Welcome Guest
June Whisky Auction Highlights 2023

2023, Auction Highlights -

June Whisky Auction Highlights 2023

Welcome to our June Whisky Auction Highlights blog! There’s lots to get through with ancient treasures from Glenfarclas, Macallan, Port Ellen, Stitzel-Weller and many more, so we’d best crack on.

Monthly Macallan Highlights

As ever, there is a cavalcade of top-drawer Macallan - both classical and modern - in this month’s whisky auction. Highlights from recent Macallan releases include the Macallan Folios 5, 6, and 7 from the Macallan Archival series, the Macallan No.6 in a beautiful Lalique crystal decanter, 2016’s Macallan 40-year-old Sherry Casks and Mario Testino’s 2014 Macallan Masters of Photography limited edition, which comes with a secret compartment housing six special single cask miniatures.

Other great Macallans from this century include a pair of Macallan Exceptional Single Casks, comprising the Macallan 1989-2003 Cask 552 from the original ESC series, and the later Macallan 1997-2019 Cask 5542/02. We also have the 2005 bottling of Macallan 1975 Fine & Rare Cask 8845 - a rare bourbon cask Macallan from the Fine & Rare series - plus the seldom-seen Macallan Royal Wedding (William & Kate) from 2011, which was a vatting of two casks from 1996 and 1999.Rare Macallan Whisky

For the purists, 20th Century Macallan bottlings in this month’s sale include classics like Macallan Private Eye and the unsurpassed Macallan 1946 52-year-old, and there’s also some lovely old official Macallan 18-year-olds from vintages including 1966, 1972, 1973, 1980, 1984 and 1986 among others.

As ever, this little selection is just scratching the surface of the dozens of fantastic Macallan whiskies in this month’s auction - check out the full line-up here.

Islay Magic

Lots of great Islay malts this month, as usual. We’ll start with Ardbeg, and there’s plenty of great Islay Festival and Committee bottlings including last year’s Ardbeg Hypernova and the Committee Only Ardbeg Alligator ‘For Discussion’ from 2011. Other Ardbeg gems this month include the 2013 bottling of Ardbeg Kildalton and the more recent Ardbeg 1996-2018 Twenty Something.

There’s plenty for Bowmore fans too, with legends including Black Bowmore 1964 First Release and Black Bowmore 1964 42-year-old rubbing shoulders with special editions like Bowmore Timeless 27-year-old, rarities like the Bowmore 1980 23-year-old Queen’s Visit single cask and a string of recent limited editions and festival bottlings. Best of all, perhaps, is the undisclosed Bowmore 1961-1974 bottled by Berry Bros & Rudd for the Italian market, a gorgeous dram bursting with the best Bowmore tropical fruits.

Elsewhere, there’s the Bruichladdich 1964 40-year-old, 2022’s Bruichladdich Black Art 10.1 and a slew of very tempting Port Charlotte private bottlings from sherry and Rivesaltes casks, while Bunnahabhain fans will be going after the fantastic official Bunnahabhain 40-year-old, the classic Bunnahabhain 1963-1997 and Duncan Taylor’s Bunnahabhain 1966-2003.

Rare Islay Whisky

Back on the south coast, Laphroaig aficionados will be chasing the Laphroaig 1989-2020 30-year-old Ian Hunter Story 2 and the extraordinary Laphroaig Cairdeas 30-year-old from 2008, while Lagavulin fanciers will be tussling over some classic bottlings including the White Horse Lagavulin 12-year-old from the mid-1980s and some early Lagavulin Distillers Editions from the 1986 and 1987 vintages.

Miscellaneous great Islay drams this month include the famous Manager’s Dram Caol Ila 15-year-old bottled in 1990 - the level is rather low on this one but as it was bottled at 63% it shouldn’t be too much of an issue - plus some early Port Ellen Special Releases and some very nice vintage Port Ellen from Douglas Laing / Hunter Laing’s Old & Rare Platinum Selections.

Naturally, this is just a brief overview - check out all this month’s Islay whiskies here.

Sherried Treasure

So much good stuff for the Jerez-heads this month. Macallan fans who don’t want to pay the big bucks for the distillery’s long-aged official bottlings should pay close attention to the Prometheus and Crabbie bottlings in the sale, and those looking for a Mac-ternative can of course always console themselves with Glenfarclas, whose whisky is arguably superior and unarguably better value. 

Choice Glenfarclas this month include Glenfarclas 1965-2014 Family Cask 4512 and a pair of Glenfarclas 1953 58-year-old sister single casks from the amusingly titled Wealth Solutions and the distillery itself - the latter was the oldest cask at the distillery when it was released in 2012 as an edition of just 97 bottles in a simple, elegant Glencairn crystal decanter.

Glendronach has been coming up on the rails for a few years now as many people’s go-to sherrybomb distillery. Highlights in this month’s auction include Glendronach Grandeur Batches 8, 9 and 10, plus the rare Glendronach 1994 Octaves 20-year-old, finished in five tiny Octave casks that formerly held Pedro Ximenez sherry before bottling in 2015. Fans of older vintages, meanwhile, will be chasing the classic Glendronach 1968 and Glendronach 1976 released in the 1990s.

Rare Sherried Whisky

Other notable sherried official bottlings this month include Glenrothes 1985, Dalmore 1981 26-year-old Amoroso Sherry Finesse, Hazelburn 2006 and cult favourite Managers Drams from Oban, Clynelish and Cragganmore.

As ever in the Sherried Treasure highlights, there’s some outstanding Gordon & MacPhail bottlings. Pride of place goes to the mysterious Pride of Strathspey 1938 - believed to be an undisclosed Macallan - and a promisingly dark Ben Nevis 1966 21-year-old bottled in the 1980s towards the end of the Connoisseurs Choice range’s brown label phase. 

G&M are also represented this month by a pair of wonderful Strathislas: the legendary Strathisla 1937 bottled in the 1970s, and the later Strathisla 1963 bottled in 2003.  Other indie sherrybombs this month include Cadenhead’s legendary Clynelish 1972, the remarkable Chieftain’s Carsebridge 1960 42-year-old single grain whisky from an Oloroso sherry hogshead bottled by Ian MacLeod Distillers in 2002, and the almost equally dark Edradour 2010 single cask bottled for The Whisky Barrel in 2020.

Favourites & Curios

There’s some superb old bottlings from blue chip distilleries in this month’s whisky auction. Brora highlights include the (very) heavily sherried Chieftain’s Brora 1982 20-year-old from Ian Macleod, plus Special Releases including the 2010 version of Brora 30-year-old, the 2014 Brora 35-year-old and 2019’s Brora 40-year-old. Rarest of all, though, is the travel retail official bottling of Brora 40-year-old, a stunning 1972 vintage single cask bottled for World of Whiskies in 2012 at a hefty 59.1%.

Other top drawer official bottlings this month include Balvenie’s recent Rare Marriages 40-year-old first edition, the beautifully presented Celestial Edition Littlemill 1977 40-year-old and the earlier superb Balvenie 1972 33-year-old single cask released back in 2006, and some wonderful Glengoyne vintage bottlings from 1967, 1968, 1970 and 1971.

We've got a good choice of recent Springbank releases this month, though most of the cognoscenti will be pursuing the very famous and rare Springbank 1965-2002 from defunct indie bottler Lombard’s Jewels of Scotland series, and the extraordinarily dark private bottling single cask Springbank 1993-2003 for Philip Hamilton.

Rare Whisky

Notable bottlings from lost distilleries this month include the Special Releases Pittyvaich 1989 25-year-old bottled in 2015, Hunter Laing’s Old & Rare Platinum Caperdonich 1994 21-year-old, Gordon & MacPhail’s Rare Old Banff 1966-2015 and Connoisseurs Choice Kinclaith 1967-1991. From the soon-to-be-reopened Rosebank, meanwhile, we’ve got last year’s Rosebank 1990 31-year-old Second Release from new owners Ian Macleod and Elixir Distillers’ Rosebank 21-year-old Roses Edition 7 Enchantment released earlier this year. 

Elsewhere, grain whisky enthusiasts will be licking their lips over some great goodies including the aforementioned Carsebridge 1960 by Ian Macleod, a few bottles of Dead Whisky Society’s legendary Caledonian 1976 plus the North British 1980 Cask Strength, a pair of 1970s vintage Invergordon from Cadenhead’s and Douglas Laing’s spectacular Cambus 1976 45-year-old Extra Old Particular (XOP).

Away from Scotland we have some truly superb Japanese whisky in this month’s whisky auction. Brief Suntory highlights include Yamazaki 18-year-old, some special edition Hibikis including Hibiki 21-year-old and the Ryusui-Hyakka limited edition of Hibiki Japanese Harmony. We also have the Suntory 100th Anniversary ceramic decanter gifted to staff on the company’s centenary in 1999 and, rarest of all, the astonishing Shirakawa 1958 Liquid History - full details of this whisky’s amazing history are here in our blog.

Irish whiskey fans will be keeping tabs on a nice selection of recent Midleton Very Rare and Barry Crockett Legacy editions, while for American whiskey fans there’s some real treasures from Blanton’s, Michter's Buffalo Trace’s Antique Collection and Van Winkle. 

Rare American Whiskey

Stitzel-Weller fanatics will also be chasing the 1985 bottling of Old Weller 7-year-old 107-Proof and the fascinating special edition Stitzel-Weller 14-year-old bottled for Chicago’s Berghoff restaurant in the 1980s. There’s old 1980s bottles of Old Crow, Old Grand-Dad and Eagle Rare as well, as if all that wasn't enough. 

Moving on from whisky altogether we have some spectacular rum this month, with three of Foursquare’s official Exceptional Cask Selection single casks and indie cask strength Foursquares by Berry Bros, Cadenhead’s, Little Brown Dog and Velier. There’s also some great Cadenhead’s bottlings of ‘90s vintage Uitvlugt, Enmore and Caroni, among others, so rum fans are exceptionally well catered-for this month.

Other non-whisky highlights include some lovely cognacs like Martell’s prestige L’Or de Jean edition from 2017, Hennessy Paradis and Hine’s Old Vintage Grande Champagne - and speaking of champagne, we also have some fantastic old bottles of vintage fizz from Charles Heidsieck, Bollinger and Dom Perignon.

That’s it for this month - needless to say, this little selection is only a very brief taster, so be sure to 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.