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Sotheby’s sells most valuable Moutai to date

Premium auction house Sotheby’s is offering its most expensive Moutai lot yet, along with rare Japanese and Scotch whiskies.

Kweichow Moutai Sotheby's
Bidding opened yesterday for Sotheby’s sale of rare Moutai bottlings and whiskies

The auctioneer opened bidding yesterday (2 June), and is leading the sale with 24 bottles of Chinese baijiu producer Kweichow Moutai’s Sunflower 1974.

It is the priciest Moutai collection that Sotheby’s has offered to date, with an estimated value of £200,000-450,000 (US$283,600-638,000). It is also the first Moutai lot that Sotheby’s has auctioned in the UK.

In terms of Japanese whisky, Sotheby’s is selling 32 bottles from a single collection, which notably includes the Karuizawa Cask #5267 1960 – previously the most valuable Japanese whisky in the world, as Sotheby’s sold a bottle for £363,000 (US$435,273) last year.

The Scotch whisky category is fronted by two bottles produced at Islay’s Bowmore Distillery, both distilled in the 1960s. The Bowmore Samaroli Bouquet 1966 was bottled in 1984, with an estimated value of £35,000-48,000 (US$49,600-68,000). Sotheby’s currently holds the record for the resulting valuation of this bottle, which fetched £72,600 (US$102,947) in October 2019.

The auction also offers a number of long-aged expressions from the Speyside region in Scotland, including Glenlivet Gordon and Macphail Generations 70 Year Old, which was distilled in 1940, with an estimated value of £3,000-4,000 (US$4,254-5,672).

Lastly, the auction will offer the chance to purchase The Macallan’s 78 Year Old from The Red Collection, claiming to be the oldest age statement whisky ever released by the maker. This is estimated to fetch £60,000-90,000 (US$85,000-127,600).

Bidding on the 75-lot sale runs until 18 June. For more information, visit

Sotheby’s recently sold rapper Jay-Z’s signed 1969 bottle of D’Ussé Cognac in March 2021 for up to US$52,500.

Also, Macallan’s 1967 whisky from its new Anecdotes of Ages Collection sold at Sotheby’s for US$437,500 in New York City earlier this year.

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