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Old bottlings take centre stage at Bonhams's first whisky auction of the year
Lot 298: Highland Park Reserve-1902. Estimate: HK$58,000- 68,000. Photo: Bonhams.

HONG KONG.- Bonhams Hong Kong continues to lead the whisky trend stakes with its auction of Old & Rare Whisky on Friday, 22 January 2016. Having introduced Scottish and Japanese single malt whisky successfully to the auction market over the past 6 years, Bonhams takes another step forward with a sale of old and rare whisky from Scotland and Japan and bourbon from the United States.

The focus of the sale, which comprises 395 lots, is on old bottlings from the 1960s to 1980s. Meticulously bottled by hand by master craftsmen, these vintage single malts have spent decades after distillation and maturation in the finest oak casks before being bottled and released. They represent the liquid history of each whisky maker and offer great insights into the aroma and flavours characteristic of the great single malts of the world. Today these old bottlings are hotly sought after by whisky connoisseurs for their distinctive taste and rarity.

Bonhams has amassed a wonderful collection of these old and rare spirits for the auction. Offerings from Scotland include single cask bottlings from legendary distilleries such as Bowmore, Macallan, Springbank, Glenfiddich, Highland Park, Glenlivet and Ardbeg. A bottle of Bowmore 1969-#6634, specially bottled for the 20th anniversary of the great late Italian whisky collector Edoardo Giaccone’s whisky bar in Salo, Italy is expected to generate tremendous interest for its rarity and memorabilia value.

Old bottlings from famous Scottish, British and Italian independent bottlers Gordon & MacPhail, Signatory, Samaroli, Sestante and Moon Import also feature strongly, with an important bottle of early 20th century Highland Park-1902 by Berry Bros & Rudd the oldest single malt whisky offered in the sale.

With the popularity of Japanese whisky continuing unabated, Bonhams presents some truly rare offerings led by a bottle of Karuizawa 1960-50 year old-#3604 making a debut on the auction market. From the closed distillery come other highlights mostly bottled in the 1960s and 1970s. The sale also features over 30 distinctive bottles of Yamazaki single cask and a selection of coveted Hanyu Ichiro’s Card series.

Enjoying a renaissance is bourbon, the American whiskey. Whether the resurgence is due to the effect of award winning TV period dramas Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire, or the craze for classic bourbon-based cocktails like the Manhattan that these shows triggered, the demand for bourbon has soared. To meet this demand, Bonhams has carefully selected a range of the finest bourbon from the 1970s and 1980s from brands such as Heaven Hill, Old Fitzgerald, Old Weller and Pappy Van Winkle’s produced by renowned Kentucky distilleries to offer at the auction. Bourbon aficionados can now quench their thirst for the best of ‘America’s Native Spirit’.

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