Here’s a story that might send you rifling through the back of your drinks cabinet, particularly if you’ve amassed countless bottles and have friends with excellent taste in whisky: “An older couple brought in a unique and very rare bottle of Aberlour 1966 Private Cask #3123 after having it in the family for many years,” relates Laura MacLaren, a representative of Whisky Auctioneer – an online auction company that specialises in valuing and auctioning fine and rare whiskies.
“They were originally given it as a gift. We couldn’t find another example like it at the time, so it was very difficult to value. A 1960s Aberlour might typically achieve between £300 (US$406) and £600 (US$813), but we were delighted when it reached a fantastic hammer price of £1,750 (US$2,372)!” Since Whisky Auctioneer first began holding online auctions in 2013 from their headquarters in Perth, Scotland, their selection of lots has encompassed a broad range of whiskies, including Scotch, Bourbon, Japanese whisky, Irish whiskey, and other world whiskies.
One particularly exciting moment for them this year came in the form of a Karuizawa 1960 Single Cask #5627 during an auction in April, which went on to become the most expensive single bottle of Japanese whisky sold at auction. “It was the oldest and rarest Japanese whisky we have ever offered, and it was one of only 41 bottles produced,” MacLaren recalls. “They’re very rarely seen at auction, so there was a huge amount of buzz around this bottle before and during the auction. The final hammer price was £100,100 (US$135,688) – a record for us, and an European auction record as well.”