Wine & Whiskey

$1.3 Million Glenfiddich The 1950s Collection, Only One of Many Great Whisky Sales

The holiday season is a time for reflection. Some collectors and investors will find themselves with a warm spirit to sip by the fire as the snow falls. The Distillers One of One auction closed on December 3rd 2021. Some collectors were sipping high-end Scotch Whisky in the name of charity. All in all, millions of dollars were raised and there was a single sale that netted over $1 million for a ultra-rare whisky offering of Glenfiddich.

The proceeds from the sale of ultra-rare and unique Scotch whiskies took place at Barnbougle Castle on the outskirts of Edinburgh, Scotland. The 40 lots according to Sotheby’s ranged in estimates from £1,000 upwards to £500,000. Collectors Dashboard reviewed some of the rarities and the charitable prices they sold for.

Collectors Dashboard evaluates high-end collectibles as an alternative asset class. This means collectibles are attracting the same capital that could have been invested into stocks or bonds. Many collectibles now cost thousands of dollars (or millions), and ultra-rare whisky as an investment fits within this theme of alternative assets. Collectors with a passion are also competing against investors who only seek to make a profit in the future.

While high-price sales with two commas turn eyes, Collectors Dashboard would remind readers about economics and market dynamics. Stocks and bonds come with no guaranteed profits. Neither do commodities or real estate. That means there are no assured profits in collectibles. Some may even plummet in value — and what’s the value of this whisky once an owner just has to have that first sip of each bottle?

These are some of the top sales from the night.

Lot 36 was a prime example of investment whisky that will stand out with a strong name as well — Glenfiddich The 1950s Collection (4) Bottles with an estimate of 220,000 to 350,000 GBP. After selling for 1,037,500 GBP, that converts to about $1,371,886.25 in dollars at the present time. (Image below by Sotheby’s)

Sotheby’s said:

“A one-off collection from the last four remaining casks of Glenfiddich distilled in 1955, 1957, 1958 and 1959. These expressions are housed in a bespoke maple and mahogany cabinet by Royal Warrant holder, NEJ Stevenson, and fitted with a thermometer and hygrometer from world renowned instrument makers, Fischer.”

Glenfiddich The 1950s Collection

Lot 21: Talisker Cask of Distinction 1978 + Artwork by Callum Innes had an estimate of 350,000 to 500,000 GBP and sold for 625,000.00 GBP (currently $826,500.00 USD). Sotheby’s said:

“This Talisker Cask of Distinction 1978, donated by Diageo, embodies a unique, priceless combination of art, craft and philanthropy. Selected as a Cask of Distinction on account of its outstanding quality, this 43-Year-Old cask of still-maturing Talisker single malt Scotch whisky is paired with a cask-end that has been turned into an original work of art by acclaimed Scottish painter Callum Innes. This is the first time a Cask of Distinction has been sold at auction and offers the opportunity to own an iconic piece of liquid history.

This cask can be stored for up to a further 5 years from the auction close date before bottling. Once the successful bidder chooses to bottle the cask, they will become the sole owner of one of the world’s rarest and most highly respected whiskies, with dedicated packaging featuring the artwork of Callum Innes, another first for Casks of Distinction.”

Lot 4: Bowmore Onyx 51 Year Old 1970 (1 BT1.4 LITR + 1 BT10) had an estimate of 100,000 to 180,000 GBP and sold for 400,000.00 GBP. $528,920.00 USD.

Lot 31: The Balvenie 56 Year Old 1964 had an estimate of 50,000 to 80,000 GBP and sold for 175,000 GBP. $231,402.50 USD. It was shown to be one of the rarest and oldest Balvenies ever to be made available outside the Grant family in its write-up.

Lot 13: Glen Garioch Twin Casks in Cradle 1990 and 2021 (2 HGH) had an estimate of 100,000 to 150,000 GBP and sold for 112,500 GBP. $148,758.75 USD. Sotheby’s said:

“An exceptionally rare opportunity to own two casks from Glen Garioch. One, a 1990 Cask No. 5220 matured at a time when the distillery exclusively used direct fire; the other will be one of the first casks to be filled following the restoration of direct fired stills and floor maltings in 2021. The two casks will be presented in a bespoke oak cradle.”

Lot 37: Gordon & MacPhail One of One Selection Experience from The 1940s or 1950s had an estimate of 87,000 to 160,000 GBP and sold for 87,500 GBP… or $115,701.25 USD. The Sotheby’s description said:

“Gordon & MacPhail are inviting the winning bidder of this lot to join Stephen Rankin, Director of Prestige, for a two-night stay in Speyside. The winner will also enjoy an immersive experience into the world of Gordon & MacPhail, including a tour of their famous warehouses, sample room and spiritual home, before working alongside Stephen and his cousin Stuart Urquhart to select their very own whisky. After sampling from a selection of casks from the 1940s and ’50s, the chosen whisky will be bottled in a unique, one of one decanter and accompanied by a second bottle to drink and enjoy.”

This was listed as the first of Sotheby’s biennial auctions of ultra-rare and unique Scotch whiskies under the name “The Distillers One of One” in partnership with The Worshipful Company Of Distillers’ philanthropic arm, The Distillers’ Charity. We have not confirmed the final sale prices, but Whisky Intelligence reported that the auction netted $4.1 Million USD.

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