The Glenlivet soared to its highest ever WMI ranking safe in the knowledge that by late November, it had been behind three of the oldest and most expensive bottles auctioned in 2011. Age matters to collectors.The Glenlivet’s average price at auction is 18 per cent higher than 2nd placed Bowmore despite sale rooms showing 30 per cent fewer bottles of The Glenlivet over the past year.Ardbeg slipped to its lowest position to date but offerings in forthcoming sales should see it regain its top five placing. The Macallan Cire Perdue and other stars of November 2010 sales expired from the listings resulting in sharp drops in average prices to the benefit of brands growing in popularity at auction. The Glenrothes made further progress, Glengoyne has been popular and Clynelish secured its first appearance in the top 25 at the expense of Talisker and Bunnahabhain.AUCTION WATCH Without a doubt, The Macallan dominated Bonham’s second Hong Kong sale. There was an exquisite selection from the 1966-1986 vertical run of 18 Years Old to the numerous examples from the late 1930s. It was a great day for vendors: The Macallan Gran Reserva 1979 18 Years Old fetched HKD$9,000/£750, Glenfiddich Playboy Edition 1974 romped away for a hefty HKD$13,000/£1075, the first non-charity outing of The Glenlivet 70 Years Old Generations from Gordon & MacPhail garnered a respectable HKD$130,000/£10,760 and a three bottle lot containing The Macallan 50, 55 and 57 Years Old in Lalique acceded for HKD$500,000/£41,380. If you had any doubts about the potential of the Asian collectibles market, then bear in mind that this sale was the highest grossing sale of the year with an average hammer price exceeding £1,200 a bottle.Back in Yorkshire, Tennant’s had a successful clutch of bottles from the Springbank Frank McHardy 25 Years Old at £320, a boxed Aberfeldy 15 Years Old Flora & Fauna pocketed £190 and Bowmore Bicentenary chalked up £600.With less than two dozen complete sets in existence and an original price of £850, the SMWS 26 Malts made a handsome profit at McTear’s when it sold for £2,300. Rare Malts Selection were in demand; Glenlochy 1969 58.8% was sold for a cool £900 and Rosebank 1979 60.2% hit £700.Glengoyne’s success was not just based on volume but strong prices too, such as the Glengoyne Farewell Dram 1969 which departed for £300.Port Ellen annual release fans were not disappointed either with the appearance of a 3rd release (£260), 4th release (£380), 8th release (£260) and 9th release (£280).Next time out we’ll report all the action from the busy December sales and after the final reckoning, we’ll report on the winners and losers in the WMI 2011 Year in Review. This is merely the quiet before the storm.
FORTHCOMING AUCTION DATES 25th February 2012 Tennants, North Yorkshire Tel +44 (0) 1969 623780
7th March 2012 Bonham’s, Edinburgh Tel +44 (0)1292 520 000
28th March 2012 Mulberry Bank Auctions, Glasgow Tel +44 (0)141 225 8181