Auction Spotlight: Irish Whiskey Auctions - December 2020

Irish Whiskey Auctions: December 2020 Auction

The auction has finished, now it’s time to look over the prices and see what were the winners and losers in comparison to the past 3 months avg from auction houses WhiskyAuctionner, Scotch Whisky Auctions, The Grand Whisky Auctions and JustWhiskyAuctions. All of this data is obtained by The Whiskey Companion and can be viewed with our user tools. Signup here to gain access to our collection tracker, tasting journal, whiskey exploration and many more features coming soon.

The Ups and Downs of the auction

I’ve broken this down to the most noteworthy changes, be it highs or lows, by brand of whiskey. Let me know in the comments if there were any that stood out to you in the auction!

Tullamore Dew Phoenix 55%

A great drinker of a whiskey I must say, and I’ve regularly seen this trade hands at €60-80 euro. This auction however, it decided to go a little crazy with the hammer dropping down on the final price of €190! Wow! From a low of €60, that puts it at 217% up, or 138% up if you want to take the high of €80.

Bushmills Causeway Collection 2006

Released in October 2020 as an exclusive for Australia - The Whiskey Club at $120 AUS. This bottle was always going to be highly sought after. The last 3 months of auctions it was sold twice on IWA, at an average of €480. However, in this auction its nearly tripled that at an astonishing 171% increase to €1300, over 1,000% from retail. There were two in the auction, one at €1300, the other a measly €1200!!

Bushmills Causeway Collection 2008

Released in November 2020 as an Irish exclusive. This bottle retailed at €100. The last 3 months of auctions it was sold multiple times on IWA, at an average of €247. This auction saw another 5 change hands with an average of €355, an increase of 44%

Bushmills Causeway Collection 2001

Released in December 2020 as an exclusive for the UK - The Whiskey Shop at £200. This release has 168 bottles in it and they sold out instantly. This was the first auction with it and well, it performed amazingly. The final hammer price for both bottles in the auction dropped at €1,360. A juicy 515% increase on retail.

Midleton (Brand)

As always, Midleton had a very good showing in the auction, here are some of the big winners of this auction.

Midleton Bluebell Forest Set

Another full set was up this auction, and following a set that had been sold for €2,550, I think we can all say we were surprised to see this go for a 35% increase on the €3,450 hammer price.

Midleton The Housewarming

The Housewarming is a special bottle that was released to celebrate Barry Crocketts retirement and welcome Brian Nation. In the past 3 months the price fell from a high of €1,300 avg to €830. This auction saw the bounce back of the price to €1,430, an increase of 72%

Some big hits

The 1989, 1991 and 1992 all seem to have taken a big hit. The 89 dropped from €11,600 avg to just €7,050 a decrease of 39% but the 11k one had full paperwork and box, whereas this one had none of those. The 11k price I think may have been a spike as previous to that it sold for 7.8k privately, 8.6k in IWA and 7.8k on WA, but we will have to wait for a full set to go to auction again to be sure. Still a decent hit even at those lower prices from no box/paperwork. The ‘91 again took a big hit from €3k down to €1,700 (-43%), both bottles perfect. Same case as the 89 where it was sold in Sept on WA for €1,180 and in May on IWA for €1,050 so I suspect the €3k was a spike. Finally, the 92 that was sold, though at a (-39%) decrease, can be explained due to no paperwork

Midleton Very Rare 1984

The price of the ‘84 was quite steady, at an average of 1125, with all paperwork. A couple of people must have really needed an 84 as the final hammer price of this was 2250, a nice 100% increase since the previous auction sale.

Midleton Very Rare 1995

The last time the ‘95 sold, it went for 430, but the fill level was fairly low. To be fair, I will take the last IWA showing as the price, which was in May with all paperwork and good fill, €825. This one however, came storming in at a cool €1,200. An increase of 45%

Midleton Very Rare 2008

The 2008 has been fairly stagnant in price over the past couple of months as shown in my previous sales function on user tools. There were 2 in this auction as you can see, 1 went for an astonishing €1,150 the other €690. I’ve inspected both bottles, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why one went for nearly double the other. Again, to be fair we will take the average, €920 in comparison to the last 3 month average of €444 it gives us an increase of 107%

Midleton Very Rare 2017 (New Bottling)

It’s hard to look at an auction these days and not keep an eye out for the new 2017 edition. Not long ago, you could pick these bottles up for 200 euro, give or take. In the last 3 months however, that’s all changed with highs of 450 and lows of 350, giving it a healthy average of 375. This auction blew that avg out of the water, with 1 of the bottles dropping the hammer at €820 for a 120% increase over the past 3 months. There were 3 bottles in total, so to be fair I will take the avg of 3 which is €757 which puts it at a 103% increase in price.

Midleton Very Rare 2017 (Old Bottling)

The new bottle wasn’t the only 2017 getting a look at by bidders. The old bottling is said to have less numbers made, but shipped worldwide whereas the new bottling was mostly sold in Ireland (this is heresay, Midleton won’t tell me the real story :P). Previously, the Old Bottling was fairly steady, with an average of €295. This time around we had 9 bottles sold, at an avg of €410. This gives us an increase of 39%

Midleton Very Rare 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019

Midleton Very Rare 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019 were all decent performers, with the MVR 2015(6 bottles) averaging a 32% increase to 451, the 2016(9 Bottles) averaging a 34% increase to 392, the 2018(14 Bottles) averaging a 35% increase to 281, the 2019(10 bottles) averaging a 41% increase to 240

Midleton Very Rare 2020

We couldn’t look at MVR without talking about the crazyness that is 2020. It has had a strong showing since turning up at auction. Even if everyone and their mother have one in Ireland, the demand internationally(or nationally, who knows?) hasn’t been satisfied. It’s kept a strong performance going with 10 bottles averaging at 865, just shy of the last 3 month average of 869.

There were a few other MVRs still performing nicely around the 20-30% increase mark too, but I think those are the biggest winner ones covered.

Dingle

The Dingle core range (Single Malt, Single Pot Still batches) went through a bit of a rough patch over the past 6-9 months. They seem to have made a bit of a resurgence this auction, with a great showing for the Single Malt Batch 1 coming in at €780 when it was stuck at an average of 403 for the past 3 months, an increase of 94%. The rest of the range was fairly strong around 40% increase on average, apart from the single malt batch 4 and single pot still batch 3 which was about 15%.

RedBreast

RedBreast had a good presence on this auction, with a nice unicorn of the RB12CS b1/14 making an appearance, and grabbing €770 at the drop, an increase of 8% on the previous average. The B1/11 made a show too, being the more sought after 700ml version, but it only commanded a €400 price tag - a decrease in its last showing of -5%. The rest of the CS had quite a good day at auction, most looking at a 30% above average price tag. 2 of the DreamCask 32’s were up for grabs. The average price of those 2 were €2,010, a 12% increase on the last 3 months average of €1,790

Teeling

The first appearance of the Teeling Centenary 2014 since 2019 showed a strong price point of €1,300 but still a decrease on the last price of €1,500.
The Revival set took a bit of a bashing also, with the majority of them going for 15% less than the average. The only one to outperform this was the 2 volume 3 bottles which went for 15% above average. The brabazon series 01 however had quite a nice increase, from an average of 70 going up to 110, an increase of 57%. The Sonas was another hard hit with a -24% decrease from €78 to €59.

JJ Corry

JJ Corry had a bit of a mixed bag in terms of performance. The Bonders Blend no.3 seems to be the highest performer, coming back strong after a bad performance in the November auction avg of just €91 to €181, an increase of 99%, The Kelly had a decent show too, increasing from 103 to 136 (32%). The Black Friday however, could be got for an avg of €80 a -15% decrease on the average of €94.

BlueSpot

This has showed strong auction prices, with a 30% increase from €110 to €142 I’ve been keeping an eye on sites that stock this at retail to get to buy. This is on my private discord, if you want to signup for it here

Waterford

Waterford is a tough one. Its taken a battering in almost all auctions in the last 3 months with the only ones really holding their increases being the American releases and initial first releases but even those seen a 20-30% decrease this auction.
The micro cuvee I’m really surprised by - I would have expected that to be commanding a much higher price, but it dropped 40% this auction to €300. The Pilgrimage is staying strong and I would expect that to continue. It may stagnate at the 900-1k mark but I don’t think it’ll drop much lower than that.

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