A magnificent bottle of whisky has caught everyone’s eye in Hansons saleroom – and not just because we like a tot of the strong stuff, writes Charles Hanson.
It’s eye-catching to say the least with a striking label and the deep amber colour of the liquid inside is a far cry from the lighter tones of Scotch many of us are used to.
When my wine and whisky valuer, Steven Bruce, caught sight of it, his eyes lit up. It could well be the star of our October 25 Wine and Whisky Auction.
Why? Well, it’s one of the most collectable bottles of The Macallan whiskies of all time. It was bottled in 1996 for the 35th anniversary of the famous satirical magazine Private Eye.
The vatting produced 5,000 bottles and included one cask from 1961. This special edition is also unique in that it features a superb, screen-printed label by legendary illustrator Ralph Steadman. Its estimate is £2,000 to £3,000.
The Macallan whisky is highly regarded. In 2007, a bottle of 1926 The Macallan whisky fetched $54,000 (£42,355) at a Christie’s auction.
In 2010, a bottle of The Macallan 64-year-old single malt whisky in a one-of-a-kind Lalique: Cire Perdue crystal decanter was sold for $460,000 (£354,068) at Sotheby’s in New York. In 2012, The Macallan received the Guinness World Record for the most expensive whisky ever sold at auction.
Macallan even has movie pedigree. In 2012 James Bond film Skyfall, Bond and Silva make a toast ‘to the women we love’ with 50-year-old Macallan.
I tell you all this to help you understand why whisky is hugely collectable and soaring in value. Often people bring along bottles to Hansons that have been gathering dust for decades that turn out to be worth a pretty penny.
For example, just last week a bottle arrived at our saleroom that had been discovered in a property left to the vendor by a relative.
It was Dry Imperial Moët & Chandon champagne dated 1943, which is significant. You only have to look at the label to find out why.
This particular bottle was made to mark the bi-centenary of the brand, which started making their fine champagne in 1743 – 200 years previously.
Moët et Chandon was established by Claude Moët and today owns 2,900 acres of vineyards and produces 28,000,000 bottles of champagne annually.
Naturally our 1943 bottle is one a collector would be proud to own. It goes into our sale with an estimate of £100-£150.
So, don’t dismiss any dusty bottles of alcohol you discover by chance, or happen to have tucked away. We sell everything from single bottles to the contents of entire cellars and there are collectors around the world keen to buy. Fine wine and whisky is a sound investment.
Our expert Steven Bruce offers free valuations of wine, whisky and other alcoholic beverages at Hansons, Heage Lane, Etwall. He’ll be with us on October 12, November 9 and December 14, 10am-4pm. Alternatively,email: [email protected]. And don’t forget, we offer free antique valuations at our Etwall HQ on Wednesdays, 5-7pm, Fridays, 10am-4pm and Saturdays, 9am-noon. To find out more, email [email protected] or call 01283 733988.