most affluent months of a year; simply the rush of great bottles to market recently. In all likelihood it is probably a murky amalgamation of all three along with the continuing strengthening of interest in old bottles.
But, back to the auction. At the top was the Dalmore Candela 50-year-old, the last time we sold one it achieved £10,600 back in 2014; this time it was £14,600, a very healthy new high for this one and goes to show that old Dalmore is still highly sought after.
The other top end bottles all represented clear new market value levels for these whiskies: Macallan 1938 at £6400, Brora 1972 Rare Malts for £5300 and the Royal Brackla 60 year old for £4600. Remarkable new highs for all three. It will be interesting to see if these bottles sustain these kinds of prices in the short-medium term.
Another remarkable result was the Laphroaig 12-year-old 1960s Cadenhead bottling which finished up at £4300. It was the third and final bottle from this vendor who purchased the bottles in the 1970s and this one exceeded even our expectations. It will likely be a long time before we see another one of these stunning bottles.
Other high end encouraging results were the Laphroaig 40-year-old at £4200, the Malt Mill based Mackie’s Ancient Brand bottled in the 1940s at an impressive £3600 and Caol Ila 15-year-old Manager’s Dram, once again hitting a new record of £2400. These are remarkable results which once again demonstrate just how seemingly insatiable the appetite for old bottles of exceptional whisky is these days.
Talking of great whisky, it was interesting to see a Gordon & MacPhail 1957 100 proof Talisker in pretty worn outward condition fetch £2000. These were at £600-800 not so long ago and it just goes to show the power and allure of incredible whisky.
The official Bruichladdich 40-year-old took an impressive step up at £1950. Although it wasn’t particularly surprising to see the Macallan 1969 18-year-old for the Bank of Scotland fetch £1900; this series is so widely collected that competition for these uber-scarce variations is always fierce.
Moving further down the auction there were some good results that were both unsurprising: Tomatin 1957 Cadenhead Dumpy for £1300, and surprising: St Magdalene 1970 23-year-old Rare Malts for an impressive £950. Interestingly the 1970s Laphroaig 10-year-old just clipped the official 30-year-old when they hit £850 and £825 respectively. Demand for the old fruity Laphroaigs remains potent as ever.
As mentioned above the collectability of the Macallan 18 year olds is well noted, but £650 for the 1987 vintage was still impressive and perhaps suggests the whole series is about to shift up a gear once again. Other bottlings that seem to be solidifying upwards in value are the Glenmorangie 1975 Tain l’Hermitage at £600 and the Highland Park Thor which was back up at £525.
Another increasingly potent performer at auction is Rum. Good quality, aged examples are really shining in auction at the moment. Well evidenced in this sale by the Cadenhead’s 1991 24-year-old Trinidad at £525.
Broadly throughout the rest of this sale the story was the same. Prices were consistent and strong, often verging on the upper end of their market value and in many cases looking like they were moving up to new trading levels. A common trend we noticed in this sale is just how high some bottles, which were generally quite cheap until very recently, have climbed. Bottles like an OB 1965 Knockando for £230 and the Glendronach 12 year olds for £225 each.
Overall it was a sale categorised by a general lack of bargains. There were a few instances of certain bottles performing a bit more softly than usual and there were the usual raft of things like First Cask bottlings which always seem to make great bargains for drinkers considering the liquid inside is often excellent. But really it was a sale marked by eye-popping prices, tough competition and few bargains. It truly is a seller’s market now…
Looking to sell your whisky?
If you’d like to take advantage of our unique buying audience and world record prices then please feel free to get in touch. We’re always looking for new consignments for our sales and if you’ve got some old and rare bottles we would love to hear from you.