My second batch of auction whisky’s came and I am expecting my next shipment soon! It takes a bit of time from auction end, to clearing payment, to getting it shipped and then taking possession of it. It is so exciting opening these boxes to see what the bottles and their packaging look like in person. Dare I say, it might even be just as cool as Christmas! As I was recently sitting here watching three auctions run, the first thing that came to mind is how many bottles there are to look through and research. One auction alone had 2842 items (memorabilia and bottles) to look through. Fortunately there are about 8 days that the auctions run with the amazing option of watch lists on each site. As I mentioned in my previous blog, I love being a researcher. I love learning about the bottles, the distillery they came from, and if there is anything that would make a bottle unique to another buyer in the future.
Some of the things I look for while looking through these auctions include; is it still in production or is it discontinued (as I previously mentioned my goal is to purchase discontinued bottles). I look to see if there was a limited amount of bottles produced. Obviously the smaller amount the better. I came across a limited production but the limited production was 20,000 bottles. I know, that probably is still a very small amount in all reality. I just like the idea of handling a bottle that is 1 of only a couple hundred or a couple thousand. I try to research to see if there is a story behind the bottling, whether it is the Diamond Jubilee, a decanter, an anniversary edition, a special occasion bottling, etc. There is some really cool stuff out there, I wish I had more money!
This round of auction brought into my possession a collectible Kilchoman Spring 2010, a discontinued Bruichladdich Peat which is signed, and a beautiful bottle of Girvan Patent Still 25 year old Launch Edition which is kind of one of my favorite finds. I know, the Girvan is still available for purchase but remember my only exception to non-discontinued purchases are bottles that retail high that I can get at a lower price at auction that will hold its value.
Kilchoman Spring 2010 was a third release from Islay’s youngest and one of the smallest distilleries in Scotland.The Spring 2010 bottling marks the first time Kilchoman used their own spring water to reduce the whisky. This particular bottling was aged entirely in Buffalo Trace barrels from Kentucky for 3 years before finishing off in active Oloroso sherry butts from Spain. Depending on the seller, only 1 or 2 bottles were available of this limited release. At its release, Kilchoman 2010 Spring went for 45GBP or $70. This bottle is discontinued and unless someone is holding it in their liquor cabinet, rare whisky sites and auctions are where you will find this young whiskey.
Bruichladdich produced the Peat spirit, which is a marriage of all three of their lines; Port Charlotte, Octomore and Bruichladdich itself. As these spirits were all distilled under the same roof, this ‘vatting’ is still a single malt. A newer release to replace the 3D bottling and priced lower than the previous bottling. Peat (35 ppm) is not Chill-Filtered and not artificially colored. Peat matured for roughly 5-7 years in Ex-Bourbon Casks selected by Master-Distiller Jim McEwan and the bottle is signed by Mr. McEwan. It was priced at an average $60US in late 2012.
Now… the beautiful Girvan Patent Still 25 year old Launch Edition. I couldn’t pass this bottle up. William Grant, of the Glenfiddich fame, has created a new category in the Scotch category in a lowlands distillery. The 25-yr old Launch Edition was the first release for Girvan. This was bottled in 2013 and then exclusively released in the UK in November 2013 with a starting price of 225GBP ($318USD) and only 500 bottles were produced.
Jonny Cornthwaite, brand manager of Girvan whiskies, said to the Spirits Business that it was important for William Grant not to price the new brand at an inferior point to single malt Scotch . “We have a responsibility as the first major brand producing a single grain Scotch to set the standard,” he explained. “Single grain should be viewed as an accompaniment to single malt, and 25 and 30-year-old single malts cost this much too. This is a brave new step for us, opening up this new category in Scotch whisky.”
This is from the Master of Malt site, “The original Girvan Patent Still was built by William Grant’s great-grandson, Charles Gordon, in 1963, when it was given the rather catchy name “No 1 Apps” (referring to the term apparatus). After distillation, this whisky was aged for a massive 25 years before being popped into some incredibly elegant bottles, which are then put into striking boxes that are decorated with metal badges and side panels.”
Currently the online price point for these bottles range from $290US to $424US. I imagine these bottles won’t be for sale long because there were only 5oo available.
Time for another round of auction watching to start this weekend…. and until the next batch arrives…. Slainte!