Of the 517 lots up for auction this edition, only 93 went without a buyer.
Almost all the 80 lots of world rums available in FSA #6 found a buyer.
Price-wise, the leading three rums were Saint Etienne 1959 (€2,714), La Flibuste 33 Years Cuvée Spéciale (€2,006) and the Silver Seal 28 year old Demerara 1974 (€1,534).
The lots to cause the biggest stir (number of winning bids) were Enmore 1986 (2007, Silver Seal, €826, 26 bids), Damoiseau 15 Years Cuvée du Millenaire (€249, 29 bids), and—in a dead heat with 30 bids each—the Demerara 24 Years(1999, Rum Nation, €850) and J.M. 1990 (€543).
Despite only a small selection appearing in this auction, the interest in American and Irish whiskey has in no way waned. Blanton’s Single Barrel (Golden Promise Edition, €1,652) thus joined the ranks of highly sought-after bottlings such as Van Winkle and the Antique Collection(WL Wellar, Sazerac, Thomas H Handy and GT Stagg, etc.), winning the award for the most fiercely fought battle of this edition with 44 bids. The simmering interesting in Irish whiskey seen in recent auctions was back once again, especially when it came to a 1970s/1980s bottling of Power’s, which received 28 bids.
Definitely one to watch out for!
As we opened this sale, we shone a spotlight on Glen Grant and the story behind the mouth-watering vintage bottlings ranging from 1966 to the early 1980s. It seems bidders were paying attention and every lot found a buyer. Most went for above their high estimate, receiving an average 17 bids per lot. The 1972 vintage attracted the highest bid (€177) and also exceeded the prices recently fetched on the auction sites of our European colleagues. Note that the vintage malts in this range were often aged for between just five and eight years.
Remembering of course to drink responsibly, let’s take a look at the most accessible and promising lots in terms of taste.
Top marks go to Gordon & MacPhail for bottlings from two of its historical introductory ranges which have since been discontinued, Pride of the Lowland 12 Year Old and Pride of Strathspey 25 Year Old. There was also a focus on the MacPhail’s Collection black label range, with a few gems which, despite their young age, are mostly characterized by excellent sherry cask ageing: Tamdhu, Highland Park and Glenrothes.
For distillery bottlings: C&J McDonald 8 Year Old, Glen Ila 5 Year Old, Glenlivet 12 Year Old Unblended, Giovinetti, and the very unusual Aberlour 1998 Sherry Cask #7336.
Representing 15% of all lots on offer this auction, Japanese whisky continues to draw a crowd at FSA. Alone, it generated over 40% of the auction’s total value and received 10% of all bids, despite opening prices starting at well above the average for the sale as a whole.
The leading bottling in this category—in terms of both winning bids and value—was the Hanyu 1986 King of Hearts (20 bids, €10,974). A now very rare bottle seldom found in European auctions! Hot on its heels came the Karuizawa 1975 Cask #6736 (16 bids, €10,266).
Among the highest bids, two lots stood out in particular, one for its performance—the Bowmore Bicentenary—and the other for its extreme rarity—the Macallan-Glenlivet 1958. The first exceeded the prices fetched at other online auctions in recent months (presented in the same format) and went for €3,776. The second, which was bottled by Gordon & MacPhail in the mid-1970s and has not been seen in online auctions since 2017, led to a mini battle between bidders (with 31 bids), eventually going for the hammer price of €2,490.