Scotch whisky: sip or save?

Scotch whisky: sip or save?


As a big collection of rare whisky goes under the auctioneer’s hammer, we ask what is whisky for? Collecting or sharing?

Recently, there has been much excitement in the whisky world as Sotheby’s have announced the auction of ‘The Ultimate Whisky Collection’.

Billed as ‘the most comprehensive range of desirable Scotch whisky to come to the market from a private cellar’, the collection is estimated to bring in the region of £4 million ($4.8 million).

One of the highlights will be The Macallan 1926 60 Years Old from Cask #263. Sometimes called The Holy Grail of Whisky, it has an estimate of £350,000-450,000.

The sale will open for online bidding on 27 September 2019 and culminate in a live auction on 24 October at the Olympia event space in West Kensington, London.

Collected over two decades by an American businessman, the collection is jam-packed with many much sought after bottlings.

Sought after bottlings

The Macallan 50 Year, Lalique Edition Six Pillars Collection. Pic from Sotheby’s.

Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s Spirits Specialist, said: ‘The Ultimate Whisky Collection comprises what is undoubtedly the most comprehensive catalogue of whisky ever to be offered by a single owner in a single auction.

‘Not only is it a joy to be able to present some of the most sought-after bottlings such as The Macallan 1926 60 years old and the Springbank 1919 50 year old, as well as such rarities as bottle number 1 of the Bowmore 54 year old (of which only 12 were released), above all it is extraordinary to see amongst these iconic bottlings so many expressions that have received the highest critic scores over the years, particularly the Samaroli bottlings of Bowmore and Laphroaig, the Macallan Red Ribbons and all of the Black Bowmores.’

This blogger understands the appeal of searching out and collecting rare and old whisky but we can’t help but feel the purpose of whisky is to be enjoyed. Preferably with friends. Locking it away in a vault and waiting for it to appreciate in value is missing the point.

Happily the person who collected these whiskies appears to have enjoyed them:

‘Collecting whisky over these past twenty years has been a real passion of mine, though it was not something I set out to do. I have always loved drinking whisky – as family and friends will attest, to this day I can be found most evenings with a cigar in one hand and a glass in the other – but I was a wine collector first. I then found myself looking at unique bottles of Scotch, initially attracted by the beauty of the labels.

‘So I started this collection and realised that if I really spent time on it and was selective in my choices, I might be able to put together something significant and unique. Two decades on, I think the collection is at that point where it is indeed unique. Having cherished these bottles, I am now ready to share them with collectors around the world. I hope they find good homes in the hands of whisky lovers who will enjoy the experience as much as I did, both the drinking of them and the sense of history that each of these bottles brings.’

Drink whisky with Eat Walk Glasgow

Of course, here at Eat Walk Glasgow, we couldn’t run a food tour without offering our guests a dram of Scotch whisky and it’s always fun introducing the ‘water of life’ to people who have never tried it before.

It’s always nice to see new friendships being forged.

Come walk with us and enjoy some typical Scottish dishes along with a drink or two and some entertaining stories about Glasgow’s past and present.

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