Whisky-Online Auctions: Ten of the Best Whiskies from 2022
With our final 2022 auction just about to close, we thought we’d put together a quick Top Ten of some of our favourite Lots from last year! Check out our pick of the amazing goodies that have passed through our online auction in 2022 but please note, this is not just a rundown of the ten highest prices our auction achieved in the year.
Instead, it's a more personal selection of favourites encompassing record prices for classic drams, previously-unknown rare old beauties, magnificent sets of whisky from long-term collectors and some of the biggest price jumps we’ve seen.
Clynelish Official Distillery Bottling 1920s - Price: £20,300
The oldest and most fascinating official bottling of Clynelish we’ve seen in our history here at Whisky-Online auctions. We’ve dated this bottle to the period 1921-1930, when the ownership of the distillery was being slowly taken over by Diageo forerunner Distillers Company Limited. Read more about this fascinating bottle in our 1920s Clynelish blogpost - this Clynelish certainly caused a stir, and was one of the most significant bottles we auctioned all year.
Laphroaig 1940s D Johnson & Co - Price: £13,600
A postscript to one of the standout highlights of the year - the fabulous stash of nine 1940s/1950s Laphroaigs discovered during a routine pickup in Oxfordshire at the beginning of February. The original nine bottles fetched a total of £83,700 with the top bottles selling for £11,100, but that wasn’t the end of the story - later in the year, the original vendor found another bottle of this amazing whisky in an unused drinks cabinet in the family home, and this 1940s Laphroaig 80-proof reached £13,600 in our October auction.
Managers Dram Set
Our March auction featured an amazing set of Managers Drams, with no less than thirty of the sought-after United Distillers/Diageo staff only bottlings originally released between 1988-2013 coming under the hammer from a long-serving Diageo employee who had retired a few years previously. Top billing went to the famous Caol Ila 15-year-old, a near-mythical sherry cask originally bottled in 1990 at a phenomenal 63%, which went for £5,100. Remarkably, another huge set of Managers Dram bottlings came up in August, with the Caol Ila going for the same price again.
Macallan 1946 52-Year-Old - Price: £17,500
A familiar bottle, but one that we never tire of seeing here at Whisky-Online Auctions - and our bidders feel the same, pushing the price of what is unarguably one of the greatest ever official bottlings from the distillery up to an incredible £17,500 when our fifth auction closed on 6th July - a big jump from its previous high of £15,000 in February 2021. We’ve written often about this majestic smoky Macallan, but we’ll never get tired of singing its praises.
Yamazaki 25-Year-Old - Price: £8,200
One of the most iconic Japanese whiskies ever bottled, Yamazaki 25-year-old’s Best Single Malt gong at the 2012 World Whisky Awards put the final seal on the emergence of Japan as a major force in whisky and kickstarted the craze for Japanese single malt that’s led us to the drought of today. More modern iterations of this classic have been reformulated to include bourbon and Mizunara casks in the mix, pushing prices for early all-sherry editions such as this even higher, to £8,200 in August.
Bruichladdich 2005 Cask 345 - Price: £16,900
We love to see maturing casks coming up for auction, and we always seem to get great prices for them! This bourbon barrel of 2005 Bruichladdich had managed to retain an impressive 135 bulk litres at an equally impressive strength of 60.4% when regauged in February 2022, and sold for £16,900 in April. We don’t know if it’s subsequently been bottled - but if it hasn't the whisky will turn 18 years old in May of this year. We were really impressed with this whisky and it will continue to get even better for a good few years yet.
Macallan 30-Year-Old Sherry Cask- Price: £7,600
Another long-term favourite with Macallan fans, the short-lived ‘blue label’ edition of Macallan 30-year-old Sherry Cask from the early years of this century was originally sold in a blue wooden box with notorious flimsy hinges, meaning a high proportion show up for auction nowadays without their boxes. That didn’t seem to bother our bidders though, with a boxed version going for £5100 in February and an unboxed Macallan 30-year-old bottle reaching an amazing £7,600 in our September auction.
Glen Grant 1949-1999 50-Year-Old Ian Macleod - Price: £3,900
A stunning Glen Grant 1949 bottled at the turn of the millennium by Ian MacLeod Distillers at the grand old age of 50 years old. Just 80 bottles of this magnificent Glen Grant were yielded from a fabulous Oloroso sherry cask at its natural strength of 46%. This bottling has long flown under the radar, but we wouldn't be at all surprised if £3,900 for this gloriously pristine example of sherried 50-year-old Glen Grant comes to be seen as a bargain in the future.
Royal Brackla 1924 60-Year-Old - Price: £9,300
A fascinating bottle, the casks for this 1924 vintage Royal Brackla were discovered in a DCL bonded warehouse in 1984 and quickly bottled before they went under strength. The whisky was saved for special occasions, with 60 crystal decanters released in Japan in 1986 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Emperor Hirohito’s accession to the throne; the remaining stock of 62 bottles, of which this bottle is one, was kept back and given to staff and VIPs in 1991 to mark the reopening of the Royal Brackla distillery.
This bottle achieved its new UK record auction price of £9,300 in our March auction, more than double the £4100 it reached in 2017.
Macallan Folio Archival Series 1 - Price: £12,300
The first edition of the Macallan Folio Archival series was launched at the distillery in 2015 at a modest retail price of £150 (although this was, of course, decried in some quarters as far too expensive for a no-age-statement whisky). In our April auction, a bottle of Macallan Folio 1 sold for a staggering £12,300, over five times the £2200 price it reached just a couple of years previously in February 2020.
That's it for this rundown of some of our favourite auction Lots from 2022! Don't forget our December/January whisky auction closes tonight from 8pm - Good Luck and Happy Bidding!