All posts by SMACA

Expensive Macallan

We have written in the past about expensive whiskies. Here is another example of a monsterously expensive whisky.

From the linked article:

The bottles, with labels designed by artists Sir Peter Blake and Valerio Adami, were bought by an international businessman for his private collection for US$600,000 each, setting a new record for the most expensive pair of whisky bottles sold.

The spirit was distilled at Macallan in 1926 and matured for 60 years in ex-Sherry casks before being bottled and released in 1986.

I’d love the chance to sample a dram from one of these bottles, but I would never consider buying one (even if I had the money). It’s just too much and I am certain the whisky inside isn’t that good.

Australian Whiskey Industry Consolidation.

Australian Whisky Holdings (AWH) announced on March 5th that it intends to purchase all remaining shares of Lark Distillery that is doesn’t already own. AWH obtained approximately 48% of Lark as part of its acquisition of the distressed Nant assets in 2017. The deal will be worth a little more than $10 million. Existing Lark shareholders have been offerred cash, AWH shares or a mix of both.

Lark also owns Overeem so AWH will now complete the acquisition of that distillery as well.

It would seem consolidation in the nascent Australian Whisky Industry is well under way.

Regarding Expensive Whiskies

Regarding the Dalmore 59 that was sold at auction for £83,640, Forbes has an article about an investment fund that is trying to capitalise on the rising values of rare and fine whiskies.

The fund managers are trying to raise 25 million euros to establish the first publicly traded fund based on the ownership of bottles of whisky.

The Single Malt Fund is not the first fund to invest in the whisky industry nor is it the first publicly traded spirits fund. It will be, however, the first publicly traded fund that invests in physical bottles of whisky.

More on this can also be found at Atlas Obscura.

This is only likely to put more upwards pressure on the price of rare and fine whiskies, driving more “ordinary” whisky lovers out of that end of the market.

Record Price for Single Malt at Auction

Updated to include the actual sale price of the whisky

From The Press and Journal on 5th February regarding the sale at auction of a bottle of whisky for £82,619:

An unnamed buyer stumped up the cash to buy the rare whisky, an expression of The Dalmore, produced at Alness, on Friday evening.

With only 20 bottles released in 2011, The Dalmore Eos 59-year-old is highly sought after by private collectors.

The purchase price in Hong Kong is still a long way short of the £212,000 paid for a bottle of 50-year-old Yamazaki Japanese single malt at a Sotheby’s auction in the Chinese territory last month.

And it is well shy of the £125,000 paid by a Chinese businessman for a bottle of The Dalmore 62 at Changi Airport, in Singapore, in 2011.

But it is thought to be a world record-breaker for a near standard-sized bottle of Scotch.

The most expensive whisky ever sold at auction was a six-litre (1.3 gallon) Macallan M decanter, named, Constantine, which in 2014 achieved a price of £381,620 at a Sotheby’s sale in Hong Kong.

Our club members have been fortunate enough to sample some rare and expensive whiskies over the years, but nothing as rare or expensive as this.

Slainte Mhath to the buyer!

Speed Ageing Whisky

In an interesting article at the Conversation, Monash University scientists Chris Thompson and Boon Mian Teo investigate a small but growing trend to hasten the ageing of whisky using a multitude of techniques.

While pure chemical analysis shows that “speed ageing” can work, the authors did not wade into the contentious subject of whether these whiskies actually taste as good as whiskies that have been aged in the regular manner.

As enthusiasts of fine single malt whiskies, perhaps we might expect many of these speed aged whiskies to become components of blended products rather than true single malts?

Ninth Distillery for Islay

The Whisky Advocate has news that Islay is to become the home to a ninth distillery. The new distillery is to be called Gartbreck.

The distillery will be called Gartbreck and will be Islay’s smallest. It is presumed that it is named after Gartbreck Farm, which lies on the road from Bowmore to the airport and is within sight of the Bowmore distillery. Its lands stretch down to the sea loch.

It appears the distillery will be independent, although this is to be confirmed when an official anouncment is made in the coming months.