In our latest auction we saw what could be described as a curious mixture of solid consistency and the usual July quiet spell. Once again we had a couple of bonded casks of whisky at the top of the sale, this time a pair of delicious 1996 Ben Nevis butts. At £13,000 a piece this seems a more sensible, traditional market value result than some previous casks have fetched. Although still well above what you’d have paid from a broker until recently, this perhaps represents the big difference in cultural perception between Ben Nevis and the likes of Macallan or a closed distillery such as Littlemill.
Moving to the bottles and Macallan predictably had another good turn out with £4200 for the 1957 Anniversary Malt and £3900 for the 40 year old Gordon & MacPhail bottling for Italy from the 1970s. While impressive it seems as though it won’t be long until these early Anniversary Malts will be spiralling even higher towards a five figure sum. Let’s see what’s happening a year from now, in today’s market it’s getting harder and harder to be surprised by anything. We used to baulk at the likes of the Macallan Diamond Jubilee fetching north of £1200, and yet, here we are with last night’s example fetching £3600. Interesting times…
Other solidly performing Macallans were a pair of Private Eyes for £3300 apiece and a 1970 Anniversary Malt for £3000. It seems, despite constant supply, the market still has appetite for these kinds of bottlings.
It was good to see the Bowmore 1956 official distillery bottling return. Unsurprisingly it ended up at £4100, even at this price it seems good for such an incredible whisky. Interestingly the Brora 1972 Rare Malts 58.7% fetched £2800, down a little on previous results. Could this be the lower filling level, over-supply, or just summer doldrums? Time will tell, but I suspect whoever bought it nabbed themselves a wee bargain.
Other stunning whiskies in the upper ends of the sale included the Bowmore Bicentenary at £1750. This is another bottling that, despite ubiquity at auction, is going nowhere but up in price. When everyone wants to a bottling, for both collecting and drinking then value is pretty much bullet proof these days. Similarly, it was good to see the Highland Park Rebus 20 year old fetching £1650. This is a lesser known bottling, but those who have been lucky enough to taste it will understand the desirability.
Undeniably our favourite bottle this sale was the Ainslie Baillie & Cofrom the early 20th century. It’s so rare to find old genuine bottles like this in such stunning condition. This would have contained a significant proportion of Clynelish and I can only imagine what it must taste like. £1500 is a solid price.
Another interesting result was for the Lagavulin 12 year old White Horse 1970s bottling. This is a bottle that I’ve often mentioned in these reports, however, the fact it jumped right up to £1200 last night shows that it is likely entering a new trading level. It’s understandable when the quality of the whisky in these bottles has been lauded for years now and desirability is only going up and up.
Similarly the two old vintage dumpy Highland Park bottlings at £1150 a piece is also understandable, these bottlings are becoming more and more popular these days as knowledge about just how beautiful the whisky contained within is proliferates. Again, it will be very interesting to see where these bottlings are sitting at a year from now.
Other solid results were the Macallan Travel series for £1050, the Springbank 25 year old dumpy official bottling for £1050 and rather beautiful old official 1960s Rosebank for £975. Interestingly, an identical bottle sold for £575 as well. The only difference? Some splitting to the seal. It’s interesting to see how these kinds of wee details can make a different to collectors.
Midleton whiskies have long been collectable, however, in recent months we’ve noticed how prices across the board for their official releases have started to really skyrocket. For years you could pick up the 1990 Midleton release for around £160-220. Last night one fetched £825 and a 1997 release hit £650. With earlier releases in the series now consistently at four figures, how long before the 1990s releases all go the same way?
Another bottling which, conversely, seems like it’s taking its time to get above four figures is the Rare Malts Port Ellen releases. These bottlings have long sat around the £500-700 mark. Last night one fetched £825 which is a solid result. I suspect that one day these will jump above the £1000 mark and then it’ll be impossible to get one for less. Now might be a good time to snap one up if you’ve ever eyed one…
In terms of bargains this month there were perhaps one or two more than usual, although by old standards they are still thin on the ground and today’s definition of ‘bargain’ on the secondary market perhaps needs updating from what it meant in 2012-14. A 1968 Dalmore bottled in 1983 by Avery’s of Bristol seems like decent value at £575 for such a rare bottling. The Highland Park Ice at £105 also looks good compared to other recent sales.
Beyond that though, it’s rather slim pickings. As usual almost everything at the lower ends of the sale is really starting to hit or outstrip what might be considered its regular market value. Although, given the rapid and volatile nature of today’s secondary market, is there still really such a thing as ‘market value’? Probably not for an increasing number of whiskies I’d say…
15 February 2017 – Bowmore® Islay Single Malt Whisky, home to the world’s oldest scotch maturation
warehouse, has announced the launch of Bowmore® Vault Edit1°n Atlantic Sea Salt, the debut release in a
four-part limited edition collection of whiskies. From now until the end of 2019 a new whisky will be released
every year, each of which will unlock one of Bowmore®’s four key flavours; Atlantic sea salt, peat smoke,
vanilla sweetness and citrus fruits. Crafted in the unique conditions of Bowmore®’s maturation warehouse
the No.1 Vaults, Bowmore® Vault Edit1°n Atlantic Sea Salt is the ideal gift for whisky lovers with a savoury
AN UNRIVALLED SERIES
Bowmore®’s unparalleled range of award-winning single malts is renowned for four key flavour characteristics
found in every bottle. From the salty sea spray of the Atlantic Ocean that pounds the distillery’s ancient coastal
wall, to the gentle peat smoke synonymous with this famous Islay malt, Bowmore® will proudly showcase its
distinctive qualities with the launch of the Vault Edit1°n series.
UNLOCK HIDDEN DEPTHS
The Vault Edit1°n series takes its name from Bowmore®’s
legendary No.1 Vaults, which was established in 1779. It has been
said that time stands still in the chilling sea-air atmosphere of the
No.1 Vaults and transforms single malt whisky into liquid gold to
create Bowmore®’s perfectly balanced expressions and the
distinctive flavours highlighted by this series: Atlantic sea salt,
peat smoke, sweetness and citrus fruits.
AN OCEAN OF FLAVOUR
Aged in ex-bourbon casks, the first release in this highly
anticipated new series will highlight Bowmore®’s distinctive salty
flavour profile with notes of salted honeycomb and Atlantic sea
spray perfectly balanced with notes of sun-ripened fruits, zingy
spiced cocoa and blood orange. Created using hand selected casks
to create a refined liquid of greater depth, Bowmore® Vault
Edit1°n Atlantic Sea Salt reflects the distinctive climate in the
depths of the No. 1 Vaults. This sublime whisky is awash with
blackberry, sea salt and kumquat offering a lasting finish that
opens out like the vast Atlantic Ocean that the Bowmore® distillery overlooks.
Bowmore® Vault Edit1°n Atlantic Seat Salt will be available at specialist whisky retailers, as part of a fourpart
limited edition series, one of which will be released each year between now and 2019. The next
release in the Vault Edit1°n series will be Vault Edit1°n Peat Smoke.
For more information please contact:
email@example.com | 0207 851 6629
Only 2,000 bottles of Bowmore Mizunara Cask Finish available globally from
Harrods, Selfridges, The Whisky Exchange, The Whisky Shop
ABV 53.9% | 700ml | RRP from £650
A NEW WORLD WHERE EAST MEETS WEST
Bowmore, the first distillery on Scotland’s isle of Islay, has launched a world first; a Single Malt Scotch Whisky that has been finished in precious oak casks hand-crafted from the rare Mizunara tree of Japan. Bowmore Mizunara Cask Finish beautifully brings together two of the world’s most renowned whisky islands to create a refined, elegant and complex Single Malt, making it the ultimate gift for the whisky connoisseur. This exclusive expression of just 2,000 bottles is priced from £650.
A WHISKY MADE OF MORE
Having never before left Japan, the carefully selected and delicate Mizunara oak casks embarked on a 6,000 mile journey across two oceans, before being laid to rest in Bowmore’s legendary No.1 vaults located on Scotland’s rugged whisky island. Under the watchful eye of Bowmore’s Distillery Manager and Master Blender the result is a whisky finished to perfection, imparting notes of floral spice with fragrant smoke, carried on a fresh ocean breeze to create a uniquely balanced and refined dram of consequence.
From the instantly captivating and recognisable Mizunara oak flavours of spicy but sweet vanilla on the palate, followed by notes of cedar wood, exotic mango and honey-rose blossom, Bowmore Mizunara Cask Finish is balanced by the complementary notes of Bowmore’s signature smokiness to create a rounded and complex whisky that should be served and savoured neat.
Enjoy this exceptional whisky from a traditional Glencairn crystal tulip glass. Perfect for nosing, the bowl of this iconic glass gives the whisky room to breathe; this opens up the aromas before delivering the dram onto exactly the right part of the tongue, maximising the tasting experience of this unique liquid.
THE WHISKY LOVERS’ COLLECTION
Filled and sealed by hand, the limited edition bottle is presented in a specially designed luxury box with illustrations denoting its Japanese and Scottish heritage. With the rare whisky launching just in time for the festive gifting period, Bowmore Mizunara Cask Finish makes the ideal gift for whisky lovers and luxury collectors alike where they can own a part of history.
Islay, Scotland, November 2015: On a clear night, a cold westerly breeze off the coast of Scotland will carry you to the remote and rugged isle of Islay, an island which legend has it that was once the home to the Devil himself. On previous sightings, it is said that the Devil was chased through the village of Bowmore into the gates of Islay’s first distillery. Every inch was searched, but the Devil was nowhere to be seen; he was thought to have escaped inside a cask of Bowmore®, bound for the mainland. As the story of The Devil’s Casks unfolds further in this third and final chapter, the Devil’s plot creates an unprecedented twist.
Having returned to Islay once before (The Devil’s Cask II), the Devil has mastered the art of illusion this autumn with the sighting of a second devil. For the first time the whisky has matured in not just one, but two types of sherry casks, marrying dry Oloroso sherry casks and sweet Pedro Ximénez sherry casks to give the expression an incredible intensity and richness that tempts whisky fans with double the complexity and double the flavour.
DOUBLE THE DEVIL
To leave his mark on Bowmore and to be forever immortalised on the island, the Devil’s cunning escape has created a beguiling liquid that will taunt and tease with its double personality, which will be irresistible to all who come to taste it:
Devil No.1: Pedro Ximénez Sherry revels in its sweetness as the grapes are dried in the Spanish sun producing intense aromas of chocolate and coffee.
Devil No.2: Dry Oloroso Sherry captivates with its dark, fruity aromas with notes of figs and raisins, resulting in a smooth, dark and indulgent liquid.
The two first-fill sherry matured whiskies are expertly married (delicately blended together and rested) after having being laid to rest in Bowmore’s No. 1 Vaults, the oldest maturation warehouse in Scotland.
Breathe in a wave of rich, dark, exotic fruits, including sultanas, mangos and raisins, fused with earthy angelica root and treacle toffee. Give in to temptation and sip the smooth, rounded taste of dates, chocolate fudge and salted treacle, warmed by orange-laced Aruba coffee. Finally, savour the powerful, long-lasting finish of smoked fruitcake, blood orange and sea salt. Devilishly rewarding and a great addition to any whisky collection, this limited edition release not only tells a tale, it spells the end.
For more information please contact
Rebecca Brennan at LDR CREATIVE
firstname.lastname@example.org | 0207 851 6629
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