S otheby’s November Spirits sale features over 500 bottles of the rarest Scotch and Japanese whiskies, many of which are seldom seen at auction. Leading the sale is a collection of 19 bottles from the Hanyu Ichiro's Malt Card Series, one of the most collectible and recognisable series of whiskies ever released.
Alongside these Japanese whiskies are over 30 bottles of The Macallan 25 Year Old Anniversary Malt from a single collection, as well as a bottle strong portfolio from a single erudite collector. The Whiskies of Erudition collection comprises 140 bottles from The Macallan Distillery and just shy of 100 from acclaimed independent bottlers, Gordon & MacPhail.
The Hanyu Ichiro’s Malt Card Series is one of the most collectible and widely recognised series of whiskies ever released. Based on a pack of playing cards, each label features a different card, and the whiskies were hand chosen by Ichiro Akuto, Grandson of Isouji Akuto, who founded the Hanyu Distillery in the early 1940s.
Included within the 19 bottle collection are the incredibly rare Hanyu Ichiro's Malt Card Series 3 Of Diamonds 1988 and Hanyu Ichiro's Malt Card Series Ace Of Spades (2nd release) 1985.
Aside from the Hanyu Cards, we are offering a number of single casks distilled at the Hanyu Distillery including the Hanyu Ichiro's Malt Caber Tossing 1988 and Hanyu Ichiro's Malt The Wave 1990. Elsewhere in Japan, there are several highly sought after whiskies from the likes of Karuizawa, Yamazaki and Saburomaru.
The Whiskies of Erudition is the culmination of years of knowledge, research and passion from a single collector. Comprising almost 450 different whiskies, the collection includes everything from the rarest Macallan, to unorthodox independent bottlings and the finest aged single grains, with one overarching theme: Exceptional liquid.
Headlining the collection are just shy of 150 bottles from The Macallan distillery, with almost 100 bottled directly by the distillery, and a further 50 from a plethora of independent bottlers. Led by The Macallan Millennium Decanter 50 Year Old 1949, bottled into just 900 of the finest crystal decanters in 1999. One of the most iconic releases The Macallan, the Millennium Decanter encapsulates everything the distillery is known for: quality, luxury and the most exceptional, sherry cask matured Speyside whisky.
Also featured are over 19 vintages of The Macallan Over 15 Year Old and the subsequent annual The Macallan 18 Year Old bottlings. Dating back to 1956 and all the way through to 1993, these represent some of the most widely recognised Macallan whiskies ever brought to market and a big part of the reason why The Macallan is honoured with such acclaim to this day.
The Macallan Gordon & MacPhail 70 Proof 1937
Macallan Glenlivet Gordon & MacPhail 30 Year Old 43.0 abv 1939
Macallan Glenlivet Gordon & MacPhail 37 Year Old 43.0 abv 1940
Macallan Glenlivet Gordon & MacPhail 33 Year Old 43.0 abv 1945
Macallan Glenlivet Gordon & MacPhail 33 Year Old 40.0 abv 1946
The Macallan Handwritten Label 43.0 abv 1950
Macallan Glenlivet Gordon & MacPhail 25 Year Old 43.0 abv 1952
The Macallan Over 15 Year Old 80 Proof 1956
The Macallan 80 Proof 1957
Macallan Glenlivet Gordon & MacPhail 15 Year Old 43.0 abv 1960
The Macallan Over 15 Year Old 80 Proof 1961
The Macallan 43.0 abv 1963
The Macallan 18 Year Old 43.0 abv 1967
The Macallan 18 Year Old 43.0 abv 1968
The Macallan 18 Year Old 43.0 abv 1969
The Macallan 18 Year Old 43.0 abv 1973
The Macallan 18 Year Old 43.0 abv 1974
The Macallan 18 Year Old 43.0 abv 1977
The Macallan 18 Year Old 43.0 abv 1978
The Macallan 18 Year Old 43.0 abv 1983
The Macallan 18 Year Old 43.0 abv 1985
The Macallan 18 Year Old 43.0 abv 1986
The Macallan 18 Year Old 43.0 abv 1988
The Macallan 18 Year Old 43.0 abv 1989
The Macallan 18 Year Old 43.0 abv 1990
The Macallan 18 Year Old 43.0 abv 1991
The Macallan 18 Year Old 43.0 abv 1992
The Macallan 18 Year Old 43.0 abv 1993
From Elgin-based independent bottlers Gordon & MacPhail, themselves once the ‘official’ bottlers of The Macallan whisky, there are a number of highlights not limited to Macallan Gordon & MacPhail Speymalt 1945, Macallan Glenlivet Gordon & MacPhail Gold Label Crystal Decanter 40 Year Old and The Macallan Gordon & MacPhail 70 Proof 1937.
With whisky dating back to the 1930s and many bottlings from closed distilleries, The Whiskies of Erudition offers the chance to purchase bottles which are not only rare and collectible, but also first rate malts, perfect for drinking and sharing
Also featured from this single collection are rare whiskies from Bowmore, Dalmore and Karuizawa distilleries, as well as a full set of the Springbank Millennium Collection, including miniatures of each bottle.
Aside from Macallan, The Whiskies of Erudition includes almost 100 bottles from Gordon & MacPhail in various forms, from a number of different bottling series including Connoisseurs Choice, Cask Strength and Distillery Labels. Gordon MacPhail are one of oldest and best known independent bottlers of Scotch whisky, whose strong relationships and careful management of stocks have resulted in them possessing the ability to release both well-aged and quality whiskies from almost every distillery in Scotland, with often delightfully simple and evocative labels.
Carrying on in the same vein, Sotheby’s are delighted to bring this Magnificent Macallan 25 Collection to auction. Featuring over 30 bottles of The Macallan 25 Year Old Anniversary Malt from a single collection, this represents a collector’s ruthless pursuit for a single expression of The Macallan.
First released in the 1980s, The Macallan 25 Year Old Anniversary Malt series began life in 1957 when the first batch was distilled, with the whisky then matured in sherry casks for at least 25 years before bottling. The series carried on with single vintage releases distilled throughout the late 1950s, 1960s and 1970s up until 1975, after which a non-vintage expression was released. These whiskies have gone on to be highly collectible, not only due to their vintage nature, but also due to the quality of the liquid, with many being scored well in excess of 90 points by Serge Valentin, WhiskyFun.
This sale includes the very first release, 1957, as well as a number of single vintage bottlings and both parcels and single bottles of the excellent non-vintage expression.