Tag Archives: Glenlivet

Weekly Auction Watch – 16th July 2015

Vintage Macallan Values Continue to Harden.

Building on last weeks positive outcome for Macallan, older vintage bottles appear to be shifting north; in some cases rapidly. It’s no secret secondary market values for Macallan had a relatively tough time throughout 2014. With a cross-brand all-bottle decline of 7.43%, the king of collectables took a relatively wide-reaching correction in investment terms.

Throughout 2015, certainly for discontinued older vintage bottles, things appear far more buoyant. A hardening in prices continued at the recent Whisky Auctioneer sale.

Four 25-year-old Anniversary Malt’s were sold with two achieving outright new records and the other two trading at the top end of recent prices.

Macallan Anniversary Malts continue upside
Macallan Anniversary Malts continue upside
  • The 1957/1983 vintage fetched a record £2,200; just £600 would have secured this bottle in 2010.
  • The 1968/1993 vintage fetched £1,300, not a record but way ahead of its previous most recent £950.
  • The 1971/1997 vintage fetched £1,200, again not a record but significantly above its recent £900 trading level.
  • The 1974/1999 vintage fetched £1,020, just £20 over its previous record price, but a record none the less.

On a more contemporary basis, while the ‘M’ decanter only managed £2,150, the Queens Diamond Jubilee cemented recent gains and settled around £1,120 per bottle – well up on the previous £750 – £850 prices achieved.

One for drinking
One for drinking

The Macallan ‘M’ decanter is an interesting concept. Unlike some bottles of Macallan, It wasn’t released with the collectors market in mind; it was released solely as a showcase for top of the range Macallan as a drink. I recently spoke to a business associate who asked my opinion on buying ‘M’ as an investment. My answer was to spend his money elsewhere and not to go near M as a collectable or investment… “Too late” came the unfortunate cry. It transpires he’s already bought four bottles! With a lot of patience it might claw back its losses… especially it it’s discontinued at some point in the future.

Away from Macallan…

Twice the price over just 12 months
Twice the price over just 12 months

Bottles from silent distilleries maintained their current positive price trajectory with Rosebank looking especially favourable. A bottle of 1967 vintage 26-year-old bottled by Signatory stormed in at £750; more than doubling its 2014 price of £350. The 1979 vintage 20-year-old Rosebank from The Rare Malts Selection range hit £450, not quite an absolute record (£660 was the ‘spiky’ price paid for a bottle in 2013) but way ahead of its £80 price tag in 2010.

Showing you don’t have to pay many hundreds or, in some cases, thousands of pounds to get on the silent stills ladder, a bottle of Inverleven (a distillery within a distillery) 1985/1999 by Gordon and MacPhail achieved £84; more than doubling its 2011 price of £40.

Glenlivet 1955
1955 Glenlivet

While many official bottles from Glenlivet continue to decline in value, the older vintage releases from Gordon and MacPhail are moving well. £675 took a 1955/2001 bottle, pushing it well ahead of its previous £450.

In my view, Glenlivet OB values will continue to fall. In terms of buying quality drinking stock on the secondary market, if the new Founders Reserve is anything to go by (tried it, left it, won’t return to it), we’ll see further polarisation between modern OB’s and discontinued IB’s.

Digressing slightly, the interesting conundrum for the Glenlivet Founders Reserve will be to see if it manages to recruit volumes of ‘new-to-category’ drinkers without turning away more seasoned whisky consumers. I fear the bigger challenge may be to get any new recruits to return for a second go…. who knows, I could be utterly wrong and it gets judged the best thing in the world at some award or another.

Back to the numbers and the current surge in Highland Park prices remains unchanged. Earl Haakon hit its highest price since November 2014 and a bottle of 1974 vintage (cask 11501, Viking Cinderella) sold for £750. £410 was the previous price paid for this bottle earlier in 2015.

Highland Park 1974 and Earl Haakon
Highland Park 1974 and Earl Haakon

Showing how rarities often make huge step-change leaps in value when they are rarely seen on the market, a bottle of Connoisseurs Choice 1957 Longmorn 25-year-old sold for £525. That was merely its second time at auction in the UK, on its first outing in 2008 it made £220.

Finally this week, it almost looks like Glenfiddich is giving its gilt-edged sibling Balvenie a bloody nose in the collectors stakes. The Glenfiddich 1958 sold for £4,400, way ahead of its previous £2,350 and even way ahead of the £2,750 it costs in travel retail.

Glenfiddich 1958 and 1972
Glenfiddich 1958 and 1972
Glenfiddich 1958 current retail price. Cheaper than buying at auction
Glenfiddich 1958 current retail price. Cheaper than buying at auction

At these prices it might not remain in travel retail for much longer. A bottle of 1972 vintage (from cask 16032) managed to take £900 on the nose, almost doubling its 2013 price of £460.

All in all, a good auction with some very impressive results.

Until next time.

Slainte,

Andy

Images courtesy of Whiskyauctioneer.com

Weekly Auction Watch – 22nd April 2015

With the absence of an auction watch last week we’re a little behind the times; however, it’s well worth reviewing the April Scotch Whisky Auctions sale. There were indeed some good results, however, certain bottles took a notable step back in value.

Brora continues upside
Continued upside for Brora

From a positive perspective, Brora performed well with two out of the three 1982 vintage Connoisseurs Choice bottles setting new records. £300 took the 1982/2000 which was £70 in 2010, £310 took the 1982/2006 which was £80 in 2011 and £300 took the 1982/2008 just £30 off its record high. The official 2008 release, 25 year old, hit £720 exceeding its previous best by £40. More recent official releases took a dip into the red with the 2010 30 year old selling for £540 (down from its £700 high in January this year) and the 2012 35 year old fetching £720, down from £800. The 1977 21 year old Rare Malts bottle achieved £720, yielding an exceptional 454% increase over its 2010 price of £130.

Glenugie put in another strong show with two bottles achieving new records – A 1977 33 year old from Signatory sold for £360, more than doubling its 2013 price of £170. Again, more than doubling its 2013 price of £150, a bottle of Dun Bheagan 30 year old Glenugie sold for £310.

Are Ladyburn Values set to increase?
Are Ladyburn Values set to increase?

One of the bottles from cask 1590, a 1973 27 year old Ladyburn sold for £920. Ladyburn hasn’t been the best performing silent distillery over recent years but I suspect renewed interest and revised retail pricing may well move values up over the coming months. This bottle sold for £210 in 2008.

Among the highs and lows were also some signs of continued volatility for certain brands. Older vintage bottles of Glenlivet (mainly the old G&M releases) have been increasing at a consistent rate over the past couple of years, however, the younger official bottles have languished or at best been ‘spiky’ in their sale prices. Two identical bottles of Glenlivet Quercus (a single cask 17 year old) sold at this particular auction – one sold for £220 and the other sold for just £90. With the replacement of Glenlivet 12 year old by the no-age Founders Reserve in certain territories I wonder how the secondary market will react? If I were a betting man, I would wager the older (mainly G&M bottled) vintage releases will still see upside but distillery bottles will continue to slide or remain static at best.

Spot the difference?! The bottle on the left sold for £220, the one on the right was just £90.
Spot the difference?! The bottle on the left sold for £220, the one on the right was just £90.

Glenfiddich Snow Phoenix rallied up to £250 per bottle recently but was back to £165. Over-supply didn’t look like the issue either with only five bottles at the auction. The Glenfiddich ‘2012’ Millennium vintage also took a significant turn south; March saw two bottles sell for £80 – this month it was back to £35 (less than its original retail price).

The Macallan Masters of Photography series bore witness to further continued erosion of prices as both ‘The Bar’ and ‘The Library’ by Annie Leibovitz hit new lows and the Albert Watson 20 year old sold for just £740. The previous record for The Library was £2,300 in 2013 resulting in a two year loss of 43.5%. Albert Watson has been far more stable, having a 2013 price of £800 and yielding a 7.5% two year loss.

Certain other bottles of Macallan were far more buoyant. The older vintage 18 year olds were selling towards or slightly above their recent trading range; the 1976 hit £640 and the 1979 sold for £560. Neither were new records, but they were very close seconds. The 1951 ‘Matured Only in Sherry Wood’ (not the 1951 Fine & Rare, although you could be forgiven for thinking it is) was back up to peak Q3 2014 levels when one sold for £8,200. £8,600 is the record for this bottle and it was selling for £1,600 – £1,700 in 2011. The 1979 Gran Reserva pulled back recent losses when two bottles sold for £1,100 and £1,200; not quite a record (that being £1,300) but very respectable prices none the less.

Vintage Macallan 18's. Still in high demand
Vintage Macallan 18’s. Still in high demand

An auction of some volatility with the ever-increasing volume of bottles being seen at auction. Maybe this is something we’ll see on a more regular basis?

Until next time.

Slainte,

Andy

All images courtesy of Scotch Whisky Auctions