Drams Under the Hammer: September 2022

Drams Under the Hammer: September 2022

What to watch in the auction world this month

Auction News | 02 Sep 2022 | By Bradley Weir

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This month's Drams Under the Hammer features a wide range of both aged expressions dating back 50 years, to the sales of in-demand first releases. The generosity and kindness of Buffalo Trace should be acknowledged, too, whose auction has raised money for the flood victims in Eastern Kentucky.

What you missed…

Button-signed Coachbuilt sell big

A bottle of Coachbuilt

A signed bottle of Coachbuilt – created by Jenson Button and George Koutsakis – has sold for 1,600% above its RRP.

The bottle usually retails at £42, however the Jenson Button autograph has seen its value rocket. Five Coachbuilt Build No. 001’s were available, with the most expensive selling for £720.

It marks the first auction at Whisky Hammer of the Coachbuilt brand.

Former Formula One world champion Button and whisky specialist Koutsakis met through friends and bonded over their mutual appreciation of whisky. This led to the formation of Coachbuilt, with the spirit said to have been a discovery between the two of the parallels between coachbuilding and whisky blending.

The auctioned expression, which is still the current release, is the flagship product for Coachbuilt released earlier this year. Limited-edition and ultra-rare bottlings are said to be in the pipeline for future development.

Three of the other four bottles available at auction sold for £680, while the other sold for £700. These prices are still enormous increases on the original RRP.

Buffalo Trace Distillery auction for Eastern Kentucky flood victims

Buffalo Trace"s Antique Collection

This past month, Buffalo Trace Distillery completed an auction on a variety of rare American whiskeys, with all of the proceeds donated to help flood victims in Eastern Kentucky.

Many lives were lost in the tragic events which saw unprecedented record rainfall in July, with the auction a beautiful and generous touch from the distillery to help those most in need.

The biggest seller of the auction was a set of Van Winkle Whiskeys, which sold for $20,800. The set included the following Van Winkle expressions:

• Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year Old Bourbon
• Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye Whiskey
• Pappy Van Winkle 15 year old Bourbon
• Pappy Van Winkle 12 year old “Lot B” Bourbon
• Pappy Van Winkle 20 Year Old Bourbon
• Pappy Van Winkle 23 year old Bourbon

Mark Brown, CEO of Buffalo Trace Distillery, said on the auctions: “The loss of lives, housing, infrastructure and even basic necessities most of us take for granted is devastating. We hope our bourbon community, who we know can be very generous, really show its support and we’re able to raise an unheralded amount of funds for Eastern Kentucky disaster relief.”

The biggest individual bottle sale was a Double Eagle Very Rare Bourbon, selling for $14,100. A full list of the items sold, and their prices are here.

Coming up…

Sotheby’s to auction off 50-year old The Glenturret

50-year old Glenturret in Lalique

The Glenturret has announced the release of a 50 year old whisky, with the first decanter to be be auctioned off by Sotheby’s as part of their Whisky in Lalique auction.

Only 150 bottles of the expression are to be made, with a retail of £40,000. The bottle is kept in a black crystal decanter produced by French crystal house Lalique.

The auction for decanter number 1 is now live and will run through until September 9. The high estimate lot price for the bottle is valued at £60,000. It’s also the only decanter to be offered with artwork, to be devised in partnership with Method Studio, who commissioned Scottish artist Matthew Draper for the task.

The Glenturret managing director John Laurie commented on the release: “We are so excited to be releasing a 50 Year Old expression for the first time ever. But to do it in partnership with the extraordinary creative talents, Lalique, Method and Matthew Draper, whose values both mirror our own philosophy when it comes to craftsmanship and the importance of making things by hand, is just incredible. The result is a rare and unique collector’s piece, and the work that has gone into this project really does justice to the remarkable liquid that can be found inside.”

Johnny Fowle of Sotheby’s added: “This 50 year old whisky from The Glenturret represents so much more than just the depth of history at this distillery. It is an opportunity to be the first to collect The Glenturret’s rarest bottles and the only opportunity to acquire the accompanying art piece made from the barrel itself. The Glenturret has, thanks in no small part to both Bob Dalgarno and Mark Donald, quickly become the gastronomic centre of Scotland over the last year, and it is a real pleasure for Sotheby’s to be a part of this landmark moment on their journey.”

Buffalo Trace to auction off series of whiskey and art

Buffalo Trace distillery

Buffalo Trace distillery has announced the launch of the Buffalo Trace Bourbon Heritage Month Collection. This series of whiskey and art will feature 50 1.75l bottles of Buffalo Trace Single Barrel Bourbon, hand-painted with designs as well as corresponding artwork and a VIP distillery tour.

On 7 September, these bottles will be available via online auction, with all proceeds of the sales donated to Keep America Beautiful, a community improvement organization based in the US.

The auction will run until September 22 here, with bidding beginning at $75 each for a hand-painted 1.75l of Buffalo Trace Single Barrel Bourbon and accompanying artwork. Winners will receive an e-mail containing the downloadable artwork, while bottles can be picked up at Buffalo Trace Distillery at any point in 2023.

Artwork for the collection has been done by Kentucky-based artist and illustrator Bri Bowers, most famous for her watercolour series depicting Louisville.

On working with Buffalo Trace, Bowers said: “This was a particularly exciting project for me for a few reasons: first, I’m a huge bourbon fan and second, because I have really a special connection with my home state of Kentucky, which also happens to be the homeplace of Buffalo Trace. Central to much of my art is the idea of celebrating connectedness to places that are important to you, and I love that with this collection we’re just doing just that while also giving back, too.”

Sara Saunders, vice president of global marketing for Buffalo Trace Distillery, added: “Bourbon is a uniquely American spirit, and we’re proud of that heritage. As America’s oldest continuously operation distillery, Buffalo Trace Distillery has deep roots pioneering the category of American Whiskey, and we’re thrilled to mark Bourbon Heritage Month by celebrating not just our home state – the birthplace of Bourbon – but also the states our bourbon-loving fans from coast to coast call home too.”

White Peak auctions Wire Works Whisky

Wire Works Whisky

As previously discussed in this month’s Auction News from Joe Wilson, White Peak Distillery are offering the opportunity to own a bottle of its inaugural release of Wire Works Whisky.

The auction is now live on Whisky Auctioneer and will close on Monday September 5.

White peak released over 5,000 numbered bottles of Wire Works upon release, with a positive response from the public leading to sell out both in stores and online in the matter of hours. The distillery held back bottle numbers 1-12 with the intention of auctioning them later and raising the money for charity – Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and The Peak District National Park Foundation.

Claire Vaughan at White Peak said: “We are very excited to be bringing this auction to life through Whisky Auctioneer and support two important environmental charities in our local Derbyshire region. We strive to support our local communities, so when we first launched our inaugural single malt, we saw another great opportunity to again give something back. We hoped that the auction proceeds from these first 12 bottles would help contribute to some brilliant regional causes. We are delighted to partner with the Whisky Auctioneer team to make this happen for two fantastic local charity partners: Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and The Peak District National Park Foundation and can’t wait to see how much we can raise.”

Wilson at Whisky Auctioneer added: “Excitement reverberated in the whisky community earlier this year with the release of the inaugural Wire Works Whisky from White Peak distillery. As such, we are delighted to acquire the first 12 numbered bottles. We are sure that these bottles will generate a lot of excitement from our global audience of whisky lovers, offering the exclusive opportunity to collect the very first output from such a young and vibrant distillery which is already held in great esteem. To ensure that as much is raised as possible from the auction, we have waived our selling fees and will donate the 10% buyer’s commission in addition to the hammer price raised.”

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.
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