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Record-breaking Japanese whisky leads Sotheby's 'Finest & Rarest' auctions in London
A bottle of Karuizawa 52 Year Old Cask #5627 Zodiac Rat 1960 achieves £363,000 / $435,273. Courtesy Sotheby's.



LONDON.- Wednesday's sales of Finest & Rarest Wines and Spirits at Sotheby’s in London brought a combined total of £3.7 million / $4.4 million (est. £2.8 – 3.8 million / $3.3 – 4.5 million). A substantial proportion of lots achieved prices above their high estimates, and in a category where online bidding is traditionally strong, over 50% of the buyers placed their winning bids online.

AUCTION RECORD FOR JAPANESE WHISKY

• A new auction record was achieved for a bottle of Japanese whisky, with a bottle of ‘Karuizawa 52 Year Old Zodiac Rat Cask #5627 1960’, sold for £363,000 / $435,273 to an Asian private collector, and far exceeding its pre-sale estimate of £160,000-220,000. The oldest Karuizawa to have been released, this iconic bottle is one of only 41 that were produced, each uniquely identified by an individual netsuke carved from the oak cask head of cask #5627.

SALES AT A GLANCE

• Finest & Rarest Spirits totalled £1,401,122 / $1,680,085 (est. £1 – 1.45 million / $1.2 – 1.7 million)

• 45% of lots sold achieved prices above the high estimate

• Finest & Rarest Wines realised £2,264,018 / $2,714,784 (est. £1.8 – 2.3 million / $2.1 – 2.8 million)

• 51% of lots sold achieved prices above the high estimate

TOP LOTS

• The auctions were led, respectively, by two landmarks in the world of whisky, and one of the most legendary Bordeaux:

• The Macallan in Lalique Six Pillars Collection, rarely seen in an unbroken vertical, sold for £423,500 / $507,819 (est. £320,000-480,000)

• A decanter containing the oldest whisky ever to be released from The Macallan Distillery – The Macallan Lalique Genesis Decanter 72 Year Old – brought £84,700 / $101,564 (est. £70,000-100,000)

• A bottle of Karuizawa 52 Year Old Zodiac Rat Cask #5627 1960 became the most valuable bottle of Japanese whisky ever sold, achieving £363,000 / $435,273

• Two cases of Cheval Blanc 1947 – considered the greatest Cheval Blanc of the 20th century – each made £242,000 / $290,182 (12 bottles, est. £140,000-190,000) and £229,900 / $275,673 (11 bottles, est. £130,000-170,000)

STATISTICS ON BIDDERS & BUYERS

• Participants hailed from 21 countries, from across Asia, Europe and North America










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