Drams Under the Hammer: November 2023

Drams Under the Hammer: November 2023

What to look for in the auction world this month

Auction News | 03 Nov 2023

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This month’s Drams Under the Hammer looks ahead to a number of auctions taking place in November, from the Sotheby’s Weekend of Whisky to the auction of three very rare whiskeys from Irish Distillers to raise money for those impacted from the recent flooding in Midleton.


Coming up…


Sotheby’s Weekend of Whisky

Sotheby’s is set to present The Weekend of Whisky, a two-day event taking place on 17 and 18 November in London. The sales series will feature a bottle of The Macallan 1926, featuring the Valerio Adami label, and select bottles from the collection of visionary epicurean and aesthete, Pierre Chen, along with many other bottlings. The Macallan will be hosting a pop-up bar in Sotheby’s New Bond Street galleries for the occasion, by invitation only. Highlights from both sales will be on public exhibition from 14 to 18 November.


Irish Distillers to auction very rare whiskeys

Following the recent flooding in Midleton, Irish Distillers is auctioning three very rare and sought-after whiskeys to raise funds for those impacted by the flooding.


Hosted by Irish Whiskey Auctions, the auction includes:

  • One bottle of Midleton Very Rare 1988
  • One bottle of Midleton Very Rare 1989
  • One bottle of Midleton Very Rare 2009
  • 50 bottles of the March 2021 Redbreast 10 Year Old release
  • Irish Whiskey Auctions has also contributed a number of whiskeys 


Proceeds will be donated to the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, who will distribute the funds locally to those impacted by the flooding. The auction closes on 5 November.



Founded in 1823 as the first distillery in Dufftown, Mortlach has enjoyed keen supporters for two centuries, and it is even said that in the distillery’s early years hardly any of the spirit made it beyond the hands of the local gentry. Mortlach 75 Year Old Gordon and Macphail was distilled in the first months of the Second World War, before maturing for 75 years, making it one of the most truly exclusive bottles for collectors. The liquid is also given the reverence is deserves, housed in a beautiful handcrafted crystal teardrop-shaped decanter, featuring 75 multilevel cuts in the glass to represent its 75 years of maturation.



Prior to 1972, the beloved Isle of Skye distillery Talisker was quite different to the site we know today, with their own floor maltings and coal fired stills. Afficionados of the distillery therefore look out particularly for the early bottlings of the 1950s and 60s, representing this lost era. Whisky Auctioneer’s auction this month contains many incredible bottles of Talisker, including a 1952 Gordon & MacPhail, a 1960s 8 year old Distillers Agency, and 1957 Cadenhead's 21 Year Old Sherry Wood.


Celtic Label series

Whisky Auctioneer’s October auction contains a collection of The Celtic Label series of 1960s Islay whisky. Bottled by Gordon & MacPhail exclusively for Italian market, with importers Giuseppe Meregalli, Donini and Nadi Fiori's Intertrade the importers. The Celtic art and calligraphy inspired script suits the Italian love of design, so often beautifully expressed in their independent bottlings. Of course, the allure of 1960s Bowmore, Port Ellen and Laphroaig makes the bottles incredibly collectible today.


Limited-edition Chotto Matte collaboration to go to auction

To commemorate its 10 year anniversary, acclaimed restaurant Chotto Matte has partnered with Chichibu on one of their oldest single cask releases, aged 10 years in an American virgin oak barrel. The limited-edition single malt whisky is distilled, aged and bottled in Japan, in a bottle designed to reflect Chotto Matte’s art influences.


A live auction for one bottle of the limited-edition whisky has been launched on The Whisky Exchange. Ending on 7 November, all proceeds are to be donated to The Trussell Trust, a charity organisation who provide emergency food and support to those in poverty in the UK.

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