Following on from Bonhams record-setting sale of a Hanyu Full Card Series, Sotheby’s are now looking to auction the ‘ultimate’ whisky collection of nearly 500 rare whiskies and nine casks. The auction starts online on the 27th of this month and culminates in a live auction at Olympia in London on the 24th of October.

The collection features The Macallan strongly with a great supporting cast from Gordon and MacPhail, Bowmore, Port Ellen and Samaroli, the Italian bottler.

The Macallans include a 178-bottle collection of Fine and Rare spanning seven decades from 1926, including a bottle of Macallan 1926 60 Year Old \from the renowned cask #263 which could fetch half a million pounds.

It wouldn’t be a real collection if it didn’t come with some quirks. In this case, some of the lots come with their own furnishings. There are two Macallan in Lalique Six Pillars Collections on offer, housed in hand-made cabinets designed by the British craftsman James Laycock. These are expected to command up to £450,000 each. There is also a collection of 46 Macallan Fine and Rare miniatures, dating from 1937 to 1991, in a Laycock designed wall-mounted cabinet, expected to fetch up to £88,000.

This collection has obviously long been a labour of love and there are an astonishing range of whiskies on offer. A non-exhaustive list includes:

  • Islay single malts including all Black Bowmore bottlings, a 40 year old Ardbeg 1965, a complete vertical of Port Ellen Annual Releases and the Bowmore Trilogy series of Black, White and Gold Bowmore.
  • old bottlings from Glenfiddich (64-year-old from 1937, two releases of its 50-year-old) and Balvenie (50-year-old from 1937), as well as four expressions from Dalmore aged for 50 years or more, and a Highland Park 50-year-old alongside Orcadian Vintage Series releases from 1964, 1968, 1971 and 1976.
  • a number of releases from Silvano Samaroli including bottles from Laphroaig, Springank and Bowmore each estimated at £30,000, and
  • bottlings from Gordon and MacPhail including Mortlach, Glen Grant and Glenlivet.

The casks on offer have an estimated value of over £330,000 and include Bowmore and Laphroaig from 1995, Octomore from 2012, and casks from Bunnahabhain, Dalmore, Highland Park, Clynelish and Springbank.

These are very specialised collectables so prices achieved will be all about who turns up on the day.
As Liquid Sunshine regulars will know, I’m not a fan of collecting whisky, but I’m in awe of the effort that has gone into this collection over decades.

Best of luck to Sotheby’s and I’m sure there will be some very contented new owners at the end of October.