For your pleasure

For your pleasure

Jonny McCormick encourages you to\rdelve into your private collection.
Jonny McCormick

10 September 2010

Publication: Issue 90

Your whisky collection may be dominated by bottlings from a single distillery, or a particular vintage such as your year of birth, however, many of us share a common dilemma. With good judgement, these whiskies may be worth much more than what you initially paid for them and sometimes this can psychologically prevent you from ever opening them. Reverence surpasses anticipation. What if its value continues to rise? You’d be a fool to drink it at this stage, surely. Starkly, your choices are keep it, sell it or drink it but in the quest to improve your collection, never lose that joy that motivated you to treasure these whiskies originally. Take the time to reward yourself with something special, whether it’s an auction gem or a recent release. Go on, open up something good! Auction Watch
You can wait weeks for a decent international whisky auction, then suddenly two turn up on the same day in two Scottish cities well-known for their “friendly” rivalry. Bonham’s four day Scottish sale in Edinburgh encompassed everything from bagpipes to broadswords and so the whisky sale was a condensed 200 lot affair but of considerable quality. Bowmore accrued the greatest overall spending on the day with four bottles of the original Black Bowmore making £2000-2100 each, the Bowmore 30th anniversary bottling from 1963 fetching £950 and a Bowmore 38 Years Old from 1957 going for £1000. There was no mystery as to why the Highland Park Rebus made an arresting £1100, bottles of The Balvenie 50 Years Old 1937 took £3600 and £3800 and a Port Ellen Maltings 21 Years Old clinched £1500. A Cardhu 25 Years Old Rare Malts 1973 stunned all making £700 (estimate £150-180) then a Brora 22 Years Old Rare Malts 1972 took £800 (estimate £200 to 250).Meanwhile, 50 miles west, McTear’s offered over 700 lots including an 80 lot haul from a single collector and a charitable sale of one-off aged whiskies with tasting notes from Richard Paterson. Business was so brisk that an auctioneer broke his gavel when decisively closing the sale of a Dalmore 1974, much to the buyers’ delight. There were numerous examples of whiskies distilled in the 1930s and 40s including at least 10 different whiskies aged 50 Years or more. There was a notable selection of Rosebank, Highland Park, Springbank and Dalmore on offer which boosted their WMI standings and helped the index rise by 13 points. The Macallan had another superb sale outselling all other brands by value and volume including a Macallan 30 Years Old Rankin Masters of Photography going for £750. This year’s sell-out Highland Park Earl Magnus 1st edition made a profit at £110 and contributed to Highland Park being a whisper away from 6th place in the rankings. Finally, a collection of PC5 – PC8 drew £400, Ardbeg Guaranteed 10 Years Old made £1000 and four different Springbank and Longrow Christmas staff bottlings gathered £300.

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