Welcome to our monthly whisky auction update! Each month I go ferreting about in one of the UK’s thriving whisky auctions, but as this is the People’s Auctionwatch I restrict myself to unearthing bargains under £100.
This month we’re looking at Whiskyhammer.co.uk, a site that’s always worth keeping an eye on – they get some great bottles and prices are usually fair for both buyer and seller. As ever, all prices quoted are hammer prices – Whiskyhammer charge commission at 10%+VAT, so 12% total.
Looking at bottles under £50 there was a plenty to choose from. Blend fans could pick from 1980s Teacher’s 12yo (£25 and contains nice old Ardmore), Ballantine’s 17yo (£30 for a former World Whisky of The Year if you listen to Jim Murray) or Chivas Regal 18yo (£37.50).
There were plenty of good single malts available, too – the mystery 15yo Speyside single malt Tyndrum Gold at just £22.50 looked well worth a punt, as did the G&M Ardmore 1993/2016 at £37.50, and the Bladnoch 8yo from Whiskybroker (£32.50) at a whopping 60.1%. There were a few past-era goodies as well, particularly the old favourite Balblair 10yo (£37.50) and the 1980s Tomatin 10yo (£45). More recent bottlings selling well below their retail prices included Lagavulin 8yo at £40 and for sherry fans the Hazelburn 2004 Oloroso Cask at just £47.50.
I don’t often cover non-Scotch bargains here but there were a few belters in this auction: W.L.Weller 107 Proof at £40, Jameson Select Reserve (the superior precursor to Black Barrel – prices are creeping up but it’s still good value) at £47.50; and the classic old Jameson 12yo at only £45.
Moving towards £75, there was one of my absolute auction favourites: Highland Park 12yo in the tall bottle that was used from the 1990s until the early ‘Noughties. It’s a great whisky and £55 is a good deal, these frequently hit £70+. Also at £55 was a cask strength Caol Ila 2005 for the Islay fans, and for £60 you could have the Signatory Bowmore 1997.
Meanwhile Glenallachie 18yo looked a snip at £60 (RRP is around £95), but my pick at this price range was the litre bottle of 1980s-distilled, sherried, cask strength whisky from one of Scotland’s greatest distilleries: 1990s Glenfarclas 105 at £75… yes please!
Staying with sherried Speysiders, there were some eye-opening bargains up around our £100 limit, notably the Glenrothes 1988 for just £80 – TWE sell this for £355 – or the Glenrothes Oldest Reserve for £95 (RRP £350). The recent Glenallachie 1990 release, which is still on retailers’ shelves at £215, went for £95 as well.
Other bargains in this price range included Springbank 18yo at £85, Bushmills 21yo for £90 (retail £169) or my pick, Whiskybroker’s cask strength Aberlour 1992 – a 25yo sherry butt from a great distillery that we very rarely see from independent bottlers. For a non-whisky alternative, there was a very, very tempting cask strength 30yo Petite Champagne Cognac from Cadenhead’s at a ridiculously low £80.
And Finally… we’ve not been to WTF Corner for a while, but I had to flag this up – a 20cl bottle of the (admittedly delightful) Glengoyne 21yo sold for £70 in this auction, despite being widely available at online retailers for around £38. Always check the bottle sizes!!
That’s it for this month, folks – Good Luck, and Happy Hunting!