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What lies beneath?

Jonny McCormick reports on Christie's Paris auction and looks ahead to the year end sales
The WMI value is based on the value of the top 25 distilleries at auction during the past 12 months, but this month we take a look at those distilleries which are ranked from 26-50 (showing the change from the last major auctions in August rather than September). These distilleries still have highly collectable releases that loyal followers keenly track down. Bucking the trend is Kinclaith, the Lowland distillery dismantled in 1975 holds the current highest average price at auction on the WMI, higher than The Macallan or The Dalmore. However, with only a few treasured independent bottlings available, Kinclaith’s scarcity at whisky auctions means we are unlikely to see it break into the top 25.Auction Watch
A quiet month in the auction rooms as we prepare for the exciting sales at the end of the year. Just a clutch of fine single malts passed through Christie’s two-day Fine Wine and Spirit Sales in Paris in September.The auction itself raised €2.8 million and in the spirits section, a bottle of The Macallan 25 Years Old from 1963 made €450 while a bottle of The Macallan 18 Years Old from 1983 fetched €145. A pair of Bowmore 1963 were snapped up for €800, while a Glenmorangie 1963 took €320 and a Glenfarclas distilled in 1961 exceeded its high estimate of €300 peaking at €420. The end result was a small rise in the WMI value with Glenfarclas regaining two places in the rankings up to 20th resulting in Lagavulin and Aberlour falling by a corresponding place each.Ahead, we look forward to Christie’s next London sale where they will offer the most remarkable single collection of single malts and blends including many Prohibition-era whiskies. The two thousand bottle collection from a private Italian property was securely stored in a wood-panelled sanctuary behind a six inch steel door accessed behind a bookcase. The show-stopping rarities will likely see collectors, investors, retailers and distillery archivists all bidding to make the most of this opportunity and we’ll have the full report in the next issue.The Macallan 64 Years Old in Lalique Cire Perdue ABV 42.5% will be auctioned by Sotheby’s in New York at the conclusion of its global tour. This unique ship’s decanter was created using the “Cire perdue” or lost wax technique mastered by René Lalique and marks the 150th anniversary of his birth.The whisky was vatted from three casks filled in 1942, 1945 and 1946 and represents the oldest bottle of The Macallan ever released by the distillery.The 10cl bottles auctioned around the world have already raised a substantial sum for charity:water including NT$1.3 million in Taipei City and the Manhattan charity auction should command the highest price of the year if not an all time auction record.FORTHCOMING AUCTION DATES
21st October 2010.
Christie’s, London Tel +44 (0)20 7930 6074
15th November 2010.
Sotheby’s, New York Tel +1 212 606 7000
17th November 2010.
Bonhams, Edinburgh Tel +44 (0) 131 225 2266
23rd November 2010.
Bonhams, Hong Kong Tel +852 2918 4321
24th November 2010.
McTear’s, Glasgow Tel +44 (0)141 810 2880

Forthcoming auctions