As we enter 2019, the whisky market remains buoyant, driven by strong demand both domestically and from international buyers. We successfully held our inaugural Whisky & Spirits auction in December 2018, with over 100 rare bottles going under the hammer, many achieving new market records. The sale was particularly notable as it featured a whisky from every decade since 1910, including an exceptionally rare Shamrock Whiskey produced by Belfast firm Kirker Greer & Co Ltd, which had never previously been offered at auction.

 

So, are we in a golden age of whisky? 

In one sense, yes.

 

Current demand and prices achieved at auction have never been higher. This is in part driven by the fact that the golden age of whisky production has long passed, and the price rises show the battle being played out for the relics of this by gone age.

WHITE BOWMORE 1964 43 YEAR OLD

LOTS 76 & 77 | WHITE BOWMORE 1964 43 YEAR OLD | bottles numbered 171 & 172 of 732, bottled in 2008, with presentation case | £8,000 - 10,000 + fees (each)

In our forthcoming April auction, we are delighted to be offering two such bottles. Bowmore White was distilled in 1964 and bottled in 2008 at 43 years old (£8,000-10,000 + fees). Regarded as one of the finest bourbon-matured whisky ever released by Bowmore, the distillates from the 1950s and 1960salso represent some of the best whisky in the world of any era. They have a seductive balance of tropical fruits infused with a subtle smoke, which is highly sought after by whisky connoisseurs. By contrast two iconic 1960s whiskies from Bunnahabhain also feature, the 1968 Auld Acquaintance (£1,000-£1,500 + fees) and the 1966 bottled for the Islay whisky festival in 2002 (£600-800 + fees). They are some of the finest examples of sherry matured whisky from the distillery, but at a tenth of the price of Bowmore, it demonstrates the effect that a unique spirit profile can have on the value.

Beyond some siren-like whiskies from Islay, the sale also features a broad range of bottles such as a Japanese edition of the Highland Park 1977 Bicentenary Reserve, as well as a Macallan bottle from1937 distillation and two from 1959. Additional highlights include an Ardbeg Guaranteed 30 year old (£700-1,000 + fees), a Balvenie 1970 single cask (£1,000-1,500 + fees) and a Mortlach 1949 (£600-800 + fees).

A final feature is the Girvan 1964 First Batch Distillation 38 year old (£300-500 + fees), an exceptional whisky that represents a rare flavour profile with an intense palate of tropical fruits. Girvan started production during Christmas 1963 and as such this bottling contains some of the earliest whisky produced at the distillery. In essence, liquid history.


 

Dates for Your Diary

 

AUCTION | Whisky & Spirits | Tuesday 16 Apr at 6:00pm | Edinburgh

VIEWING | Sunday 14 April, 12pm to 4pm | Monday 15 April 10am to 5pm | Tuesday 16 April from 10am

 

VIEW THE FULL AUCTION CATALOGUE