Long Story Short
A collection of rare Japanese whisky might be about to go under the hammer for £500,000 in an online auction. That’s approximately $617,350 for those counting along at home.
How much would you pay for a bottle of whisk(e)y? Once you get above the humble Crown Royal, things tend to get expensive fast. The Whiskey Wash lists The Balvenie 50 year old single malt scotch whisky as the world’s most expensive to buy over the counter, so to speak, at an eye watering average price of $37,149.
But an auction run by Whisky Auctioneer, a Perth, Australia-based online auction house, is about to blow the humble Balvenie out of the water. A rare collection of Japanese Karuizawa whisky is expected to fetch £500,000 when it goes under the hammer next month.
The round-up of 290 bottles has been slowly pieced together by a European collector over the past 10 years, and covers almost every expression of the spirit produced by Karuizawa. The fabled Japanese distillery’s varieties have become much sought after since it ceased production in 2000.
The average price for each bottle in the collection is expected to be £2,000, but one 1960 bottle on offer fetched £96,000 when it last sold at auction in 2015. That’s a whopping $118,562 at today’s exchange rate. Sheesh.
“This particular collection is likely to have global appeal,” Whisky Auctioneer’s Iain McClune told The Herald Scotland. “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.”
According to the Herald, this is the first time such an extensive collection has been made available for auction anywhere in the world. Just the £96,000 bottle alone could buy well over 5,000 bottles of Crown Royal.
Worth it? You can be the judge on April 5 when the Karuizawa collection goes under the hammer — that’s if you have some spare cash lying around, of course.
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Ask The Big Question
Should whisky really be selling for this much?
Drop This Fact
In 2014, a large crystal decanter of rare Macallan “M” whisky sold for $628,205 at a Sotheby’s auction, making it the most expensive bottle of whisky ever sold.