Online spirits auctioneer, whisky.auction (www.whisky.auction), is to host a public sale of the most impressive selection of one-off bottles of whisky and rum ever to come to auction. The auction is expected to raise upwards of £200,000 for non-profit organisations around the world dedicated to battling the impact of single-use plastic waste, including US-based Plastic Oceans International.
The exceptional collection of bottles were on show at The Whisky Show in London last month, where the show’s creator, The Whisky Exchange, is actively eliminating single-use plastic from the show. The selection of bottles were curated in partnership with The Whisky Exchange to mark the 10th edition of The Whisky Show and celebrate the show’s move towards plastic-free.
The auction itself will take place in November, with 9 out of 15 lots already confirmed as one-off bottles never to be repeated. Sensational whiskies from distilleries across Scotland sit alongside a magnum of the legendary Caroni rum from Trinidad and a 50 year old whisky from Japan’s highly sought-after Karuizawa distillery – one of the oldest ever releases from this iconic producer.
Highlights include (full list can be found at the bottom of this article):
The Balvenie 1973 Vintage Cask. Bottle number 1 of 1. A limited edition single malt Scotch whisky, bottled from a single cask from a single vintage.
Ardbeg 37 Year Old. Bottle number 1 of 1.
A stunning whisky, and one of the only one-off bottlings Ardbeg have ever produced in their history.
Brora 35 Year Old. Bottle number 1 of 1. A cult closed distillery that has rarely released a single cask bottling, let alone 1 of 1.
Karuizawa 50 Year Old. Bottle number 1 of 2. From closed Japanese distillery Karuizawa and has the potential to set a new auction record for Japanese whisky.
O.F.C 1990. One of only 63 bottles and the first to ever arrive in the UK.
With so many of these entirely unique bottles never to be repeated, it is expected that the auction could fetch upwards of £200,000. Higher estimates predict the auction could reach over £300,000, with the possibility of the Karuizawa alone could raising as much as £200,000 and potentially setting a record for the most expensive Japanese whisky ever sold. The auction itself will open on 18th November and will end on 27th November 2018.
All profits from the auction will be used by chosen charities to actively combat the ongoing plight of the world’s oceans. For example US-based non-profit organisation Plastic Oceans will use their donation to expand global awareness initiatives, with a goal of reaching another billion people by 2020. The funds will be utilised to develop films and other content that will target school children, policy awareness, and consumer behaviour – all with the goal of educating, inspiring, and fostering change.
Isabel Graham-Yooll, auction director for Whisky.Auction, comments: “Every now and then an auction line-up comes along that has spirits collectors and connoisseurs on the edge of their seats with excitement. This is one of those auctions. These bottles are not merely rare, some of them are entirely unique; they have never been seen before and may never be seen again. The distilleries and bottlers who have kindly created and donated these lots fully support the work that charities like Plastic Oceans undertakes and were committed to helping us raise as much money as possible for this cause. It is difficult to put into words just how remarkable these bottles are, and we’re really hoping that is reflected in their final hammer prices.
Julie Andersen, Global Executive Director for Plastic Oceans, said: “We are honoured to be a beneficiary of the auction and very excited to see the programmes being implemented by the organisers to reduce their single-use plastic footprint at their events. It’s yet another example of an industry recognising the problem and being part of the solution.
You can register your interest at whisky.auction/charity/plasticoceans
Full list of confirmed lots to date
Karuizawa 50 Year Old, Bottle 1 of 2 (Donated by The Whisky Exchange)
This could well set a new record for the most expensive Japanese whisky ever sold. This is one of only two bottles from a distillery that is highly prized the world over. Sukhinder Singh, founder of The Whisky Exchange and renowned Karuizawa bottler, says ‘ This is the best Karuizawa I’ve tried and possibly one of the best whiskies I’ve ever tasted, full stop. The tropical notes are just incredible. It definitely sits on a par with the best Bowmore I’ve tasted from the 1960s. It is THAT good.’
Port Ellen 38 Year Old, Bottle 1 of 1 (Donated by Diageo)
The most legendary and sought-after of all the closed distilleries. Port Ellen is no longer part of the Diageo annual Special Releases so to not only have this donated in Special Releases packaging, but as a 1 of 1 is simply exceptional.
The Macallan 50 Years Old Millennium Decanter (Donated by Edrington)
Macallan remains by some distance the no.1 most sought-after, collectable and investable whisky in the world and this is regarded as the best Macallan ever bottled.
Ardbeg 37 Year Old, Bottle 1 of 1 (Donated by LVMH)
The biggest cult following of all the Scottish distilleries. This is a stunning whisky, and one of the only one-off bottlings Ardbeg have ever produced in their history. It has been bottled in a unique vintage packaging.
Bowmore 43 Year Old, Bottle 1 of 1 (Donated by Beam Suntory)
Incredibly sought-after whisky, especially from this era of Bowmore. One of the top 3 most collectable Scottish distilleries along with Macallan and Dalmore.
The Dalmore Rare 45 Year Old, Bottle 1 of 1 (Donated by Whyte & Mackay)
Dalmore is on fire and is the most collectable Scottish whisky after Macallan. Unlike their wider 45 year old release, this one-off bottle is from a single sherry cask with a colour so dark it is almost black.
Brora 35 Year Old, Bottle 1 of 1 (Donated by Diageo)
Another cult closed distillery that has rarely released a single cask bottling, let alone a 1 of 1 release such as this. This takes the rarity of Brora to the next level.
The Balvenie 1973 Vintage Cask, Bottle 1 of 1 (Donated by William Grant & Sons)
From the golden age of the early 1970s which many consider to have produced the greatest whiskies ever. Balvenie has a huge following worldwide, and is probably the fastest growing distillery in terms of collectability and demand. They have very little stock of this age so to get this one-off is a real treat.
Glenfarclas 1967 42 Year Old, Bottle 1 of 1 (Donated by Glenfarclas)
A truly unique 1 of 1 release, packaged in an engraved crystal bottle.
Springbank 14 Year Old Fresh Sherry Butt, Bottle 1 of 1 (Donated by Springbank)
Another cult distillery who rarely release single casks let alone a one-off bottle. This single bottle was specially selected by the Springbank team from one of their favourite casks and will never be repeated.
Yoichi 1998 (Donated by Nikka)
This distillery exclusive has never been sold outside of the walls of Yoichi. Yoichi was voted as the world’s best whisky at the World Whisky Awards as early as 2001 and led the way in the dramatic ascension of Japanese whisky’s reputation.
Glenlivet 1948 50 Year Old (Donated by Gordon & MacPhail)
One of the very oldest vintages of Glenlivet on the market. A rare privilege to present such a whisky from one of the most famous of all Scotland’s distilleries.
O.F.C 1990 (Donated by Sazerac)
This bottle of O.F.C 1990 vintage bourbon comes from a barrel that had been maturing for almost 30 years at what is now the Buffalo Trace Distillery. It is one of only 63 bottles and has never been sold commercially. This is its first time a bottle of this whiskey has ever landed on UK shores.
Caroni Guyana 1994 Rum Magnum, Bottle 1 of 3 (Donated by Velier)
The world’s greatest rum bottler, Velier, brings us the oldest Caroni rum in existence that is still ageing in cask. The tropical ageing results in a loss of 6-8% per year so this rum is much much rarer and more mature than a Scotch whisky of the same age would be.
Foursquare 15 Year Old Rum, Bottle 1 of 1 (Donated by Foursquare)
Foursquare is currently the hottest producer in the rum market. New releases sell out immediately and are usually sold on allocation due to such exceptional demand.