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Drams Under the Hammer: July 2022

What to watch in the auction world this month
By Bradley Weir
A bottle of Pappy Van Winkle's family reserve
A bottle of Pappy Van Winkle's family reserve
This month’s Drams under the Hammer puts a focus on just how global the world of whisky is and the wide range available at auction houses. Last month featured the sale of the oldest Japanese single malt ever released, while the next few weeks upcoming includes some of the rarest and most desired American bourbon whiskeys ever made. There’s of course room for some spectacular Scotch whiskies too, including two Glenlivet bottles that date back to an impressive 59 years old and 79 years old respectively.

A bottle of Colonel E.H. Taylor Old Fashioned Sour Mash


Let’s take a deep dive into the wonderful world of whisky auctions, and be sure to check everything out that’s included in great detail.

What you missed...

Casks from a bygone era

Kicking things off with a look back at something previewed in last month’s Drams Under the Hammer, the ghost casks from Port Ellen and Brora were auctioned off on June 14th, with both bringing in a very impressive total.

Coincidentally, both casks were sold for £875,000 a piece, with both garnering impressive bidding totals. As reported earlier, an impressive 5% is to be donated to the Ukrainian Humanitarian Crisis charity from each cask. With £43,750 per cask, the total donation totals to £87,500.

Yamazaki 55-year-old sells for $600,000

The Yamazaki 55-year-old is the oldest Japanase single malt ever released, vatted from Mizunara and American White Oak casks distilled by Shinjiro Torri in 1960 and 1964. Sotheby’s recently included one of only 200 of the bottles ever made, selling for an impressive $600,000.

The rarity of this expression cannot be understated, with only 100 bottles initially available in Japan before 100 more followed around the rest of the globe. On its release, it is said to have caused a stir in the collector’s market, which made this particular auction something special to look out for.

Coming up...

Independence Day auction for American Bourbon collection

Whistle Pig The Boss Hog


A collection of very rare American Bourbon whiskeys is set to be auctioned off on Independence Day, with one of the desired bottles valued up to £25,000.

Some of the brands that will be made available include Pappy Van Winkle, Old Forester, Stitzel-Weller, E.H. Taylor and Willett Family Estate.

With an estimated price of £13,000, an E.H. Taylor Old Fashioned Sour Mash is also part of the auction. This whiskey was created by retired workers of Buffalo Trace, who used methods for ‘old fashioned sour mash’ whiskey which dates back to the late 1800s.

The sale will begin at 7pm, with the auction part of Whisky Hammer’s The Spirit of America Whiskey Auction. Interest can be registered on their website, as well more general information on the complete list of what is for sale. Deadlines for private sellers have now passed for this auction.

Daniel Milne, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Whisky Hammer, said: “This is an exciting collection for us to be auctioning – and not just because of the variety of bourbon on offer. Some of the stories behind these bottles are fascinating and give an insight into different time periods in American whiskey. Many bourbon collectors have never taken part in an auction before, so this is their chance to bid on and secure a drop of bourbon history.”

Final Fine Spirits Auction before the Summer break

FSA line-up


In the final edition of Fine Spirits Auction before they take a break for the summer, a collection dubbed ‘rarest of the rarest’ will be going on sale. The FSA is dedicated to the sale of fine whisky and spirits and is partnered with French specialist La Maison du Whisky. A selection of whisky bottles that are available in this auction include:

  • Ardbeg 1974
  • Glendronach 15-Year-Old
  • Laphroaig 10-Years
  • Ardmore 12-Year-Old 1986
  • Bushmills 10-Year-Old
  • Glenmorangie 10-Year-Old
  • Auchentoshan 8-Year-Old
  • Springbank 12-Year-Old

    Full information can be on the FSA website including the rum that is also available on auction. Every bottle has been authenticated and examine by a full time team of experts from La Maison du Whisky.


    A Pair of Glenlivet's

    At the time of writing, there are currently five days left on a pair of very rare Glenlivet’s, available on Whisky-Online Auctions. The first is a Glenlivet 1963 21-year-old for the chairman, bottled in 1984. The bottle is still presented in a wooden box, with the reserve yet to be met and a current bid of £260.

    The second is a highly impressive and lucrative Smith’s Glenlivet 1943, with a current bid of £1,000. The bottling date is said to be 1960, with 70 proof strength and bottled by Berry Bros. Although described as having signs of wear and tear and no box, there’s no denying that this is a valuable piece to any Glenlivet collection and undoubtedly a bottle of history. With just five days remaining, any readers interested will be wise to check out the auction as soon as possible.


    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.

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