FSA #4 – RAREST OF THE RAREST

 

It’s the last edition of Fine Spirits Auction before the summer break and this time the focus is on the rarest of the rare!

Indeed, while some distilleries have become well-known faces at our auctions, there are many editions that still struggle to make it this far. Most frequently, this is due to a lack of distribution in France and/or Europe combined with the very limited nature of these bottlings, which often find sufficient demand in their domestic market. Often it is only the most ardent collectors and enthusiasts who are able to get their hands on these versions thanks to the long-standing friendships they have developed with the “right” people over many years of shows and distillery visits. And we’re extremely grateful to them for putting the work in, as that’s what enables us to offer such a selection of incredibly rare bottles in France.

CARONI & DEMERARA RUM:

CARONI FULL PROOF 1974, 34 Years, Velier (2008), 66.1%/70cl:

This is the oldest vintage of Caroni ever bottled by the Italian company Velier, which has since become the brand’s owner. It was bottled in 2008 (Velier’s first Caroni bottlings date back to 2005) from a blend of seven drums (food-grade barrels used to transport potable alcohol), producing just under 2,000 bottles for the world. To date, only Velier and Bristol Spirits have bottled Caroni from this vintage. While the 46% ABV edition from Bristol Spirits still appears on one or two auction sites in Europe, this one from Velier has almost completely disappeared. This version has never been distributed in France.

ALBION FULL PROOF 1986, 26 Years Velier (2011) Barrels AW:

Introduced in 2001 as Demerara Rare Old Rum in versions generally bottled at 40% or 46% ABV, this iconic range from Velier was relaunched in its current form in 2005. This single cask #10546 was bottled in 2011. It is a limited edition of around 214 bottles for the world and extremely rare at auction. Just six bottles were allocated to the French market.

PORT MOURANT FULL PROOF 1975, 33 Years Velier (2008) Barrels PM:

A contemporary of Caroni 1974, this Port Mourant was bottled in 2008 from a blend of three barrels, producing a total of roughly 518 bottles worldwide. Two other vintages, 1972 and 1974, were also released by Velier in the same year. Just over 80 bottles were imported to and distributed in France.

BLAIRMONT FULL PROOF 1982, 29 Years Velier (2011) Barrels “B”:

This single cask #10542 is the second bottling of Blairmont from Velier. The first, a Blairmont 1991, was introduced in 2006, and this one released in 2011 produced approximately 250 bottles, 96 of which were allocated for the French market. Each of these versions appeared once last year at Fine Spirits Auction. In Europe, this 1982 has been almost impossible to find since 2019.

HANYU & CHICHIBU:

Europe may well be a single market, but what is accepted and/or tolerated under the laws of one country isn’t necessarily in another. Two bottlings of Hanyu 1988 that would have struggled to make it in France under the Evin Law were produced for the Netherlands in 2008 and 2009 and named Nice Butt #9307 and Big Butt #9306. For those who don’t know, a “butt” is an oak cask with a capacity of 475-500 litres. Note that the cask #9306 was shared between this label (200 bottles) and the label Hanyu 1988 NOH (625 bottles). That’s a very “Big Butt” indeed!

Another very rare bottling in France also produced for the Netherlands is Hanyu 1990 Cask No. 9305 The Wave Batch II, bottled in 2009. A limited edition of 200 bottles for the world. Note this cask is also available under the label #1 Drinks (626 bottles worldwide) and in the version The Wave Batch 1 also limited to 200 bottles. Which makes a total of 1,026 bottles...

Chichibu 2009, First Fill Bourbon Cask #609: a cask bottled by the distillery for the Japanese restaurant Sushi+Soul in Germany in 2014. A first-fill bourbon cask very rarely found at auction since its release.

AS WELL AS:

ARDBEG 1974 Ex Bourbon Cask #3309, LMDW:

A single cask selected by La Maison du Whisky, bottled to mark its 50th anniversary in 2006. Matured in ex-bourbon casks, only 109 bottles were released. This is the first time it has appeared at Fine Spirits Auction, with only a handful of bottles appearing in European auctions since 2006.

OLD SCHOOL SINGLE MALTS:

For those nostalgic for the 80s and 90s and the old school style, several lots are likely to catch your eye, including

a Glendronach 15 Year Old 100% Matured in Sherry Casks, a Laphroaig 10 Years GECO Import and an Ardmore 12 Year Old 1986 100th Anniversary Limited Edition. These three radically different distilleries and versions were all produced under the watchful eye of Long John Distillers, Allied Domecq up until the mid-190s, notably for the Teachers blend. There are also the Bushmills 10 Year Old and Glenmorangie 10 Year Old, imported to and distributed in France in the early 1980s by Corima. And...

  • Auchentoshan 8 Year Old, Nicolas Import
  • Springbank 12 Year Old, Auxil Import

 

OTHER CATEGORIES:

The cognac broker Grosperrin, which specializes in vintage bottlings, has made a timid but impressive first appearance in our auctions with two versions:

  • Jean Grosperrin 1979 Of. Lot n°253 Cognac de Collection
  • Jean Grosperrin 1991 Of. Cask RW 135651 Lot n°255 Cognac de Collection

Finally, there are also a couple of interesting bottles of Chartreuse, including two Tarragone Jaune bottlings, 1973-1983 and 1982-1989.

So, wait no more, bidding is now open!

 

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