Yamazaki 50-year-old sets new auction record

20th August, 2018 by Amy Hopkins

A new world record has been set for the most expensive single bottle of Japanese whisky sold at auction after a 50-year-old Yamazaki fetched HK$2,695,000 (US$343,318) in Hong Kong.

This bottle of 50-year-old Yamazaki has set a new world record

The rare edition was sold in the Bonhams Whisky Sale on Friday 17 August, smashing its pre-sale estimate of HK$1,800,000-HK$2,400,000 (US$229,310-US$305,749).

According to Bonhams, it overtakes the previous world record of HK$2,450,000 (US$312,105) set by the action house in Hong Kong earlier this year.

Suntory’s Yamazaki distillery, based in the Osaka Prefecture, produced only 50 bottles of the coveted 50-year-old whisky, which was bottled and released in 2005. Matured in mizunara oak casks, the expression is thought to be the oldest Yamazaki on the market.

“The Yamazaki 50-year-old is an exceptional whisky and, of course, very rare indeed,” said Daniel Lam, Bonhams head of fine wine and whisky.

“This new world record for a bottle of Japanese whisky – just a few months after we set the previous one – and the world record we set for Scotch whisky in May demonstrate that the auction market for single malt whisky is in good health.”

In May, a Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 60-year-old sold for HK$8,636,250 (US$1,100,197), a world record for Scotch whisky. At the same time, a bottle of Macallan Peter Blake 1926 60-year-old fetched HK$7,962,500 (US$1,014,422).

Bonhams expects the record to be broken once again when another bottle of 60-year-old Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 goes under the hammer in Edinburgh this autumn.

The auction house’s recent Hong Kong sale reached HK$26,000,000 (US$3,312,295) in total. Other top lots included a 35-year-old Yamazaki, 1965 Karuizawa and a Rolling Stones 50th anniversary special edition Yamazaki.

In the UK, auction sales of rare whisky hit £16 million (US$20.3m) in the first half of this year as demand for collectible and investible bottles continues to soar.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe today to get each issue of The Spirits Business as soon as it's published, plus all the latest breaking news and access to our library of back issues.

Subscribe Today!

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

Stay up-to-date with the latest news about the international spirits industry every weekday lunchtime (GMT)