September Auction Highlights 2020
Welcome to this month’s Whisky-Online Auction Highlights! There’s some incredible whisky on sale this month with some of the best whiskies ever bottled by the likes of Macallan, Bowmore and Laphroaig, so we’d better get started.
There are some stonking Islay whiskies this month, with top-end auction highlights including the Ardbeg 1974-2002 Cask 3475 for Oddbins, Ardbeg 1965 39-Year-Old, Douglas of Drumlanrig’s Ardbeg 1976-2001 and Gordon & MacPhail’s Caol Ila 1968 Cask Strength. There’s also the likes of the Bowmore Blair Castle 2004, Port Ellen 1978-2002 24-Year-Old bottled by Douglas Laing for The Whisky Shop, Lagavulin 12-Year-Old 2004 Release, Lagavulin 21-Year Old Jazz Festival 2019 and The Syndicate’s Lagavulin 1979 35-Year-Old,
There’s some cracking Laphroaigs as well: a litre of the 43% Laphroaig 10-Year-Old bottled in 1984, 1980s Laphroaig 10-Year-Old (Unblended), Laphroaig 10-Year-Old (Late 1980s) and Laphroaig 15-Year-Old (aka ‘Red 15’, bottled 1986). Best of the bunch, though, is the iconic 1970s Laphroaig 10-Year-Old which no doubt will attract some fierce bidding.
Joining that fabulous Laphroaig in the pantheon of Islay’s greatest whiskies are the sensational Bowmore 1957 38-Year-Old and Black Bowmore 1964-1993 First Edition. There’s nothing that hasn’t already been said about these incredible whiskies – they’re all-time classics and it’s always a privilege to have them in our sales.
As ever, there’s some truly top-end Macallan in our whisky auction. Highlights from recent bottlings include Macallan Folio Archival Series 2, Macallan Edition No.2, Macallan Edition No.3, Macallan 1995 18-Year-Old, Macallan 1996 18-Year-Old, Macallan 18-Year-Old 2016, Macallan 25-Year-Old Sherry Cask, Macallan 40-Year-Old 2016, the beautiful Macallan Peter Blake 80th Birthday miniature set and the extraordinary Gordon & MacPhail Macallan 1945 68-Year-Old.
Older Macallan bottlings include the very rare G&M Macallan 1960 80 Proof, Macallan 1963 Special Selection, Macallan 1966 25-Year-Old Anniversary, the exceptional 1970s Macallan 10-Year-Old 100 Proof, the unusual 1970s Macallan 10-Year-Old Hall & Bramley and the classic Macallan Royal Marriage, plus 1980s Macallan 10-Year-Old, 1990s Macallan 10-Year-Old, a litre of 1980s Macallan 12-Year-Old and finally the legendary peated Macallan 1946 52-Year-Old – this is one of the greatest Macallans ever bottled and a must-try for serious Macallan aficionados.
Sherry fans will be fighting over the Glendronach 1976 18-Year-Old, Glendronach 1989 29-Year-Old Kingsman Edition, Glendronach 1991 25-Year-Old Kingsman Edition, Tullibardine 1966-2006, Glengoyne Teapot Dram Batch 1, the tantalising 1970s Gordon & MacPhail Glen Grant 15-Year-Old, Cadenhead’s Macallan 1987 17-Year-Old and best of all the G&M Mortlach 1951-2014 Private Collection, from the company’s last cask of that vintage.
While we’re visiting Sherry Corner, there’s some great Glenfarclas/Glenfarclasses/Glenfarcli in the auction this month, including this Glenfarclas 1966-2011 Family Cask, Glenfarclas 150th Anniversary (bottled in 1986) and the Douglas Laing’s Probably Speyside’s Finest 1966 40-Year-Old.
MISCELLANEOUS DIAGEO RARITIES
There’s an unusual amount of lesser-spotted Diageo gems this month, such as the first American edition of Talisker 18-Year-Old (from 2004), Glen Elgin 19-Year-Old Centenary, the wacky Cardhu 1982 22-Year-Old from 2005’s Special Releases, plus 1980s Oban 12-Year-Old (okay, yes, this is pre-Diageo), a litre of the famous first edition of Lagavulin 1979 Distillers Edition (bottled in 1997), the unsung Rare Malts Glendullan 1972 22-Year-Old at a whopping 62.6%, and a selection of the rare Flora & Fauna Cask Strength editions: Aberfeldy 1980-1997, Dailuaine 1980-1997 and Blair Athol 1981-1997.
Standout indie bottlings from Diageo distilleries include Brora 1972 30-Year-Old and Millburn 1976 25-Year-Old, both bottled by Douglas Laing for The Whisky Shop, Gordon & MacPhail’s semi-official 1980s Clynelish 12-Year-Old 100 Proof, Cadenhead’s St. Magdalene 1982 30-Year-Old and SMWS’s Inchgower 1974-1988 18.2.
So much good stuff this month from one of our favourite distilleries. Headliners include the 1980s black label Springbank 15-Year-Old, 1990s black label Springbank 15-Year-Old and the early Noughties Springbank 10-Year-Old 100 Proof, with more recent bottlings including Springbank 2000 16-Year-Old (Fresh Sherry) Springbank 2002 14-Year-Old (Bourbon), Springbank 2003 13-Year-Old (Fresh Sherry), Springbank 2003 12-Year-Old (Burgundy), Springbank 2003 12-Year-Old (Port) and Springbank Green 13-Year-Old (Sherry).
Springbank purists will be chasing the Springbank 1997-2007 Batch 1 and Springbank 1997-2008 Batch 2, as well as the two distillery-bottled private casks: Springbank 1996 16-Year-Old and the considerably darker first fill sherry hogshead Springbank 1997 22-Year-Old. Experimental Campbeltown fans, as ever, will be eyeing up the Hazelburn 2002 8-Year-Old (Sauternes), Hazelburn 2004 14-Year-Old (Oloroso), Longrow 1995 10-Year-Old and the 2017 edition of Longrow 18-Year-Old.
Glengoyne is one of those distilleries that’s often overlooked despite producing very high-quality whisky, so there may be a few bargains to be had among Glengoyne 28-Year-Old, Glengoyne 1967 37-Year-Old, Glengoyne 1968 Vintage Reserve, Glengoyne 1970 26-Year-Old, Glengoyne 1982 22-Year-Old Ronnie’s Choice, Glengoyne 1986 19-Year-Old Ewan’s Choice, Glengoyne 1986 20-Year-Old Peter’s Choice, Glengoyne 1989 15-year-Old Duncan’s Choice and Glengoyne 1991 15-Year-Old Jim’s Choice.
GREAT BLENDED SCOTCH
Time for a mystery highlight – this Hay & Sons Choicest Liqueur 18th Century Whisky. This whisky’s strength is listed as 20 UP, meaning 80 proof – around 46%. Hay & Sons were a chain of merchants based in Sheffield founded in 1829, however, the bottle looks to be early 20th century, so we must assume that the liquid was kept in glass for a long time between maturation and bottling. A fascinating bottle, we’ve never seen one like this before.
Elsewhere in blends, there’s a superb quartet of spring-capped blends including 1950s Haig Gold Label, 1950s White Horse (NAAFI), 1950s Dimple and 1950s Black & White. Later bottlings include solid value bets such as the Bell’s Royal Reserve 20-Year-Old, 1980s Whyte & Mackay 21-Year-Old and the turn of the century Dew of Ben Nevis 21-Year-Old. Modern classics, meanwhile, include Whyte & Mackay 50-Year-Old 175th Anniversary, the Compass Box Lost Blend, Compass Box No Name and Compass Box The Spaniard.
FAVOURITES, BARGAINS AND CURIOS
Blue chip favourites this month include the old slope-shouldered Highland Park 25-Year-Old, the majestic Highland Park 40-Year-Old and the beautiful Highland Park 50-Year-Old, plus Glen Grant 1952 25-Year-Old Silver Jubilee, the gorgeous Balvenie 40-Year-Old, Strathisla 25-Year-Old Distillery Restoration, the rarely-seen Glenmorangie 1975 Cote de Nuits and Glenmorangie 21-Year-Old 150th Anniversary and the much-hyped Redbreast 28-Year-Old Dream Cask,
Elsewhere, the First Cask series of single malts are always good value and there’s a few tempting ones this month including Bunnahabhain 1980 19-Year-Old, Linlithgow 1975 24-Year-Old, Glen Grant 1976 24-Year-Old, Glenlivet 1976 24-Year-Old, North Port Brechin 1976 24-Year-Old and Caol Ila 1981 21-Year-Old.
Old school value picks include the 1980s Aberlour-Glenlivet 12-Year-Old, Glenglassaugh 1974-1998 Scott’s Selection, the overlooked mid-’90s Springbank 12-Year-Old Red Thistle, the evergreen 1970s Glen Grant 8-Year-Old and 1970s Glendronach 8 Year Old, 1980s Glenfarclas 105 8-Year-Old and the screenprinted 1980s dumpy Highland Park 12-Year-Old.
Leftfield ones to watch include the Littlemill 1990 27-Year-Old, Cadenhead’s Cask Strength Ben Nevis 1977 at a whopping 60%, the tropical fruity Glenugie 1973 27-Year-Old by Chieftain’s Choice, Signatory’s Glenrothes 1968 32-Year-Old and Douglas Laing’s magnificent grain North British 1962 50-Year-Old.
Among the interesting curios this month there’s the charming Auchterturra 1969 (believed to be Ardmore), the wonderful Dunville’s Three Crowns Irish whiskey from 1948, another bottle of the historic Waterfill & Frazier 1916 18-Year-Old bourbon and for the rum fans this very rare old pre-1966 Demerara, Doctor Jim’s Liqueur Rum.
There’s really something for everyone this month – Good Luck and Happy Bidding!