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Sotheby's Hong Kong To Auction Sought-After Scotch & Japanese Whiskies Online

Auction house Sotheby’s Hong Kong has announced two new wine and spirit online sales, including its largest spirits auction comprising over 130 lots.

By: Tiff Christie|April 24,2020

If your spirits focus is dedicated to sought-after Scotch and Japanese whiskies, the Sotheby’s have the on-line auction for you.

The firm’s Hong Kong branch have just put 130 lots up for the bidding, that focus on sought-after Scotch and Japanese whiskies as well as Chinese Kweichow Moutai.

In the hope of quenching the thirst of buyers the firm have announced their ‘Distilled: whisky, moutai and more’, sale that will be running simultaneously with their “Vine ׀ The Wonderful Cellar: Part II”.

Bidding open for their ‘Distilled: whisky, moutai and more’ sale will run from the 21st April through until 5th May, while the bidding for their “Vine ׀ The Wonderful Cellar: Part II”, will commence on 28th April through to 12th May.

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Adam Bilbey, Head of Sotheby’s Wine, Asia, commented: “Hot on the heels of the strong performance of our London and New York online sales over the past two months, Sotheby’s Wine is excited to present an eclectic mix of spirits and an exceptional private cellar catering to the ever-increasing demand from the Asian collectors.

“Through our expanded online sales programme, we are offering our clients the maximum flexibility and convenience possible to acquire the very best wines and spirits during this unprecedented time.”

The ‘Distilled: whisky, moutai and more’ sale will feature expressions such as –

Karuizawa Aqua of Life 50 Years 1968 – which is one of only 248 bottles that were launched in 2018. It is expected to sell for between HK$280,000-HK$400,000 (US$36,126-US$51,609).

The Mortlach 75-Year-Old Gordon & Macphail Generations (1 BT70) – the oldest whisky ever bottled, which is forecast to fetch between HK$130,000-HK$180,000 (US$16,773-US$23,224).

The sale also offers a selection of Kweichow Moutai from the 1980s and 1990s, highlighted by the rare Flying Fairy Precious Moutai 1992. This lot has an estimated sale of between HK$55,000-HK$80,000 (US$7,096-US$10,322).

The wine sale will feature a range of top Bordeaux such as Château Margaux 1996 and Château Cheval Blanc 2009, and also Champagne from some of the finest vintages, including Krug 1990, Salon Le Mesnil 2002, and Dom Pérignon Rosé from the 1990s. New World producers Penfolds and Joseph Phelps are also on offer.

The auction house has been actively expanding its online sale business. In 2019, it sold US$250 million of fine art and luxury goods online, including US$80 million achieved across 129 dedicated online auctions – a 55% increased compared to 2018, and five times the amount achieved in 2017.

Sotheby’s online sales worldwide in 2020 have been especially robust, having raised over US$35 million to-date.

For more information go to https://www.sothebys.com/en/buy/auction/2020/distilled-whisky-moutai-more?locale=en

Sale Highlights

Distilled | Whisky + Moutai + More

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The Macallan Duncan Taylor The Rarest Collection 42 Year Old 1969 (1 BT70) Est. HK$170,000-220,000As one of the oldest independent bottles of The Macallan at 42 years, this decanter set is a celebration of single cask expressions. Not only Is the whisky accompanied by cut crystal Glencairn glasses and adorned with a hallmarked silver stopper, but its presentation case is made out of its own cask #6860.

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Mortlach 75 Year Old Gordon & Macphail Generations (1 BT70) Est. HK$130,000-180,000
A must-have for any serious collector for one simple reason: this is the oldest whisky ever bottled. Originally established in 1895, Gordon & MacPhail is one of the oldest and most revered independent bottlers in Scotch Whisky’s history. Gordon & MacPhail previously set the record for the oldest age statement whisky ever with their 70 Year Old Mortlach under the same Generations series.

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Coleburn Samaroli Flowers 12 Year Old (1 BT) Est. HK$24,000-32,000
Silvano Samaroli’s whiskies are known to be among the best in the world, with Laphroaigs and Bowmores achieving the highest scores on Serge Valnetin’s WhiskyFun.com. Silvano began his independent bottlings in earnest with the Samaroli Flowers series. These whiskies were carefully selected and the label designs were drawn by Silvano himself. This Coleburn is one of this inimitable series, and to increase its desirability, Coleburn itself is a closed distillery, so very few of its bottles exist.

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Karuizawa Aqua of Life 50 Year Old 1968 (1 BT70) Est. HK$280,000-400,000
Since March 2020, a 52 Karuizawa has held the record for the most valuable Japanese whisky ever sold when it achieved £363,000 at Sotheby’s in London. This 50 Year Old from cask #6223 known as “Aqua of Life” is one of an incredibly limited release of only 248 bottles released in 2018. Since Karuizawa’s closure in 2011, no new whisky has been distilled and existing stocks are becoming more and more limited as time goes by.

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Hanyu Ichiro’s Malt Card Series Ace of Clubs cask #9523 2000 (1 BT70), Est. HK$110,000-160,000
After Hanyu ceased production in 2000, Ichiro Akuto, grandson of Hanyu’s founder, purchased 400 whisky casks from the closed distillery. He bottled his first few casks, each identified by a different playing card, which proved to be highly successful. Ichiro went on to complete the set with 58 cards produced in total, and his Malt Card Series became one of the most iconic series in the world of whisky. The ‘Ace of Clubs’ is particularly interesting as this was bottled from a Mizunara Puncheon – made from a very rare and valuable hardwood with aromatic properties.

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