Sotheby’s largest online spirits sale raises £1.2 million

7th September, 2020 by Owen Bellwood

Auctioneer Sotheby’s reported sales of £1.2 million (US$1.6m) in its largest online spirits auction, which saw a bottle of The Macallan Fine and Rare 56 Years Old sell for £46,360 (US$60,885).

Three bottles of Laphroaig Samaroli 16 Year Old 1970 sold for a total of £50,020 (US$65,000)

Sotheyby’s opened bidding on its online Distilled auction in August. The sale comprised 267 lots and 44% of those sold achieved prices in excess of their high estimates.

The auction included 90 lots of Scotch whisky from Speyside distiller Macallan, which sold for a combined total of £876,976 (US$1,154,013). The Macallan whiskies included a bottle of The Macallan Fine and Rare 56 Years Old 1945, which fetched £46,360 (US$60,885).

In addition, the Distilled sale included set number one of the first release of Diageo’s Prima & Ultima Collection, a new series of collectable single malt Scotch whiskies chosen by whisky maker Dr Jim Beveridge OBE. Signed by Beveridge, the set sold for £26,840 (US$35,249).

Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s spirits specialist, said: “We are delighted to have finished the summer with a successful online auction where 47% of buyers were new to Sotheby’s and 40% of bidders were under 40 years old.

“It was also a privilege to offer the first release of The Prima & Ultima Collection with the proceeds being donated to Water Aid. The staggering values we achieved on the Macallan Fine and Rare collection are testament to the current strength of the spirits market. We look forward to continuing our success into October when we offer the Ultimate Whisky Collection Part II.”

The auction also featured three bottles of Laphroaig Samaroli 16 Year Old 1970, two bottles of which fetched £17,080 (US$22,431) and the third reached £15,860 (US$20,829).

Sotheby’s offered 11 Port Ellen lots, including Port Ellen Fourth Annual Release 25 Year Old 1978, which sold for £2,684 (US$3,525), and a bottle of Port Ellen 1979 40 Year Old Casks Of Distinction #1883, which reached £21,960 (US$28,840).

The sale also included a selection of Japanese whiskies, including 27 Karuizawa lots, which sold for a combined total of £113,018 (US$148,720).

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