Welcome back to our famous Auction Update! As usual, I’m poking about in the lower reaches of the sales at one of the UK’s leading whisky auction specialists to find the best bargains under £100. This month there’s goodies from Glenlivet, Sansibar, Macallan and more, so read on!
This month, I took a look at Whiskyhammer.co.uk, whose April auction had 1836 lots. As ever, the prices I’m quoting are hammer prices and don’t include commission and VAT (Whiskyhammer charge buyers 12% inc. VAT).
Starting in the bargain basement there were plenty of decent drams under £50. For blend-lovers, I found J&B Reserve 15yo at just £17.50, the excellent 1980s Johnnie Walker Swing Superior (£37.50), 1980s Bell’s Royal Reserve 20yo (£40), Antiquary 21yo (£47.50) and Chivas Revolve 17yo at £50 (only 50cl, mind).
Moving to malts and there was a great selection, starting with a recent-ish bottling of Glenlivet 12yo for a measly £17.50, sherried Blair Athol 12yo Flora & Fauna (£40), Springbank 12yo Cask Strength at just £45, Glenallachie 18yo at £47.50 (half its £95 RRP) and a cask strength Glen Ord 2003 12yo from Scotch Malt Whisky Society (£50).
For peat fans there was the SMWS’s 7yo smoky blended malt Peat Faerie (£37.50), a Bowmore 2001 bottled in 2012 by top German indie bottlers Sansibar (£45) and a hefty Kilchoman 2007 for Royal Mile at £47.50.
Moving into the £50-£75 bracket there were some eye-catching bargains, including two Glenlivet 18yos from different eras at £55 each, and a Glengoyne 18yo at the same price – the retail on these whiskies is £90 now. Balvenie Doublewood 17yo also seemed better value at £75 than its £100+ RRP.
For dusty-hunters, one of my all-time favourite auction bargains, the mid-1990s Highland Park 12yo, was there at £60, while Lowland indie cask strength fans will have noticed Douglas Laing’s Bladnoch 1990 (£60). My pick at this price range, though, was a trio of fine-looking bottlings from the aforementioned Sansibar, namely Longmorn 1997 (£55), Glen Keith 1991 (£65) or Caol Ila 2000 (£70). Yummy!
In a brief sojourn into WTF corner, we have the person who paid £75 for the Benriach Cask Strength Batch 1. It’s bad enough that another bottle in the same auction went for £50, but what’s worse is that this bottle is still available at retail… around £55. Dear me.
Finally, in the £75-100 range, a mere £80 for Glengoyne 21yo seems like a very fair deal for OB sherry cask whisky fans considering the RRP is now up around £130, and in a similar vein the very popular Glendronach 21yo went for £85 against an RRP around £140. There were also a few discontinued / old editions going cheapish too: Macallan 10yo Sherry was £95 (TWE £199) and an old version of Jameson 18yo went for just £85 (TWE £150).
Also in this price bracket, it was nice to see a Daftmill release come down near its original price, with the Daftmill Winter 2006 at a sensible £95. My money, though, would probably have gone on this single cask 36yo Cameronbridge 1974 single grain from Murray McDavid (£85), the enticing Linkwood 1990 from Duncan Taylor (£85) or the Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s Glen Grant 1996 21yo – a nailed-on winner if ever there was one and a snip at £85.
That’s it for this month’s Auction Update, folks – Good Luck, and Happy Hunting!