Welcome Guest
April Whisky Auction Highlights 2023

2023, Auction Highlights -

April Whisky Auction Highlights 2023

Welcome back to our Whisky-Online Auctions Highlights blog! Our April 2023 whisky auction is packed to the rafters with top class drams from Macallan, Brora, Springbank, Highland Park and many more, so we’d best crack on.

Monthly Macallan Highlights

It’s a time-honoured tradition that every month we bring you a remarkable selection of fantastic Macallan, with newer releases rubbing shoulders with legendary Macallan bottlings from the distillery’s rich and lustrous history.

Brief highlights from this month's Macallan’s modern era releases include 2019’s Macallan Boutique, 2018’s Macallan Concept One and 2017’s Macallan New Home Queen Street.  There’s also some interesting sets in this sale, including the now-defunct Macallan 1824 Collection, which features bottles of Macallan Ruby, Macallan Gold, Macallan Amber and Macallan Sienna. 

Macallan Globe Trotter

Other top class Macallan sets in this months sale include all six of the Macallan Edition releases, which were bottled annually between 2015-2020, and the Macallan James Bond 60th Anniversary Globe Trotter set, featuring six bottles representing Bond’s six decades in the business, presented in a fancy Globe Trotter suitcase complete with limited edition art prints.

There’s plenty of older Macallan releases for the purists, too, of course. We’ve got some sumptuous old all-sherry Macallan in this month’s auction, with highlights including the famous blue wooden box Macallan 30-year-old, a 1974 vintage Macallan 25-year-old Anniversary Malt bottled just before the turn of the millennium and a magnificent old Macallan 12-year-old 100-proof bottled in 1971 (and hence distilled no later than 1959). This is a fabulously dark Macallan bottled by Gordon & MacPhail and is decorated with their classic screen-printed thistles.

Returning favourite Macallans this month include the stunning 1946, 1948 and 1949 vintages, plus Macallan 1980 Gran Reserva and several great 1960s and 1970s vintages, the highlight of which must be the Macallan 1975-2005 released in the mid-Noughties as part of the legendary Fine and Rare Macallan series of vertical vintages - one of only 89 bottles at 51%.

You can check out all this month’s Macallan here.

Islay Magic

We have a splendid selection of top quality stuff from the magic isle in this month's whisky sale. Ardbeg fans are very well catered-for, with a pretty comprehensive line-up of bottlings from the early Glenmorangie takeover era around the turn of the century. Highlights include early editions of Ardbeg 10-year-old and Ardbeg 17-year-old, plus the Path to Peaty Maturity bottlings Very Young and Still Young, a variety of more recent Feis Ile Ardbeg Day bottles and some great 1990s vintage bottlings from Cadenhead’s

Bowmore fans have some great stuff awaiting them too in this month’s auction. The obvious highlight is the return of the glorious Black Bowmore 1964 42-year-old released in 2007 as part of the Bowmore Trilogy series, but there’s other great Bowmores too, with 2020’s Bowmore Timeless 27-year-old joined by older bottlings including 12-year-old Bowmores from the 1980s and 1990s, limited editions like the Bowmore European Fly Fishing Championship 2003 and a couple of very promising vintage bottlings by Cadenhead’s.

It’s a great month for Lagavulin fans, with rare official bottlings such as the 21-year-old and 25-year-old Lagavulins from the early years of the Special Releases being joined by some lovely old White Horse Lagavulin 16-year-olds and a string of wonderful Syndicate bottlings aged between 20-40 years old. There’s also several Offerman Lagavulins this month, alongside rare Feis Ile and distillery only bottlings. 

Laphroaig fans, meanwhile, will be chasing Laphroaig 1989 27-year-old and the famous wooden box Laphroaig 30-year-old bottled around the turn of the millennium, and there’s also several interesting Highgrove vintage releases in this month’s sale. For history buffs we also have the famous and very rare ‘Leapfrog’ Laphroaig 1987 single cask bottled by maverick funsters Murray McDavid in 2000.

Miscellaneous Islay malts worth looking out for this month include a Caol Ila 1974 by First Cask, the return of Bunnahabhain 1963, the outstanding Douglas Laing’s Old & Rare Platinum Port Ellen 1982 30-year-old and a fabulous 36-year-old Bruichladdich 1966 bottled by Duncan Taylor in 2003 at its natural cask strength of 40.7%.

Sherried Treasure

We’ll start with an absolute banger from Gordon & MacPhail - the magnificent Glen Grant 1958, bottled in 1996 and one of several truly wonderful Glen Grants from this vintage released by the Elgin legends in the last thirty years. That's not the only notable sherried Glen Grant from G&M this month, of course - there's also Glen Grant 1955-2005 and Glen Grant 1965-2009. These are all truly beautiful drams from one of Speyside’s greatest distilleries.

Gordon & MacPhail Whisky

Other brilliant G&M sherried bottlings this month include the Glen Gordon 1957 - one of several mystery 1957 drams bottled by G&M in the 1990s and early Noughties and often rumoured to be undisclosed Macallan - and a very tempting Strathisla 1960 bottled in the 1990s.

Staying with the blue chip distilleries, there’s some superb Highland Park in this month’s sale - one lot that caught our eye was the single cask Highland Park 1986 Cask 2794, a glorious old sherry butt bottled in 2006 just shy of its 20th birthday at a very hearty 56.2%. There’s also the Highland Park 1977 26-year-old Cask 7983 and Highland Park 1968 35-year-old Cask 2277, both bottled for World of Whiskies a few years later at their respective cask strengths of 49.8% and 51.2%. 

Top of the class for Highland Park this month, though, is the extraordinary Highland Park 1958 40-year-old, of which only a few hundred bottles were released in 1998. This is an incredibly deep, multi-layered dram at a very drinkable 44% and comes with a suitably elegant, understated decanter decorated with a design featuring the nearby Ring of Brodgar standing stones. Conveniently, we’ve also got the subsequent Highland Park 40-year-old edition from 2008 as well, in case anyone fancies a particularly outrageous comparative tasting.

Highland Park 1958 40 Year Old

Old classics this month include a tempting litre bottle of the 1990s Glendronach 15-year-old, two early batches of Aberlour A’Bunadh from 2001 and 2009, while the pick of the sherried indie drams is probably either the amazing Glenfarclas 1963-2002 SMWS 1.96 - still packing a very respectable 49.1% strength at 39 years old - or the astonishingly dark Chieftain’s Carsebridge 1960-2002 grain whisky bottled from a single Oloroso sherry cask at 41.6%.

Sherried Whisky

Finally, we can’t finish without mentioning that we have not one but two of that rarest of treasures - old sherried independently-bottled 1950s vintage Glenlivet! This pair are both from Cadenhead’s, with a Glenlivet 1954 27-year-old dumpy black label from 1981 and the later Duthie’s Glenlivet 1959 31-year-old bottled in 1990 - amusingly, Cadenhead’s got their sums wrong on this one as the whisky was distilled in November 1959 and bottled in October 1990 - a month before its 31st birthday.

Favourites and Curios

Some lovely returning favourites this month, including the must-have screen-printed dumpy 1980s Highland Park 12-year-old and the turn-of-the-century wooden box Highland Park 25-year-old, one of the best of its kind ever bottled and a fantastic after-dinner dram at 50.7%. 

Staying with the old favourites, we also have one of the beautiful early Noughties Balvenie 30-year-old, matured in a mix of refill bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks, plus both Clynelish 1972 and Brora 1972 Rare Malts Editions.

There's an extraordinary amount of Springbank this month, with everything from recent Local Barley, 21-year-old and 25-year-old official releases through to a remarkably dark Springbank 1995 10-year-old private bottling matured full term in a port pipe and exceptionally rare marvels such as the legendary Springbank 1965-1996 31-year-old from The Bottlers and Ian Macleod’s exquisite Chieftain’s Springbank 1974-2002 31-year-old. 

Independent Bottlers

There’s also some great stuff from closed distilleries in this month’s whisky auction, including the return of Douglas Laing’s Glenochy 1952 39-year-old and some treasures from Caperdonich, Dallas Dhu, Littlemill and Banff among many more.

Blended whisky fans will be scrapping over some lovely old Johnnie Walkers and Ballantine’s editions this month, while grain whisky fans are exceptionally well catered-for, with the above-mentioned sherried Carsebridge 1960 joined by indie gems including Cadenhead’s Invergordon 1972 and Cameronbridge 1984, Douglas Laing’s Cambus 1976, and Signatory’s Dumbarton 1961 bottled way back in 1990 - further proof of how far ahead of the game they’ve always been. 

Away from Scotland there’s some fantastic Irish whiskey in this month’s auction - highlights include an early example of Bushmills 16-year-old Three Wood, Midleton Very Rare 1989 and the exceptionally rare Midleton 1973 30-year-old Master Distiller’s Private Collection - a full strength single cask pure pot still whiskey selected by Barry Crockett back in 2003.

Irish Whiskey

There’s also an amazing collection of Penderyn in this month’s sale for the Welsh Whisky fans, with over two dozen extremely rare limited editions - including the distillery’s inaugural single malt whisky release from 2004. American whiskey aficionados, meanwhile, will be pursuing a nice selection from Blanton’s, Michter’s, Van Winkle and an incredible Cadenhead’s Heaven Hill 28-year-old. This latter was released in 2020, so it must have been distilled at the original Heaven Hill distillery, which was sadly lost to fire in 1996. 

Away from whisky, there’s some great brandy this month, including Baron de Lustrac 1954 armagnac and 1970s cognac from Hennessy and Martell, and there’s also some lovely old vintage port from Fonseca, Graham’s, Taylor’s and Quinta do Noval.

Finally, on the curios side, check out this fantastic 1980s Drambuie gift set, from the days back when Talisker was still in the recipe. This was a limited edition of 500 and comes in a velvety gift box with a very cool cut glass Wedgwood crystal decanter and glasses. 

That’s it for this month - as ever, this is just a brief skim of the treasures in this month’s whisky sale, so check out the full auction here, Good Luck and Happy Bidding!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

You are successfully subscribed.
You are successfully subscribed.