LONDON, 29 MAY 2020: Distilled | Iconic Samaroli, Dalmore 62 and The World’s Oldest Cognac, an online sale showcasing some of the most collectable bottles across all major spirits categories, closed yesterday, raising a total of £1,495,459 / $1,822,665 (est. £1.1-1.6 million).
Top Lots: A new world record for a bottle of Cognac sold at auction was achieved, when a bottle of Gautier Cognac 1762 sold for £118,580 / $144,525. Only three bottles of this exceedingly rare Cognac remain to this day, having been held in the same family for generations with their original labels attached. This was the last and largest of these remaining bottles, known as “Grand Frère”, or the “Big Brother”; its little sister (“petite soeur”) is housed in the Gautier Museum, and its little brother (“petit frère”) was sold at auction in New York in 2014. The winning bidding – an Asian private collector – is also set to enjoy a bespoke experience at Maison Gautier, courtesy of the distillery.
“This fantastic result speaks volumes of the 1762 Cognac’s exceptional history, provenance and importance for collectors. We are very pleased that Sotheby’s now holds all three records for the highest value ever achieved for a whisky, wine and cognac sold at auction.”
A new world record for any bottle of whisky produced by the Dalmore Distillery sold at auction was duplicated in rapid succession with the two lots that closed the sale. Two bottles of The Dalmore 62 Year Old – one of the oldest whiskies to have been released from the distillery, with only 12 bottles made available – sold for £266,200 / $324,445 each, to separate Asian private collectors. Bottles #2, “The Mackenzie” and Bottle #5, “The Cromarty”, exceeded their low estimated price of £75,000 per bottle by three-and-a-half times.
“Rare and collectible whisky is exemplified by the Dalmore 62 Year Old, and we are delighted to have set a new record for the most valuable Dalmore ever sold at auction. Having not one, but two of these bottles in a single sale made history and the outstanding result achieved on both bottles shows that the market for whisky collecting is very much alive.”
A bottle of The Macallan 50 Year Old Anniversary Malt proved tempting to bidders, selling for £84,700 / $103,232 (est. £70,000-100,000). While it bears an age statement of 50 years, this whisky was distilled in 1928 and bottled in 1983, meaning it is actually 54 or 55 years old. A low abv of 38.6%, below the minimum requirement for modern day whisky of 40%, makes it a truly unusual gem.
An important Italian collection of Samaroli brought a combined total of £314,519 / $383,336, led by two bottles of Bowmore Bouquet 1966 which sold for £42,350 / $51,616 each. Widely regarded as some of the greatest whiskies ever produced, Silvano Samaroli’s bottles are now extremely scarce, with the most valued bottles, such as the Bowmore Bouquet, rarely seen more than once a year at auction.
Statistics on Bidders & Buyers: Participants hailed from 25 countries, with an average of four bids per lot. Almost one half of the buyers were new to Sotheby’s, and 42% of bidders in the sale were under 40 years old. Sotheby’s online sales so far this year have broken the $100 million barrier, with 77 sales in 2020 bringing a total of $129 million, and a third of bidders and buyers new to Sotheby’s. A further forty online auctions are planned for June.
London | Matthew Floris | Matthew.Floris@Sothebys.com| +44 (0)20 7293 6000
About Sotheby’s Wine
Sotheby’s Wine’s annual worldwide sales in 2019 significantly exceeded $100 million for the second consecutive year, led by a 20% increase in auction sales to a total of $118 million – the highest-ever annual total in Sotheby’s history.
Sotheby’s Wine, with a store located within the auction house’s worldwide headquarters on New York’s Upper East Side, offers a carefully curated selection of wines from the world’s most prestigious producers and important regions. Expertly assembled by Sotheby’s’ experienced specialists, the ever-evolving selection is built upon lasting relationships with winemakers from across the globe, with prices beginning at just $13.95. With bottles that are ready for immediate consumption, in addition to investment-worthy wines from highly sought-after vintages, each wine is chosen for its expression of its region and value for money. Each bottle selected by Sotheby’s specialist team must pass the brand’s signature “three-glass” tasting guideline, meaning that the tasters must like it enough to want to drink three glasses, or the standard amount enjoyed when sharing a bottle.
The Sotheby’s Wine Store in New York City is located at 1334 York Avenue, and is open Monday through Friday from 10AM to 7PM and Saturday from 10AM to 6PM. Along with a retail location in Hong Kong Sotheby’s Wine also offers all bottles online, 24 hours, at www.sothebyswine.com.