Fine & Rare Whisky | The Umberto Angeloni Collection
Online Auction: 24 June–9 July 2024 • 1:00 PM CEST • Paris

Fine & Rare Whisky | The Umberto Angeloni Collection 24 June–9 July 2024 • 1:00 PM CEST • Paris

S otheby’s Whisky sale in Paris showcases a vast single-owner collection made up of some of the finest Scotch whiskies and Rums, imported to Italy during the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. Everything in this sale is being offered without reserve.

Curated over many years as a result of an encounter with one of Italy’s greatest and most revered connoisseurs, the collection includes original cases of whisky from Macallan, Ardbeg and Laphroaig as well as Glen Avon, the famously undisclosed Scotch single malt whisky bottled by Gordon & MacPhail and particularly popular throughout Italy.

View Excel Lot Listing

Sale Highlights

The front cover of Umberto Angeloni's book, Single Malt Whisky: An Italian Passion, features a photograph capturing the filming of a scene from the 1960 Academy Award winning film, La Dolce Vita

Umberto Angeloni

Umberto Angeloni does not refer to himself as a collector, but rather as someone who completely fell in love with whisky, and the lifestyle and culture that came with it, which led to purchasing far too many bottles for one man to drink.

Born and educated in Rome, Angeloni worked in the Financial industry before taking over as CEO of Italian luxury menswear brand Brioni from 1990 to 2007. Angeloni wrote and published several books in his 'The Art of Living Well' Series as well as his first foray into the world of whisky literature, Single Malt Whisky: An Italian Passion, with a foreword written by Charles MacLean.

“This proves a basic rule of experience in the realm of luxury: the first trial of a product, any product, should be done with the assistance of a master, and at the highest possible level of quality.”
Umberto Angeloni on his relationship with Sandro Montanari

Those with a keen interest in the industry will have likely come across Mr Angeloni’s book, which documented his own whisky journey, as well as a closer look at ‘the big five’ Italian collectors of the time - Sandro Montanari, Eduardo Giaccone, Giuseppe Begnoni, Valentino Zagatti and Antonio Casari.

It is the first of these collectors, Sandro Montanari, that had the most profound impact upon Mr Angeloni. A regular visitor to Bologna for his work, his journey took him to Sandro’s acclaimed restaurant and bar, Sandro al Navile, which he would go on to visit many times The two struck up a friendship and Sandro would recommend Mr Angeloni whiskies for purchasing and drinking as well as sharing his vast knowledge and experience on the subject. They also split a single cask of 35 year old whisky which was bottled at cask strength by Gordon & MacPhail under the Glen Avon label.

Mr Angeloni went on to amass an extensive collection of Scotch whisky and Rum, buying only what he had tasted and enjoyed and often in great quantities, particularly his favourites like the Ardbeg 30 Year Old, Macallan-Glenlivet 40 Year Old and Glen Avon 25 Year Old.

Sandro Montanari at his restaurant, Sandro al Navile

Glen Avon

The sale includes many variants of the Glen Avon whiskies, created by Gordon & MacPhail for the bottling of undisclosed Highland single malts. It has long been rumoured that these whiskies may be Glenfarclas or Macallan, although this has never been confirmed. Mr Angeloni's first taste of Glen Avon was the 25 year old, a favourite of Sandro Montanari, which led to him collecting every variant he could find, many in large quantities.

Later on, Sandro Montanari contacted Mr Angeloni to let him know that he’d found a cask of 35 Year Old whisky which Gordon & MacPhail would bottle under its Glen Avon label. They split the cask and decided to bottle the whisky unfiltered and at cask strength. This would be the only 35 year old age statement ever bottled under the Glen Avon label.

The resulting whisky is dark and rich, with wonderful earthy notes and was scored 92 points by Serge Valentin, when he tasted it in 2010. Having only appeared at auction a handful of times in the past, this sale includes full, original twelve-bottle cases of Glen Avon 35 Year Old, some still bearing the name ‘Sandro al Navile’. Alongside these are original cases of Glen Avon 25 Year Old and Glen Avon 15 Year Old Cask Strength, as well as vintage bottles from the 1950s and rare ‘Emilio’ age statements.

The Glen Avon label was used for many different varients, including this 15 Year Old, distilled in 1974 and one of only 60 produced and exclusively selected for Emilio Da Giorgio BarMetro

Italian Independent Bottlers

The collection includes a number of the most well-known Italian independent bottlers, including whiskies and rums from Silver Seal, Sestante and Moon Import. Original cases of rare Rosebank, Ardbeg, Laphroaig and Demerara Rum from Silver Seal are featured, alongside many rare whiskies bottled by Gordon & MacPhail for Sestante and for well-known whisky bar, Bar Metro.

Highlights include an original case of twelve bottles of Rosebank Silver Seal 30 Year Old 1974, Demerara Rum Silver Seal 28 Year Old 1974 and a six bottle case of Macallan Silver Seal ‘Teatro alla Scala’ 25 Year Old, distilled in 1979. Also included are bottles of the seldom seen 'Pluscarden Valley' 12 Year Old Cask Strength, distilled at Miltonduff Distillery and rated 95 points by Serge Valentin, Whiskyfun.

The sale includes many bottlings of whisky and rum from Italian bottler Silver Seal, including original cases

Further Highlights

The collection is noteworthy not just for its scope but also its scale, featuring large quantities of whiskies which Mr Angeloni describes as his personal favourites. There are many bottles from The Macallan Distillery, with highglights in the form of The Macallan Millennium Decanter 50 Year Old 1949 and The Macallan Select Reserve 52 Year Old 1946.

Also included are multiples of The Macallan 30 Year Old Sherry Oak Blue Box, one of the finest examples of classic sherried Macallan, alongside the very rare Macallan-Glenlivet 40 Year Old, bottled by Gordon & MacPhail and featuring a gold square label. Vintage Macallan is offered in the form of whiskies from The Macallan Anniversary Malt 25 Year Old and The Macallan 18 Year Old Gran Reserva, distilled in 1979.

It is unlikely that we will see these sorts of quantities of such well renowned whiskies such as the Ardbeg ‘Very Old Guaranteed' 30 Year Old, for a very long time, if ever again.

With everything in the sale being offered no reserve, this is a real opportunity to obtain some very rare whiskies which are perfect for opening and sharing with friends and fellow connoisseurs.

Stay informed with Sotheby’s top stories, videos, events & news.

Receive the best from Sotheby’s delivered to your inbox.

By subscribing you are agreeing to Sotheby’s Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe from Sotheby’s emails at any time by clicking the “Manage your Subscriptions” link in any of your emails.

Sell with Sotheby's

Sell with Sotheby's

Curious to know if your item is suitable for one of our upcoming sales?

Provide information and share images to request an online estimate now.

Start Selling
arrow Created with Sketch. Back To Top