Drams under the hammer: August 2023

Drams under the hammer: August 2023

What to watch in the auction world this month...

04 August 2023

This month’s Drams Under the Hammer looks back at a very rare bottle of Balvenie which has sold big at auction, as well as the upcoming auction of an incredible collection of Moon Import’s inaugural Half Moon Series, which date back to 1982.


What you missed…


Balvenie 1937 50 Year Old

A very rare bottle of Balvenie 50 Year Old Pure Malt was auctioned off at Whisky.Auction, highlighted by auction director Isabel Graham-Yooll. The expression was distilled in 1937 and bottled in 1987, with the majority of the bottles sold to Milroys of Soho in London following a trip by the founders to visit the distillery. The Milroys team offered £360 per bottle to their Japanese customers, given that Balvenie was as well-known as today. Many of the bottles were snapped up quickly and drunk, so its rare to see them appear at auctions. The auction closed on 1 August and sold for £20,000, its estimated price.


Coming up…


Moon Import Half Moon


An incredible complete collection of Moon Import’s inaugural Half Moon series appears in this month’s auction at Whisky Auctioneer. A historic collection, these bottles from 1982 mark the start of Pepi Mongiardino’s now acclaimed independent bottling journey. As well as being a key piece of Italian independent bottling history, they also offer incredible Speyside whisky distilled in the 1960s and 70s by Tamnavulin, Glen Moray, Macallan and Glenlivet.


The bottles are located in the Netherlands, from where Whisky Auctioneer have relaunched their EU auctions going forward. Prior to bidding, find our more information here.


1930s and 40s Speyside

A truly historic selection of Speyside malt whisky appear at auction, with a Glenfiddich Special Pure Malt circa 1930s-40s a particular highlight. Bottled at a time when single malt bottlings were extremely rare, this is an example of Glenfiddich’s pioneering early work that contributed to the creation of the modern whisky industry as we know it today.  Alongside it appears some Gordon and MacPhail gems, including the Glenlivet 1938 and Mortlach 1936 Gordon and MacPhail 45 Year Old, both well-aged examples of pre-war distilling. In total, 23 lots of Speyside whisky from pre-1950 are available.


Italian Independent Bottlings from Samaroli

The Laphroaig 1967 Samaroli 15 Year Old Sherry Wood / Silver Cap is a legendary bottle in the whisky world. When Serge Valentin of WhiskyFun.com tried it, he felt that "We’re approaching perfection here." Can an endorsement get much higher? Alongside this, independent Samaroli bottlings from the lost distilleries Coleburn and North Port also appear. From the visually stunning The Flowers series, these were among Samaroli’s earliest releases.

This article is sponsored by Whisky Auctioneer and is created in partnership with the team at Whisky Magazine. This sponsorship does not influence Whisky Magazine's coverage of auctions and Whisky Auctioneer do not have input on editorial decisions.

About Whisky Auctioneer

Whisky Auctioneer is one of the global market leaders and trusted authorities on the buying and selling of whisky and spirits at auction. Founded in 2013 and located in Perth, Whisky Auctioneer utilises its expertise and knowledge combined with its auction platform, to increase interest and passion in the whisky and spirits community.
Whisky Auctioneer endeavours to make the market more accessible for buyers and sellers of any background and geography. Its monthly global auctions feature some of the most comprehensive selections of old, rare and collectible whiskies and spirits available online.

Whisky Auctioneer became the first online auction house to sell a million-pound bottle and outperformed the nearest traditional auction house by 200 per cent in value from spirits sales in 2020, showcasing the move that whisky collectors, investors and drinkers have already made online and firmly establishing their leading position within the modern secondary whisky market.

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