W e continue with our 6th Sotheby’s Distilled online Sale of 2020 in Hong Kong, offering our first ever whisky Single Collection in Asia, featuring Rare whiskies from Macallan, Suntory & Karuizawa Single Cask. Highlights include the Fine & Rare bottlings from Macallan, distilled from 1947 to 1977; an assortment of Suntory single and owner’s cask bottlings such as 1986 Yamazaki The Owner’s cask La Maison du Whisky 50th Anniversary Bottling composing and the first ever single cask whisky bottled from Suntory, the 1960 Yamazaki The Century Aged 40 Years Cask no. ZD0550; over 30 bottles of Karuizawa single cask whiskies including the 1965 Karuizawa Monyou edition Aged 50 Years #6736 and 1981 Karuizawa #125 Sakura. Last but not the least, this collection also presents a highly sought after “Spades” set of 14 bottles from the Ichiro Malt Card Series.
蘇富比2020年第六場「點滴成金」網上拍賣會首度在香港誠獻單一藏家威士忌珍藏，欣呈罕有Macallan、三得利及輕井澤單桶威士忌。拍賣會精選Macallan在1947至1977年蒸餾的Fine & Rare系列；三得利單桶及私人選桶（Owner’s Cask）威士忌，例如山崎1986年The Owner’s Cask La Maison du Whisky 50th Anniversary Bottling，以及三得利的單桶威士忌處女作——山崎1960年The Century 40年，桶號ZD0550；另有逾30瓶輕井澤單桶威士忌，包括輕井澤1965年Monyou Edition 50年、桶號#6736，及輕井澤1981年「櫻」、桶號125。同樣矚目的是當今收藏界難得一見的珍品——羽生伊知郎撲克牌系列的13瓶「黑桃」。
Founded in the 1950s, Karuizawa was a distillery whose future was always uncertain, not least because it was located at the foot of the active volcano, Mount Asama, Nagano Prefecture in the very centre of Japan’s main island of Honshu (本州).
Karuizawa’s production continued throughout the 1960s and began to gain some popularity in the 1970s, however, similarly to Scotch, Japanese whisky went through a decline in the 1980s with a drop in sales across the country. It began to focus on single malt production from Karuizawa, however this may have been too little too late, and on 31 December 2000 Karuizawa Distillery was mothballed and closed its doors for the last time.
Mercian was absorbed by Kirin between 2006 and 2010, but there was no hope in sight for Karuizawa distillery’s return to production. Its remaining inventory of only 364 casks was sold to a company by the name of Number One Drinks, the oldest among them being Cask #5627, filled in 1960. When this whisky was released in 2013 at 52 years of age it was the oldest Japanese whisky ever to be bottled and the most expensive whisky ever to be sold when it retailed for 2 million yen, double that of the Yamazaki 50 year old which previously held both records.
Karuizawa Distillery was finally demolished in 2016 and so ended a legendary era in the history of Japanese Whisky.
麒麟集團（Kirin）在2006至2010年間逐步將美露香收歸麾下，輕井澤蒸餾所僅餘的364桶威士忌亦售予一間名為「Number One Drinks」的公司，其中最古老的是1960年裝酒的第5627號桶。這桶52年威士忌在2013年推出，是酒齡最高的已裝瓶日本威士忌、也是當時最昂貴的威士忌，其零售價高達200萬日圓，以兩倍之差打破山崎50年所保持的上述兩項紀錄。
It has been nearly 100 years since Yamazaki’s inauguration, over which time it has established itself as Japan’s most premium distillery. It solidified that reputation this year when its new release of a 55 year old expression became both the oldest and most valuable Japanese whisky of all time. Among the most coveted bottlings from The Yamazaki are its cask strength and single cask whiskies. We are pleased to present a number of these bottlings in this sale.
Ichiro Akuto is something of a cult hero when it comes to whisky-making. Coming from a long line of Sake brewers in Chichibu dating back to the 17th Century, craft alcohol is clearly in his blood. His grandfather, Isouji Akuto, famously built Hanyu distillery in 1941, before obtaining a license to distill spirits in 1946. He subsequently bought 2 copper pot stills from Scotland during the 80s with which to produce whisky. As is sadly the case with some of Japan’s most revered distilleries, Hanyu fell on hard times and closed in the year 2000. After its closure, Isouji’s nephew managed to procure the remaining casks from the distillery, which is where Hanyu and Ichiro’s stories really begin.
Ichiro independently bottled and sold some of his Hanyu whisky stock through his limited company, Venture Whisky Ltd, under the name “Ichiro’s Malt”. In a move that proved incredibly popular with consumers and collectors, he released 54 bottlings, each branded with a different playing card design. These poker-set bottles became not only iconic, but also synonymous with collectible Japanese whisky.
伊知郎將其中部分羽生威士忌獨立裝瓶、命名為「伊知郎麥芽」，通過Venture Whisky Ltd有限公司出售。其後，他向市場推出一套54瓶威士忌，每瓶以不同的撲克牌圖案為酒標設計，結果大受消費者和藏家歡迎，至今不僅已成經典，更是日本威士忌在收藏界地位的象徵。
Macallan is, undoubtedly, the world’s most collectible whiskey and at the core of its most coveted expressions is the Fine & Rare collection. These whiskies achieved their cult status due to a number of qualities: vintages that stretch back to before the Second World War, age statements that exceed half a century and undeniable quality throughout. It is only the most savvy and determined of whiskey collectors who have been able to build a truly comprehensive collection of Fine & Rare bottlings over the years, and it is rare to find one with such provenance from a single owner.
In 2019, Sotheby’s set a new record for the highest value ever achieved for a single bottle of whisky when the Macallan Fine and Rare 1926 sold in for £1.5m in London. This staggering result is testament to the rarity and quality of the Fine and Rare Series and the way in which it resonates with collectors around the world.
The Macallan無疑穩坐當今威士忌收藏界首屈一指的寶座，當中尤以Fine & Rare系列最為藏家所渴慕。The Macallan威士忌地位崇高，其來有自：現存年份久遠、可數到二戰前；陳釀經年，過半世紀不在話下，而且狀態、品質始終保持上乘。然而，大概只有最孜孜以求、堅定不移的威士忌收藏家，才會不惜耗費多年心力，集成一套真正完整的Fine & Rare 系列，而來源如此無可挑剔的單一收藏更是少之又少。
2019年，一瓶1926年Macallan Fine and Rare威士忌在倫敦蘇富比以150萬英鎊天價成交，成為史上最昂貴的單瓶威士忌。這個驚人的紀錄足以證明Fine and Rare在世間的稀罕程度和超卓品質，堪教全球藏家傾心著迷。