Auction News — Sponsored by Whisky Auctioneer

Auction News: “The influence of the collector remains keenly felt”

Whisky Auctioneer's expert offers his thoughts on November
By Joe Wilson
Whisky Auctioneer's Summit of Collectability 2021
Whisky Auctioneer's Summit of Collectability 2021
Having witnessed it in its full and resplendent entirety, there were times when I never thought I would one day be saying that our journey with Pat’s Whisk(e)y had come to an end. The largest private collection ever to come to auction, the 9,000+ bottles were sold over fourteen months and spotlighted within twenty-three auctions, nine of which were curated exclusively from it. The process culminated this month with a special ‘Grand Finale’ sale, featuring a number of sub-collections specially selected by Pat as his favourites.
Pat of Pat's Whisk(e)y Collection and Joe Wilson

Alongside the sale, we hosted Whisky Auctioneer’s inaugural Summit of Collectability; a panel discussion tasked with identifying the origins, increasing appeal and future of whisky as a collector’s item. A heady cocktail of insight from industry professionals, researchers and the (now, slightly less) mysterious Pat himself, the conversation provided a fascinating mix of perspectives from both those who make and those who buy.
Pat, Joe and drinks writer and Summit host Alice Lascelles

While the panellists from GlenDronach and Nc’nean distilleries were keen to stress their desire to see their bottles opened and shared, the influence of the collector remains keenly felt within the Scotch whisky industry. Despite being the first in over a year to contain none of Pat’s bottles, our November auction is a shining example of this influence, and includes a number of series that eluded even Pat.

One of these is the famed ‘Scottish Classic’ from Glenfarclas. A 40-year-old single malt bottled in 1999, each of its 600 bottles possesses one of 30 different labels bearing illustrations representing some of Scotland’s best-loved literary greats. The appeal of these to collectors was never more greatly evidenced than by the late Mr Richard Gooding, whose ‘Perfect Collection’, auctioned by Whisky Auctioneer earlier this year, contained all thirty of them.
Glenfarclas 40-year-old Scottish Classic

Speaking of Glenfarclas and the world’s great whisky collectors – our November auction (26 November to 6 December) features no less than six official expressions specially selected by Luc Timmermans, the pre-eminent independent authority on the distillery. These are sure to be some of the most fascinating examples of their type, and a perfect representation of the positive impact of the collector upon the industry.

Although quality of liquid was the key driver, Pat highlighted a trinity of influences on his collecting, the others being bottle design and, in the case of a serialised release, the uniqueness of the concept behind it. Something that perfectly encompasses this triumvirate is the 26 Malts collection from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. An exceedingly rare break from the SMWS’s usually deliberately monothematic presentation, each bottle in the release has a unique label, collaboratively produced by 26 pairings of a writer and an artist tasked with championing the written word with their design.
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society's 26 Malts

Only fifty complete sets of the 26 Malts were produced, and we are delighted to offer one in our November sale – the first appearance of the collection in one of our auctions for a full calendar year. On that previous occasion, the bottles were, of course, Pat’s. Their return this month is a poignant reminder that, although Pat’s Whisk(e)y Collection now belongs to history, its bottles and those of many other past collections now belong to the whisky enthusiasts of today, and perhaps most importantly, tomorrow.

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.
Whisky Auctioneer endeavours to make the market more accessible for buyers and sellers of any background and geography. Its monthly global auctions feature some of the most comprehensive selections of old, rare and collectible whiskies and spirits available online.
Whisky Auctioneer became the first online auction house to sell a million-pound bottle and outperformed the nearest traditional auction house by 200 per cent in value from spirits sales in 2020, showcasing the move that whisky collectors, investors and drinkers have already made online and firmly establishing their leading position within the modern secondary whisky market.