Hi folks, and welcome to another Whisky Auction Update! Each month I take a snapshot of one of the UK’s leading whisky houses and ferret out sub-£100 bargains. This month we’re looking at Whisky-OnlineAuctions.com as we haven’t done them for a while and they’ve just upgraded their website.
*Full Disclosure – As a freelance writer I have worked for several independent whisky companies including Whisky Online. It has no bearing on this article, but it’s always worth mentioning.*
Please note that all prices quoted here are hammer prices excluding commission. Whisky-Online charge buyers commission of 15%+VAT, so a total of 18% on the hammer price.
First, let’s look at whiskies that went for under £50. I thought Glenlivet 12yo for £17.50 was more than fair for a very nice malt that came back from its UK hiatus with a hefty price hike. At £32.50, meanwhile, there were a couple of very good buys: the old Glen Garioch 15yo and one of my favourites, the old edition of Jameson Select Reserve.
Another of my long-time star buys, 1990s Laphroaig 10yo was a bargain £35, while just £37.50 would have got you a half-gallon tregnum (2.25 litres, equivalent to three bottles) of 1970s Long John blend, whose owners were proprietors not only of Laphroaig but also of the unicorn single malts Glenugie and Kinclaith, whose output was used entirely for blending, so… It’s only January, but this could be one of the bargains of the year.
£37.50 seemed to be the magic number in this auction, as a bottle of the excellent Teacher’s 18yo I tasted in the first Tim’s Dusty Corner went for this price as well, while the Glengoyne 18yo looked great value at just £45, around half the retail price for this top class malt.
Moving on to whiskies that went for under £75, I thought £62.50 was a great price for the 1990s Highland Park 12yo dumpy bottle (there’s one of these for £275 at TWE), while anyone wondering why people care about Glenmorangie would be well advised to try the 1990s 18yo that went for £65.
Sherry fans were very well-catered for in this price range, with a string of vintage Glendronach single casks starting from £65, while Campbeltown aficionados could choose from Springbank 18yo (£72.50), Hazelburn 2002 15yo (£75) or Longrow 10yo 100 proof (also £75).
Graduating to the sub-£100 bracket, I liked the look of the Ye Treasure Trove blend, bottled around 1960 – £77.50 seems like a good price for some real whisky history, but if you wanted to play it safe there was an early Johnnie Walker Blue Label at just £82.50.
From the single malts, the Bladnoch 1990 26yo looked cheap at £80, as did Blair Athol 1976 at £95, but my money would have been on the litre of mid-’90s Laphroaig 10yo – I finished one of these recently and it is a truly great dram – or the cask strength Springbank 1997 Batch 1, a fantastic bottling that really signalled the distillery’s return to form in 2007 after a few relatively lean years. Both of these went for £92.50 and are among the best you’ll ever find in this price range.
That’s it for this month’s Auction Update, folks – Good Luck and Happy Hunting!