Antique whisky order of the day at Cheffins' December sale

80 year old Macallan whisky fetches £2,400

Cheffins’ annual wine sale on the 5th December saw over 250 entries comprising full and part cases as well as individual bottles of note, including sought-after vintage wines, whiskies, port and spirits sold at auction at the firm’s salerooms in Cambridge.


The highest price on the evening was £2,400 paid for an 80 year old Macallan whisky dating back to 1937, followed by five bottles of Taylors vintage port dating to 1948 which were sold for £2,200. For champagne-lovers, six bottles of Krug from 1988 in original boxes fetched £1,500.  

Older Scotch whisky sold particularly well with two 10-year-old Macallans each boxed with a miniature of the Private Eye release, selling for £440 apiece; six bottles of mixed Scotch whiskies dating back to the 1960’s selling for £900 and a 23-year-old bottle of Glenlivet making £320. 

Charles Ashton, Director, Cheffins comments:“This year’s Wine Sale was particularly well-attended with a mix of local buyers looking to stock their drinks cabinets ahead of Christmas, those looking for investment items and trade buyers. However it was the vintage port and aged whisky which really stole the show. The latter sector has seen strong recent price rises and is now becoming an increasingly popular collectors’ item with certain brands dating back 30, 40 or 50 years now becoming cult collectables and selling for values well into the thousands. Purchasers tend to be specialist wine or spirit dealers or private buyers and I would say it is approximately a 50/50 split between those who buy for investment purposes and those who buy for pleasure. Some collectors also have particular niches which they concentrate on, so perhaps bottles all from one year or all bottles form a certain distillery. One of the biggest buying groups for aged single malt numbers are the Chinese, Japanese and Indian markets which are of course pushing up values. The issue is that this market is relatively finite. There are only so many bottles dating back to the early 1900s and supply of these to the market is slowly diminishing either because they are being drunk or because they are hidden away in private collections. There is definitely a snob factor with this market too, with purchasers keen to invest in the traditional Scottish names such as Macallan, Bowmore and Balvenie. The Macallan is currently the name most sought-after with a bottle of the Private Eye brand which was launched in 1996 with a then retail price of £36, now selling for around £2,000 - £2,500.” 

Other lots of interest include a 27 litre bottle of Marques de Marieta Ygay Rioja from 2001 which made £600, doubling its lower estimate of £300, whilst 12 bottles of Chateau Leoville Barton, St Julien 2eme Cru from year 2000 made £900.  

Charles Ashton continues: “Antique port also sold particularly well at this auction with the famously good vintages of 1945, 1948, 1963, 1970 and 1977 commanding high prices per bottle. For example 12 bottles of Taylors vintage port dating back to 1977 sold for £1,000, doubling their estimate of £500; whilst two bottles of Taylors vintage port from 1948 saw competitive bidding and eventually sold for £900.” 

The next Cheffins wine sale will be in December 2018, though wine consignments are often included in the quarterly fine sales throughout the year.  

For more information, contact the Fine Art team on 01223 213343. 

For further media information, please contact Sophie Richardson, PR Manager, Cheffins, t: +44 (0) 1223 271990.

Whisky Macallan



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