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All Shook Up

A round up of the auction world
June delivers the counterpoint to the end of year sales. The effect on the WMI rankings can be dramatic as this year’s sales rinse away last year’s auction figures. Brisk trading in Ardbeg put an Islay single malt back in second place, ending Glenfiddich’s impressive 15 month residency behind The Macallan.

Ardbeg’s sister distillery Glenmorangie moved ahead of Bowmore while Brora distillery secured a new highest ever ranking in the Index. Bottles from closed distilleries are performing better than ever as newly released stock from closed distilleries becomes rarer but more expensive to purchase at auction and on the shelves.

Scrutiny of the WMI archives reveal that over two years, Brora moved from 31st to 17th, Port Ellen is up from 11th to seventh and WMI new entry St Magdalene is up from 40th to 25th. So what St Magdalene whiskies to collect? Contemporary distillery bottlings are desirably scarce with only the four releases of St Magdalene Rare Malts Series distilled in the 1970s and the Special Release Linlithgow 30 year old from 2004 to choose from.

Alternatively, there is plenty of variety within the independent bottlings from G&M Connoisseur’s Choice, Signatory, First Cask, Cadenhead, Douglas Laing to SMWS bottlings from distillery 49. With only around 100 bottles appearing at live auction per year, this rare Lowlander will always attract a healthy bidding audience.



Auction Watch



Angus MacRaild presided over his final sale at Mulberry Bank in June where he helped the establishment to its first Whisky Magazine Auction House of the Year title. You can follow his progress in his new role at Whisky Online Auctions. Taylor’s, Montrose are increasing its whisky auctions to bimonthly due the success of their quarterly sales. Also, Maxxium UK deserves a special mention this month after donating a bottle of The Macallan 1948 Select Reserve which raised £4,400 for Marie Curie Cancer Care at the Masterpiece Midsummer Party Auction.

High value Macallan was the order of the day at Christies, London but prices were more in line with market values than previously. The stand out rarity was the appearance of one of only 62 bottles of Royal Brackla 1924 ever produced to mark the distillery reopening which fetched a record £6,000. Glenfiddich Private Vintage 1955 made £6,000 whilst the Bowmore 1955 40 Years Old took £5,000. Bonhams, Edinburgh went deep on independent bottlings with some delectable offerings of old label SMWS bottlings including choice mid-60s distillations of Ardbeg (£750) and Springbank (£700).

Irish whiskey collectors were not ignored with a new record price set for the historical delights of the cask strength Coleraine 1959 34 Years Old (£1,500). Additionally, Dungourney 1964 made £320, a release that originated from the Old Midleton distillery and the same price bought a bottle from Daly’s distilled in 1952 and bottled by Cadenhead for their Authentic Collection. Mulberry Bank presented a further selection of top shelf Macallan and achieved a new record price for The Macallan Royal Marriage 1948/61 at £2,200 though how long the new record stands is anyone’s guess.

A couple of French market official bottlings of Glentauchers from the 1980s saw fierce competition reaching £1,800 for the 5 Years Old and £1,200 for the 12 Years Old. Centenary bottlings of Imperial by G&M reached £720 and the Craigellachie 14 Years Old Flora and Fauna making 100 years since the first production ran to £570. McTear’s presided over a new record price for Laphroaig 1977 with this vintage reaching up to £650 and Black Bowmore 1964 second edition equalled the March record of £2,600. A bottle of single cask Ardbeg 1976 Cask 2391 went for £2,000 and a Balvenie Vintage Cask 1966 Cask 4288 took £800. Taylor’s, Montrose entered the history books as the first auction house to auction a set of The Macallan Coronation at £600 barely two weeks after selling out at the distillery. This quickly looked a bargain as Whisky Online sold a set for £875. Four days later, Scotch Whisky Auctions clinched the record which now stands at £940. This is destined to be one of the collectibles of the year.

Angus MacRaild presided over his final sale at Mulberry Bank in June where he helped the establishment to its first Whisky Magazine Auction House of the Year title. You can follow his progress in his new role at Whisky Online Auctions. Taylor’s, Montrose are increasing its whisky auctions to bimonthly due the success of their quarterly sales. Also, Maxxium UK deserves a special mention this month after donating a bottle of The Macallan 1948 Select Reserve which raised £4,400 for Marie Curie Cancer Care at the Masterpiece Midsummer Party Auction. High value Macallan was the order of the day at Christies, London but prices were more in line with market values than previously.

The stand out rarity was the appearance of one of only 62 bottles of Royal Brackla 1924 ever produced to mark the distillery reopening which fetched a record £6,000. Glenfiddich Private Vintage 1955 made £6,000 whilst the Bowmore 1955 40 Years Old took £5,000. Bonhams, Edinburgh went deep on independent bottlings with some delectable offerings of old label S. M. W. S. bottlings including choice mid-60s distillations of Ardbeg (£750) and Springbank (£700). Irish whiskey collectors were not ignored with a new record price set for the historical delights of the cask strength Coleraine 1959 34 Years Old (£1,500). Additionally, Dungourney 1964 made £320, a release that originated from the Old Midleton distillery and the same price bought a bottle from Daly’s distilled in 1952 and bottled by Cadenhead for their Authentic Collection.

Mulberry Bank presented a further selection of top shelf Macallan and achieved a new record price for The Macallan Royal Marriage 1948/61 at £2,200 though how long the new record stands is anyone’s guess. A couple of French market official bottlings of Glentauchers from the 1980s saw fierce competition reaching £1,800 for the 5 Years Old and £1,200 for the 12 Years Old. Centenary bottlings of Imperial by G&M reached £720 and the Craigellachie 14 Years Old Flora and Fauna making 100 years since the first production ran to £570. McTear’s presided over a new record price for Laphroaig 1977 with this vintage reaching up to £650 and Black Bowmore 1964 second edition equalled the March record of £2,600. A bottle of single cask Ardbeg 1976 Cask 2391 went for £2,000 and a Balvenie Vintage Cask 1966 Cask 4288 took £800.

Taylor’s, Montrose entered the history books as the first auction house to auction a set of The Macallan Coronation at £600 barely two weeks after selling out at the distillery. This quickly looked a bargain as Whisky Online sold a set for £875. Four days later, Scotch Whisky Auctions clinched the record which now stands at £940. This is destined to be one of the collectibles of the year.



Investment Drams



Mike Lord

www.whiskyshopdufftown.co.uk


What whisky have you bought to keep?

Glenmorangie 1971. I had a big crush on Glenmorangie when I first got into whisky.

What whisky will you sell or open soon?

I just love big, sherry cask Glendronachs so I’m going to open my Glendronach 1994 18 Years Old PX Sherry Puncheon Cask #3547.

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