Every Sotheby’s Wine and Spirits auction closes with the news that another ultra-rare and near-priceless bottle of wine or whisky has been sold for, well, a price, and a record-breaking one at that. Still, it is rare that the auction house itself has an entire suite of rare whiskies to auction as a whole, so the prospect of that occurring later this month at their London auction does stir much excitement.

Titled “The Ultimate Whisky Collection”, the 394 lots put up for auction spans a jaw-dropping 467 rare bottles of whisky and nine whole casks. Valued at US$4.9 million (S$6.77 million) will feature a horde of bottles that are re-emerging in the public eye for the first time in an age.

The Macallan, always a Sotheby’s favourite, totals about half the lots for bidding, and these include two bottles from the Lalique Six Pillars collection and a lengthy line of The Macallan 18 Year Old single malts, meticulously collected and preserved from all the years it has been released.

The Macallan line. (Photo credit: Sotheby’s)

Beyond that, a gamut of old bottlings from major distilleries like Glenfiddich, Balvenie, Dalmore and Highland Park will also be put to the hammer, each of these bottles with an age statement of 50 years old and above.

Selections from independent bottlers such as Gordon and Macphail, as well as the late-and-great Silvano Samaroli will also be available, the latter being the chief advocate of cask strength whiskies in his lifetime, and who’s name still incites butterflies in the stomachs of many avid whisky fans when it comes stamped on a bottle label.

“This is undoubtedly the most comprehensive catalogue of whisky ever to be offered by a single owner in a single auction”
Jonny Fowles, Spirits Specialist at Sotheby's

In a press statement, Jonny Fowle, the Spirits Specialist at Sotheby’s, said that the collection is “undoubtedly the most comprehensive catalogue of whisky ever to be offered by a single owner in a single auction.”

It begs to question who the man behind the collection is, but the whisky kingpin has chosen to remain anonymous, instead opting for the pseudonym, The Ultimate Whisky Collector. As a former wine collector, he began stockpiling whiskies as they were his newfound passion, and the army being auctioned is the product of two decades of dedication.

“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,” quipped the Collector in the press release for the auction.

We raise a glass to history being made on 24 October, when the auction will commence.

Beatrice Bowers
Features Editor
Beatrice Bowers writes about beauty, drinks, and other nice things. When not bound to her keyboard, she moonlights as a Niffler for novels and can be found en route to bankruptcy at your nearest bookstore. Don't tell her boss.