Welcome to our latest Whisky Auction Update! This month I’m digging about in Whiskyauctioneer.com, whose June auction showcased 5850 lots, including lots of great Cadenhead’s bottlings. As ever, we’re quoting hammer prices exclusive of commission (Whiskyauctioneer charge buyers 12% including VAT) and our maximum price is £100.
We’ll start in the sub-£50 bracket. There were tons of old blends, with lovely examples of 1980s Benmore (£23), 1980s Black Bottle (£30), 1990s Clan Campbell 21yo (£30), 1970s Dewar’s Ancestor 12yo (£30), 1970s Teacher’s (£30), likely containing both Ardmore and Glendronach – or indeed the 1980s Teacher’s 60 Reserve Stock (£35) which contained 60% malt (!), the Blair Athol-containing 1970s Craig Athol 5yo (£32), 1970s Laird O’Logan 12yo by White Horse (£35), the Aberlour-heavy 1970s White Heather £35), 1980s Johnnie Walker Swing Superior (£36) and the 1980s Mak’Readie 12yo (£40).
The real blended stars in this price range, were a trio of big hitters: G&M’s MacPhail’s 15yo single malt (£45), bottled in the early 1990s (not 1980s as stated) which therefore contains pre-1977 spirit, probably from Glenlivet, Macallan, Strathisla or Glen Grant; 1970s Glen Garry Finest (£49) containing Oban and, best of all, this fabulous 1960s King George IV (£46) from The Distillers Agency, who owned the license of Rosebank…
Malt-wise things were less spectacular, but the good value buys included cask strength Glen Ord 2005 13yo from Cadenhead’s (£32), and a pair of contrasting Glenfarclases (Glenfarcli?): the sherried 1990s Glenfarclas 10yo (£40 and look at that colour!) and a rarer ex-bourbon Glenfarclas 2008 10yo by Cadenhead’s, who also bottled this Glen Grant 1997 20yo (£50).
My pick in this range, though, was the High Spirits Islay Super Heavy 1988 19yo (£38), a vatted malt comprising 55% Bowmore, 40% Laphroaig and 5% Caol Ila, all distilled in 1988 and bottled at 46%. Congratulations to whoever snapped that one up!
In the £50-75 price range there were several high strength indie bottlings from workhorse Diageo distilleries: Douglas Laing’s Mannochmore 1990 15yo (£55), Cadenhead’s Linkwood 1997 20yo (£60), Hunter Laing’s Inchgower 1998 20yo (£65) and Nectar of the Daily Drams’ Glen Elgin 1995 21yo (£70).
There were some interesting curios too: cask strength Benriach 1999 19yo (£75) for Taiwan and these Merchant’s Collection bottlings for Italy: Glen Scotia 1990/2001 (£61) and Glenlivet 1984/2001 (£75), plus a rare caramel-free Dalmore 2001 16yo (£60) by Cadenhead’s again – they’re such good value at auction!
Blend fans had to make do with a lovely Noughties Johnnie Walker Gold Label 18yo (£60) or the Mac Dugan 1967 8yo, but my overall picks from in this price range were Elements of Islay’s
Bowmore Bw3 (£70) and the SMWS Longmorn 1993 24yo (£75) from a refill bourbon hogshead. Guaranteed excellence!
Finally, in the £75-£100 range there were some real gems. Blends-wise, I’d struggle to pick between the famous old Campbeltown Loch 25yo (£95 and containing 25yo Springbank, lest we forget), this marvellous 1980s 100-proof G&M Glen Calder blend (£95) ‘from the Speyside district’ or this 1960s Ye Monks (£96). Yummy!
As for the malts, Cadenhead’s cropped up once again with a Strathisla 1997 20yo at just £80, and I also liked Glenrothes 1989/2001 at £85, Jack Weiber’s Bowmore 1990 15yo (£85), W&M’s Caol Ila 1991/2006 (£85), Adelphi’s cask strength Benriach 1990 23yo (£86) and Kilchoman 2007 11yo (£95) from the 2018 Feis Ile.
Best of all was this spectacular Teeling Revival No.2 (£100) – this Calvados finish was an absolute star at the recent Whisky Lounge London Weekender!
That’s it for this month’s Update – Good Luck, and Happy Hunting!