W e are pleased to present our first live auction in Hong Kong that is dedicated to Spirits. The highlight lot is The Black Bowmore “Archive Cabinet”, crafted by John Galvin and containing each of the five fabled Black Bowmore releases, coming directly from the distillery. Other highlights include the very finest Japanese and Scotch distilleries including Karuizawa, The Macallan and Ichiro’s Card Player Series.
Black Bowmore "Archive Cabinet"
Black Bowmore Archive Cabinet
Twenty-seven years since its first release, Black Bowmore has become legendary within whisky circles, both as the jewel in Bowmore’s crown and as a highly desirable collector’s item. Sotheby’s, in partnership with Bowmore, will offer the only opportunity to acquire the complete Black Bowmore single malt whisky collection in a unique cabinet direct from the Bowmore Distillery archives.
The one-of-a-kind archive cabinet, hand crafted by John Galvin, showcases authentic items and materials from the Bowmore distillery, connected to the legend of “black”. An original Bowmore Spirits safe was used in its construction, making the cabinet a completely unique piece never to be replicated.
The bottles are showcased to spectacular effect as they are placed inside on hand-blown glass pillars, each in varying heights corresponding to the age of the whiskies. The front of the pillars are highly polished, to create a vertical window to the inside of each pillar that reveals bubbles running vertically. Capturing the passage of time, the bubbles at the bottom are crystal clear to represent the newly made spirit slowly changing colour from yellow, dark red brown and finally black.
Once the exterior of the cabinet had been carved to mimic patterns in sand created by the movement of water rushing out to sea at low tide, an ancient Japanese technique was used to char its surface to resemble the inside of a cask. Featuring Scottish oak, custom cask solid bronze, and drawers constructed from the original pine wash back staves and brass whisky safe sourced from the distillery, the cabinet has been handcrafted at every stage of its production.
This unique lot will also include a book which details the journey of Black Bowmore over its five releases and the creation of the cabinet.
Supporting this lot, there are a number of other bottles of rare whisky distilled at Bowmore in the 1960s, considered the distillery’s finest era of production, including the Bowmore 37 Year Old 1968, Bowmore Bicentenary 1964 and Bowmore Golf Decanter 21 Year Old.
Black Bowmore Archive Cabinet Direct From Bowmore (5 BT). Estimate 2,400,000 - 5,000,000 HKD
Further Sale Highlights
The Macallan Fine & Rare series, arguably the most collectable series of whiskies ever released, is represented with no less than six bottles, including The Macallan Fine & Rare 31 Year Old 1938 and The Macallan Fine & Rare 15 Year Old 1956, one of only 57 bottles. Also featured is a bottle of the highly sought after The Macallan 40 Year Old 2017 Release.
The Macallan Fine & Rare is considered to be the pinnacle of whisky collections. The highest value ever achieved for a bottle of whisky at auction is the Macallan Fine & Rare 1926, which sold at Sotheby’s last year for £1.5million. This collection containing bottles from 1940-1976 is in exceptional condition and the ultimate trophy for any whisky enthusiast.
Very slightly scuffed capsule, distilled in 1938, first bottled in 1969, re-bottled in 2002, total outturn: 198 bottle equivalents
u. bn, distilled in 1945, bottled in 2002, cask type: Hogshead, cask no. 262, total outturn 152 bottle equivalents
Bottled in 2002, Cask type: Married Hogsheads, Cask No. 46/3M, Total outturn 350 Bottle Equivalents, opc missing metal clamps
Very slightly scuffed capsule, distilled in 1948, bottled in 2002, cask type: Hogshead, Cask No. 609, Total outturn: 124 Bottle Equivalents
Distilled in 1956, first bottled in 1971, rebottled in 2009, total outturn: 57 bottle equivalents, Italy Importer's slip on top of capsule, in original presentation case
u. bn, very slightly scuffed label, imported by FILLI RINALDI, Italy importer's slip on top of capsule, slightly worn original carton
Distilled in 1980, bottled in 1999, Japan importer's back label
Bottled in Scotland in 2012 from Macallan Distillery, selected cask # 4139, bottled by Coilltean Int. Company Ltd, bottle #145/416, very slightly worn capsule
The sale also includes whiskies from Speyside stalwart Glenfarclas in the form several releases from the distinguished Family Cask Range as well as the Glenfarclas 58 Year Old 1956.
Glenfarclas is one of the last truly family-owned distilleries in Scotland. The cornerstone of their old and rare expressions is the Family Cask Series, whose vintages date back as far as 1952. While all of the Glenfarclas Family Casks are sherried whiskies, the expressions vary enormously from 1st fill butts with extremely dark liquid to 4th fill hogsheads that flaunt the distillery’s exceptional spirit. While it is located in the heart of Speyside, Glenfarclas breaks the rules by identifying itself as a Highland distillery, much in the same way that The Macallan does.
“I have been lucky enough to taste a large number of the Glenfarclas Family Cask series bottlings and I am always impressed not only by the quality, but by the variety in profile. These whiskies have all been produced at the same facility on direct fire stills and matured in sherry casks, yet the diversity of flavours is truly exceptional. Standouts for me have been Glenfarclas vintages from the mid-50s that have a distinctly herbal aroma and the heavy sherried profile of 60s and 70s casks that indulge in that sweet cola-flavour for which this style is so well known.”
Japanese whisky is strongly represented with bottles from the long closed Karuizawa and Hanyu distilleries, the highlights being the Karuizawa 50 Year Old Sherry Cask #2372 1965, Karuizawa MMA Gold Winners 10 Bottle Set and four releases from the Hanyu Cards Series.
Also featured is the Chinese spirit Kweichow Moutai, with bottlings spanning a number of decades, the highlight being the exceedingly rare Kweichow Flying Fairy Moutai 1966.