September Auction Results 2019
It was good to see Brora taking the top spot in our latest auction. The amazing 1972 40-year-old fetched a record £20,100. Not bad for a bottle that retailed for £7000 only a few years ago. Although, not surprising either, considering the immense and rather mind blowing quality of the whisky.
It was also good to see a strong showing from some other Brora bottlings in this auction. The 1972 22-year-old Rare Malts 58.7% version performed solidly at £5100. While a rather lush looking Clynelish 41-year-old single cask fetched a hefty £5800. It seems serious examples of both makes from the town of Brora are capable of equally serious results these days.
It wouldn’t be an auction without a hefty result for a Macallan these days. This month’s stand out Macallan was one of the Rankin Master’s Of Photography 30-year-old series. The hammer price of £10,300 was by some distance a record for this particular bottle series. One can’t help but wonder how much the individual photograph played a role in this instance.
Elsewhere a Mortlach 1951 from Gordon & MacPhail’s Private Collection Ultra achieved £5300. While there was a clear reminder of just how in-demand some of the great aged Bourbons are with the Willett 1984 24-year-old straight rye fetching £2900. Another rarity from the town of Brora that did well was the Clynelish 1972 23-year-old Rare Malts for South Africa which hit a substantial £2500. A scarcely seen bottle and amazing whisky so not much surprise there.
Another distillery we haven’t seen too much of in the upper ends of recent auctions is Balvenie. So it was pleasantly surprising and interesting to see the 1st and 2nd editions of the Balvenie Rose 16-year-old hit £1850 and £1650 respectively. Sandwiching a Glenfarclas 50 year old at £1700. Very different whiskies and quite a striking and stark contrast of results.
Moving down the sale a little further another Brora, this time a 1977 25-year-old by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, did very well at £1150. These late 70s SMWS Broras are beautiful and quite underrated bottlings, this probably represents a smart buy if you ask me. There was a sibling bottling, a 1978 26-year-old SMWS Brora, which fetched £1000 on the nose – another unsurprising and solid result for a great whisky.
Speaking of great whiskies: it’s nice to see the Laphroaig 1968 Hart Brothers bottling doing well at £1200. This is a beautiful, super tropical old-style Laphroaig which deserves this kind of recognition. Another Brora which represents a smart buy is the 1975 20-year-old Rare Malts which fetched a healthy £900; it won’t be long before this bottle is consistently achieving four figures I expect.
Other good results around the middle level of the auction were a 1972 30-year-old Springbank by Chieftains for £700, a 1969 31-year-old Glenlivet by Signatory for £675 and another Signatory bottling of Dallas Dhu 1970 30-year-old for £550. All solid results for excellent whiskies that demonstrate liquid is generally still king on the secondary market.
In terms of bargain prices for buyers, as is now rather predictably, there weren’t many to speak of. Although, special mention should go to a pair of Cadenhead Dumpies – the Dufftown 1966 14-year-old and the Glenlossie 1966 18-year-old – for £525 apiece. Both are excellent drams in good condition and these represent fair market prices to suit any interested buyer. Similarly, an old pear shape Springbank 21 year old for £490 also looked rather tasty.
Flora & Fauna continues to perform solidly with a Royal Brackla 10 year old hitting £410. Although, you can’t help wonder why this series seems to hold such sway over collectors. For exactly the same hammer price of a 1964 Aberlour 25 year old I know which one I’d pick any day of the week.
Around the three-figure threshold, it was interesting to see a diverse trip of malts all at the £100 mark: Highland Park 18-year-old ‘Viking’; Glenmorangie Traditional 1 litre; and an old Springbank 15-year-old from around 12 years ago. A curious mix at that price level and, along with a few other ‘£100ers’ gives a nice flavour of where this rung on the value ladder sits with different brands and eras of bottling.
Also of note was that a First Cask series Glenrothes 1975 21-year-old fetched £110. A pretty standard but good value price for such a bottling. Except this was bottle number 1. I suppose this illustrates that this series is still not really attracting collectors and that it remains good value for drinkers looking for interesting older drams. Probably also that number 1 bottlings, in general, don’t have that much sway over, or impact on, hammer price.