Our most recent whisky auction was one of the most impressive sales we’ve had so far this year, both in terms of variety and prices achieved.
The obvious star is the Macallan Lalique 55 Year Old Second Edition. The last time this bottle appeared in our auction – just over 2 years ago in January 2014 – it fetched £12,600. Its final hammer price last night was £25,100, just shy of double its previous best. This demonstrates a couple of things. One is the ravenous market appetite for the serious, official, high-end Macallans. If you have these kinds of bottles now might be the time to start thinking about doing something with them. And, secondly, this is one of an increasing number of examples of bottles achieving well past the £20,000 mark at Whisky Online Auctions. We have a firm track record of achieving the highest price for individual bottles at auction in the UK for the past 3 years now – if you’ve got these kinds of bottles you could do a lot worse than sell them where you are guaranteed this kind of result.
Going down through the rest of the auction there are more impressive results. It is not often that the second highest bottle in an auction is an independent bottling; then again, it is not often that an independent bottler can produce a 50 year old, dark sherried Glenfiddich with an outturn of only 67 bottles. So perhaps its final hammer price of £7000 is not too surprising.
The Macallan 1945 Speymalt and the 1938 official both fetched consistent and comfortably sturdy results at £5100 and £5500 respectively. In comparison with the 55yo Lalique the 68 year old Speymalt from G&M looks like a downright bargain. Both bottles exemplify the continued appetite there is for these super-aged, exceptional releases from the glory days of Macallan.
The Ardbeg Manager’s Choice 1976 hit a new record high of £3200, it’s good to see appetite for this great and legendary bottling climbing back up again after some softer results earlier this year. The two Brora 1972 Rare Malts hit £3100 apiece, a solid result consistent with the huge level of desirability there is for these bottlings currently. Other encouraging results were the Macallan Royal Marriage, at £2500 it was up a little from its usual £1700-1900 selling range. And the Glenfarclas 40 year old Millennium at £2250 was an impressive result considering it wasn’t all that long ago that these were trading around the £700 mark. This seems consistent with a broader strengthening of Glenfarclas prices at auction lately.
One feature of this auction was a broad selection of releases from the elusive and curious Cadenhead ‘White Label’ series. This was a short lived series of bottlings produced for Oddbins by Cadenheads in the early 1990s. There were some quite remarkable whiskies in it which are now exceedingly rare. A face well evidenced by the prices many of them fetched in this auction. £2400 for the 1965 Springbank, £1250 for the 1972 Clynelish, £1150 for the Glenugie 1980. £925 for the Ardbeg 1978. Once again it goes to show that great liquid commands serious prices, old Cadenhead bottlings are seeing stronger demand than ever and a selection like this from a great and collectable series often creates something of a feeding frenzy effect. Something well worth considering in a tactical sense if you have some of these bottlings and are considering selling.
Other strong results that broadly represent the sharpening demand for great liquid are: Clynelish 1972 23 year old Rare Malts for £925, Ardbeg Lord Of The Isles for £775 and Laphroaig 1968 Hart Brothers for £875. Some other notable results were the strong performance of Glenmorangie bottlings in this sale. £1150 for the Concorde bottling is sort of to be expected. But £975 for Truffle Oak, £675 for the 1972 single cask, £675 apiece for the two 30 year olds. These are terrific results for a distillery which was flagging a little at auction not so long ago.
Rum is something we don’t often talk about in these reports, but as a spirit at auction it is increasingly gaining traction and seeing impressive results. Six bottles of the Cadenhead’s Uitvlugt 1974 30 year old sold for between £600-650 each, which goes to show the demand for serious, aged rums at auction these days. Remarkable when you consider how cheap these bottlings were originally.
Looking through the auction there wasn’t too much in the way of bargains this sale. Although an 1865 Cognac for £410 seems like the steal of the century given the immense prices that almost all the good bottles in this sale fetched. Goes to show there’s always something in every sale if you are patient, vigilant and smart. And lucky. Some of the older SMWS bottlings seemed a tad more affordable than usual, although priced were very much dependent on the filling levels. The Glenburgie 1960 Connoisseur’s Choice also seems a great bargain for drinking at £215. But apart from that pretty much everything in this sale hit its true market value and bargains were thin on the ground.
As of our next auction – beginning July 27th – Whisky Online Auctions will be reducing its seller’s commission to 5%. We are the top achieving auction house for record prices when it comes to old, rare and antique bottles. Our new commission structure now makes it even easier and more profitable for sellers to capitalise on our ability to achieve these results. If you are interested to take advantage of selling with us please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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