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…
Highland Park, the award-winning single malt whisky distributed by Maxxium UK, is proud to announce the launch of their ICE EDITION.
This stunning expression celebrates the Viking roots of the brand’s Orkney Island home, where the Norse influence and culture were woven for hundreds of years before Highland Park single malt whisky was created.
Naturally vivid and radiant in colour with a 53.9% ABV, this special edition has been aged predominantly in ex-bourbon casks and is limited globally to only 30,000 bottles.
Jason R. Craig, Brand Director, Highland Park, commented: “This 17 year old single malt has a classic Highland Park flavour. The dynamic soft spicy notes complement and intertwine with creamy vanilla hues, providing a balanced, long finish – a truly harmonious whisky to savour.
“In blue tinted bespoke glass reflecting dazzling and glittering ice, the bottle shape has been designed to evoke the distinctive sharpness and coolness of the mythical and magical Ice Realm.”
This new edition is encased in a stunning mountain shaped wooden cradle with accompanying wooden stopper. The intricate circle design on the label itself represents the circle of life – the creation of the world, protected by a dragon, a mythical creature often central in classic Norse mythology. A booklet accompanying this new variant, recounts the story of the realm of the Ice Giants and their wonderfully colourful battle against the Gods to rule the world.
ICE Edition will be followed by FIRE Edition in 2017 and follows on from the recent Valhalla Collection which championed the stories of four legendary Gods: Thor, Loki, Freya and Odin who were to be found in Asgard.
Highland Park ICE Edition is available from specialist whisky retailers including Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt.
For more information please contact:
Issued by The BIG Partnership on behalf of Maxxium UK. For further information or images, please contact:
Fiona Hendrie or Gabrielle Roscamp at The BIG Partnership: Tel 0131 557 5252.
Fiona.Hendrie@bigpartnership.co.uk / Gabrielle.Roscamp@bigpartnership.co.uk
Direct from the gates of Valhalla, Highland Park has unveiled the last in the series of stunning whiskies that celebrates its Norse heritage. ODIN, named for the King of Asgard himself, joins Thor, Loki and the beautiful Freya to complete Highland Park’s Valhalla Collection.
Legend has it that Odin, All-father of the gods and ruler of Asgard, is an intensely complex character. Known as ‘the furious one’, Odin is the strongest of all the Norse gods and driven by an unquenchable thirst for wisdom. By sacrificing an eye for a drink from the Well of Wisdom, he earned immeasurable knowledge and insight. With only one eye which blazes like the sun, Odin cuts an ominous figure.
Creating a single malt to reflect the dominant characteristics of Odin was no easy feat but the Highland Park whisky makers have excelled. This whisky strikes a balance between the god and the distillery’s signature Orcadian style – Highland Park’s sweet and gentle smoky peat aromas. The result is an undeniably powerful 16 year old single malt.
Gerry Tosh, Global Marketing Manager, says: “Odin, like its namesake, is an intense, powerful and complex whisky. Bottled at 55.8% ABV, it certainly lives up to the legend, a bold single malt higher in strength than Thor, Loki and Freya. In Odin, we have been able to add the final flourish to the Valhalla Collection, a stunning series of remarkable whiskies that offer affordability and exclusive collectability.”
“Now that Odin has joined the ranks of the other gods in the Valhalla Collection, the first chapter in this series is complete. However, the Norse legends of old may still offer us future intrigues.”
With only 17,000 bottles released globally, this limited edition whisky comes housed in the same distinctive award winning wooden frame of Thor, Loki and Freya echoing the fearsome contours of a traditional Viking long ship. The bottle itself reflects Odin’s character – dark and imperfect and slightly battle worn.
Tasting Notes: Highland Park ODIN / 16 years old / 55.8% ABV
Colour: Vivid burst of sunlight
Nose: This intense whisky possesses a fierce spice. Cinnamon bark and nutmeg rise from Odin’s spirit. Behind the spice, toasted walnuts smoulder with pulsating explosions of smoke. Odin cuts an ominous figure and this whisky is no different.
Palate: A huge, powerful palate draws on the complexity of Odin’s character. Layers of peat uncover thousands of years of wisdom. Dense oak combines with rich charred walnuts.
Finish: Throughout is a subtle sweetness, sharing the knowledge of well-seasoned sherry wines. Plums and soft fruit disappear into the dark as the peaty embers glow into a smoky finale.
Odin will be available from specialist independent whisky retailers, at the Highland Park distillery and www.highlandpark.co.uk at an RRP of £180.
For more information please contact:
Linsay Moore/Laura Hutchinson at The BIG Partnership on 0131 557 5252 or firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com
Please enjoy our brand responsibly. www.drinkaware.co.uk
Highland Park today announced the launch of a new core expression inspired by the cunning spirit and courageous personality of its founder, Magnus Eunson.
Establishing a secret bunker in the hills of High Park in Orkney, Magnus ‘Mansie’ Eunson became a famed dark distiller back in the late 1700s, creating whisky for the people of Orkney to offer relief from the villainy of the tax collector. By day he worked tirelessly in his church providing spiritual guidance to the people of Orkney, but in the dead of night, he hand crafted what was to ultimately become the best spirit in the world, warming hearts and uniting all who tasted it.
Dark Origins, a stunning, non-chill filtered single malt with an ABV of 46.8%, will start to appear on shelves in July and roll out internationally throughout autumn 2014.
It uses twice as many first fill sherry casks than in the classic Highland Park 12 year old resulting in a naturally darker, richer flavour with sherried spice, a chocolate twist and the signature sweet smoke fans of the Orcadian elixir have come to know and love.
Highland Park is one of the few distilleries not using distiller’s caramel and so Dark Origins takes its natural colour from the interaction between spirit and cask which Highland Park believes consistently rate amongst the best casks in whisky.
Gerry Tosh, Global Marketing Manager, said: “Cask management is so very crucial to our work at Highland Park. We have strived to raise the bar, working tirelessly in sourcing the right wood and then working and finessing the balances to ensure we create single malt that is rich, warm and enticing in flavour. Dark Origins sits in the heart of our core range complimenting them perfectly – distinct in itself, but always and forever a classic Highland Park.”
The tasting notes:
Colour: Rich mahogany
Nose: Sherried spice and ripe bananas combine with toasted hazelnuts and baked apple
Palate: Well-balanced, dry peat at first mellowing out to maraschino cherries, warm dark chocolate entices the palate
Finish: Enduring sweet smoke
Dark Origins will be exclusively available from Harrods from 1 July – 14 July at an RRP of £64.95. It will be available from specialist independent whisky retailers, at the Highland Park distillery and www.highlandpark.co.uk thereafter.
To learn more you can follow us on https://www.facebook.com/HighlandParkWhisky, on Twitter @HighlandPark and on Instagram on @highlandparkofficial
For more information
The BIG Partnership
Sarah McDonald / Laura Hutchinson
0131 557 5252
Please enjoy our brand responsibly www.drinkaware.co.uk
The award winning single malt whisky Highland Park, has clinched a total of seven new awards for both Thor and Highland Park 50 year old reinforcing the brand’s ability to continue to win the highest accolades for new and limited editions.
Following the recent launch of Thor, the first edition of Highland Park’s stunning Valhalla Collection, (a range of four unique whiskies, released annually, taking inspiration from the legendary Nordic gods of old) it has been awarded the first ever Spirit Design Masters Award at The Spirits Business 2012 Awards. The stunning 16 year old single malt which is the newest edition to the Highland Park family also secured Gold, Best in Class at the International Spirits Challenge 2012. This is one of the most respected and influential spirit competitions in the world, receiving more than 1000 entries from across 70 countries.
Highland Park’s oldest ever island single malt whisky – Highland Park 50 year old, which launched exclusively at Harrods, London in 2010 has also collected a total of four awards. As well as winning Best Design at the World Whiskies Award 2012, this unique bottle, encased in an intricate ‘net cage’ of hand-crafted ornate Sterling silver created by Scottish jewellery designer Maeve Gillies, also took home the Best Limited Edition at the World Whiskies Design Awards. With only 275 bottles produced this prestigious edition was also named Best Single Malt Scotch 41 Years and Over (Multiple Casks), at the 2012 Whisky Bible Awards.
Adding to the brands successful run recently both Highland Park 50 year old and Thor have also both clinched a gold medal for design and packaging at the International Spirits Challenge 2012.
Peter Sandstrom, marketing director for Maxxium said: “To receive recognition from these respected industry bodies is a great honour and we are thrilled with the success we have achieved this year. The quality of the competition means that all of these awards are of great significance to us. We’re looking forward to building on this success in the near future, especially in terms of our newer editions, which will allow us to maintain our award winning reputation within the industry.”
To find out more about Highland Park please visit www.highlandpark.co.uk
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