In the market for a bottle of exotic whisky?

by | Apr 4, 2017

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If you fancy an exotic wee dram, then now’s your chance.

From tomorrow you’ll be able to participate in an online auction of the world’s largest known collection of rare and collectable Karuizawa whisky from Japan.

It’s a collection of 290 bottles which have been built up over the last ten years by a European collector. The estimated value is over £500,000.


The collection is being auctioned by Perth (Scotland) based Whisky Auctioneer and covers, they say, almost every expression created by the renowned Japanese distillery Karuizawa. Since the distillery closed in 2000, its products have become one of the world’s most coveted whiskies.

Notable amongst the lots being auctioned is a bottle of Karuizawa 1960 which last sold at auction in Hong Kong for £96,000 in 2015, setting a new record for a Japanese whisky. Also up for grabs are some exceptionally rare bottlings, including the 1963 50 Year Old and the 1964 48 Year Old bottled for Wealth Solutions, Poland.

Its reckoned that that each bottle within the collection will top around £2,000, although some will be sold at considerably more.


Whisky Auctioneer will open bidding for the 290 lots at 11.00am (GMT+1) on Wednesday 5th April and close the auction from 7pm on Monday 17th April.

Iain McClune

Founder and owner of Whisky Auctioneer, Iain McClune, collected the bottles personally and transported them back to Scotland.


He said: “A collection of this size from one of the world’s most collectable distilleries has never previously been seen at auction, so we’re absolutely thrilled to have fought off some stiff competition to lead the sale.

“While we’ve seen a lot of our business come from within the UK and Europe, this particular collection is likely to have global appeal. We expect to see some significant interest from rare whisky collector hotspots such as the US, Taiwan and of course, Karuizawa’s homeland of Japan.”

Rare whisky expert Andy Simpson from Rare Whisky 101 said: “Over the past few years, we’ve seen the availability of Japanese whisky at auction continue to increase led by the highly sought-after Karuizawa. These low volume but high value bottles impact the market significantly with many bottles fetching in excess of £2,000, most frequently coming to market as individual bottles or small collections. However, in this case, with such a large collection up for grabs at the same time, it’s going to be fascinating to see exactly how much demand is out there for one of the world’s most coveted rare whiskies!”


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