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In the Summertime

Jonny McCormick toasts Centenary bottlings and welcomes a new entry.
While the summer rain drenched events from Glastonbury to Wimbledon, it was comforting to duck into the sale room and raise a bidding paddle at one of the month’s three major UK whisky auctions. Christies tacked on a fine range of pre-1950s whiskies to its London fine wine sale focusing on The Macallan (top price was £2,800 for the 1945). More than half of the bottles broke through the £1000 barrier including a BBR Highland Park from 1902 which pipped £2,000, 49 and 48 Years Old George & JG Smith bottlings of The Glenlivet distilled in 1938 made dignified £2,100 and £1,600 respectively.A range of Isle of Jura sold at McTear’s, Glasgow boosting its ranking to 27th including the Paps collection, sold for £160. Those buying Glenmorangie’s range picked up the cask strength Burr Oak and Truffle Oak for £180. Admirable prices procured bottlings of The Glenlivet 1959 (£900), The Macallan Robert Burns 250th Anniversary (£700), Rare Malts Glenlochy 26 Years Old 1969 (£500) and Rare Malts Hillside 25 Year Old 1970 (£440).Centenary bottlings were celebrated at Bonham’s second Edinburgh sale of the year.Glendronach 150th anniversary garnered £1,200, Bowmore Bicentenary achieved a decent £600, Craigellachie 14 Years Old Centenary made £550, North British 50 Years Old 175th anniversary £550, Glen Elgin Centenary 19 Years Old £190 and Speyburn 21 Years Old Centenary £120. A tidy lot comprising Blair Athol Bicentenary 18 Years Old, Dufftown 20 Years Old Centenary, Glendullan 16 Years Old Centenary and Dalwhinnie 15 Years Old Centenary fetched £300. Top prices went to Sherriff’s Bowmore 18 Years Old £3,200, early 20th century Glenfiddich £2,400 and early 20th century Old Pulteney £1,800. The prices of collectable stalwarts rose with Black Bowmore First Edition climbing to £2,300, Port Ellen Maltings up at £1,600, Brora Rare Malts 1972 22 Years Old reached £900, The Macallan Royal Marriage 1948/61 £800 and The Macallan Private Eye £700.Cadenhead’s bottlings showed strongly: Balmenach 21 Years Old distilled 1961 and St Magdalane’s 15 Years Old distilled 1964 made £750 together.The Glenrothes displaced Linkwood from the top flight as bidders sought out the vintage releases and higher priced rarities such as the Glenrothes- Glenlivet 42 Years Old distilled in 1932 (£1,500 at Bonham’s) and Glenrothes 28 Years Old distilled in 1947 (£850 at McTear’s). Lagavulin dropped out the top 25 mid-month, but a strong showing of Syndicate bottlings from Bruichladdich at Bonham’s saw it settle at 18th by month’s end. Finally, The Dalmore put the brakes on its rankings decline thanks to McTear’s offerings.FORTHCOMING AUCTIONS (subject to change)
7th September 2011
Mulberry Bank Auctions, Glasgow Tel +44 (0)141 225 8181
22nd September 2011
Christies, Paris Tel +33 (0)140 768585
12th October 2011
Bonhams, Edinburgh Tel +44 (0)1292 520 000
27th October 2011
Bonham’s, New York Tel +1 917 206 1644

Forthcoming auctions