On Wednesday 07th March, Bonhams plays host to The Whisky Sale in Edinburgh. With a number of exceptional whiskies going under the hammer including The Macallan, Bowmore and Talisker this really is a rare opportunity to acquire some truly iconic and collectible whiskies.
With us very much now into the swing of 2018, have a look at our events calendar and see what exciting whisky auctions, events and festivals are taking place near you.
After an epic bidding battle that lasted over four hours past the scheduled finish, a cask of Macallan single malt whisky distilled in 1989 sold for an astounding £242,200 ($336,512) in our February auction. We reckon this is a world record for a cask of 1989 whisky!
As you’ll know if you’ve been following our previous blogposts, Cask 1248 is a refill sherry hogshead that has been maturing in one of the distillery’s official bonded warehouses since being filled in January 1989. It’s the ninth Macallan cask we’ve auctioned and the oldest one we’ve had so far.
The regauging done in December on this cask showed that it now holds approximately 257 standard 70cl bottles of whisky at a strength of 52.75% abv, with the hammer price equating to over £942 per bottle before commission, duty and bottling costs are added. The incredible price comfortably beats our previous records from last month when a 1990 Macallan of the same cask type fetched £135,100 at an equivalent bottle price of around £560. A larger cask of Macallan 1996 sold in the same auction for £168,300 (around £320 per bottle).
The price achieved by the Macallan 1989 represents a remarkable surge in value for casks from the distillery. A similar hogshead cask from the 1995 vintage sold for £52,100 only three months ago in November 2017. The sale is an astonishing return on investment for the previous owner of Cask 1248, who paid £2,700 for the cask in 1994 when the whisky was just five years old.
Our own Wayne Ormerod, founder of Whisky-Online Auctions, commented: “This was a superb sale. Macallan is a blue chip distillery known for its sherry casks, so it’s ideal for auctions like ours that specialise in the best quality older whiskies. It is great to see this level of demand for bonded casks of single malt from serious auction buyers. There were multiple bidders who were determined to secure Cask 1248, which is why the auction kept extending and the cask ended up going for such a fantastic price.
“We’ve been auctioning rare bottles of whisky for several years, so when the opportunity to start auctioning casks came along it seemed like a natural progression. It’s fair to say we’ve been very pleasantly surprised by just how successful it’s been.”
It’s amazing how quickly the prices of these casks has escalated – we only began selling bonded casks last July but the opportunity to own and bottle a ‘private’ cask has clearly been a big hit with our buyers. As well as the high-profile Macallan casks, we’ve also seen plenty of interest in casks of maturing whisky from distilleries including Isle of Jura, Tullibardine, Arran and even a 1990 vintage cask from Littlemill, a distillery which was closed and dismantled over twenty years ago.
“A cask of aged Macallan is an increasingly historic and valuable asset and will always fetch high prices, particularly as the old Macallan distillery will be closing later this year after production is switched to the new facility. That makes these casks representing the distillery’s golden era even more special,” said Wayne.
“The whisky is a great example of 1980s Macallan and the good news is that although it’s drinking very well now, it’ll definitely keep until its thirtieth birthday next year – if the buyer can wait that long to bottle it.
“This is a new and rapidly-growing part of our business and we expect these extraordinary prices will attract many other cask-owners keen to find out how much their own liquid gold could achieve at auction.”
After the success of their recent December 2017 whisky auction, Whisky-Online have compiled a collection of their most expensive selling whiskies…
The move will integrate the UK market into the global strategy for Gordon & MacPhail and Benromach whiskies going forward. David King, International Sales Director, will assume overall responsibility for global sales with the addition of the UK market to his existing international remit.
David King’s distinguished career in the whisky industry, has seen him hold a number of senior positions, both in the UK and internationally, for companies including the Edrington Group, Berry Brothers & Rudd and Anchor Distilling Co. He later founded DTK Beverages International Ltd, a boutique brand building and strategic consultancy before joining Gordon & MacPhail in 2016.
In his current role, David has refocused Gordon & MacPhail’s international sales strategy for both the Benromach and the Gordon & MacPhail single malt whiskies brand.
Ewen Mackintosh, Managing Director at Gordon & MacPhail, said: “The UK is an important single malt market and this is reflected in the expansion of David’s remit to include the UK as a key element of the company’s global sales strategy going forward. The restructuring of our sales division is part of the company’s long-term plan to build the reputation of the Gordon & MacPhail single malt whisky brand in the luxury sector while continuing to invest in marketing and brand building for Benromach across the world.”
In the UK, Stuart Ellis, UK Sales Manager, will now be the main contact for wholesale customers. Stuart joined Gordon & MacPhail in 2015 after spending more than 25 years in a range of account management positions in the UK market, including running his own distribution and online business. He will continue to utilise his strong experience in delivering effective account management for customers across the UK wholesale market.
The company’s award winning, UK wholesale division will focus on building sales of Gordon & MacPhail and Benromach whiskies alongside select distributor brands. The wholesale business also offers a complementary selection of premium spirits, coupled with product education and a focus on superior customer service.
The restructure follows the announcement in November 2017 of an overall sales increase of 10.8% to £28.3 million. International sales increased by 11.8% to £8.9 million and UK sales increased by 10.4% to £19.4m.
For more information, please contact Annie Diamond on email@example.com or 0131 228 9713.
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