Auction Spotlight: Irish Whiskey Auctions Feb 2021

Irish Whiskey Auctions: February 2021 Auction

It’s been a little over a month since the last installment of Auction Spotlight, and what a month it has been. We had our first post brexit auctions which a lot of people were wary of bidding on due to the unknown custom charges and it turns out they were right to be wary. I’ve heard of some people paying 30-40% over the hammer price when including the fees from the auction house and the custom charges on top of that. Thankfully it looks like one of the UK auction sites, Whisky Auctioneer, have opened a German distribution and collection center, where you can send bottles to and they will store them there and those in the EU can bid on those and avoid the custom charges as it will never be in the UK. To do this they are adding an icon to each lot, so it’ll be interesting to see how that works out!

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The Ups and Downs of the auction

As always we go into these auctions looking for eyebrow raisers. These could be whiskey that doesn’t show up too often, but is highly sought after, New releases where we can see how much demand there is for them, and of course old reliables where we want to see how they are progressing or try pick up a bargain for your own collection.

New Releases

Bushmills 28 Year Old Cognac (American Release)

One that has confused people in recent times due to the fact it was released around the same time as the Causeway Collection, but is part of a completely different collection called ‘The Rare Casks’. It was brought to market for 500$ in select retailers and there is apparently 3 other editions pegged for release in the collection. With the continued success of the Causeway Collection a lot of eyes were on this bottle, which is very evident from its performance. The hammer dropped at €2,010 sticking it at a 350% increase from RRP (accounting for rough exchange rates). Not a bad way to start a collection off!

Bushmills Causeway Collection 2008 Duoro Cask (Portugese Release)

Sticking with Bushmills, we also had another edition of the Causeway Collection in this auction, the 2008 Duoro Cask. I had heard some people complaining that this sold out quite quickly, and some retailers were wise to the demand and increased prices (on PT websites) but I’m told the RRP was €169. It was only released at the end of January, so I was slightly surprised to see it show up so quickly, but I guess thats what happens when a collection is hot! The hammer dropped on this lot at an avg of €406 (Range: €370-€430) putting the increase from RRP to 140%

Killowen Bonded Experimental Series: Virgin Hungarian Oak

The final release in the Bonded Experimental Series showed us how popular Killowen have gotten over the last couple of years with it being sold out online almost instantly and a couple of brick and mortar retailers left with stock for local supporters. In the aftermath of the release all of the facebook groups were inundated with ‘In Search Of’ requests for this, and the gem of the collection - The Jamaican Dark Rum - to try and complete the collection. We had 4 of Virgin Hungarian Oak in the auction, with a RRP of €90 which was almost doubled on the hammer price average of €155 (Range: €150-€160). It’s fair to say there’s a growing demand for Killowens offerings!

RedBreast 12 Birdfeeder (Project Wingman)

Project Wingman was launched late last year with the slogan “A bottle for you, a bistro for them”. There were 4 batches of these, but as far as I’m aware they’re not labeled as such. The premise of this was for 60 euro you would get a regular bottle of RedBreast 12 and it includes a bird feeder to be hung on a branch with birdfeed in it and 15 euro of each sale went to Birdlife International. It proved to be very popular with the first batch selling out in minutes. A lot were wondering whether they would turn up at auction for ridiculous money and well, we have an answer. We had 11 birdfeeder bottles go through the auction hitting an average of €116 (Range: €105-€165).

Rare Sightings

Midleton Very Rare 2009

The last time the MVR 2009 shoed up, it left many gobsmacked bringing in a €2,300 price tag with it. It was then sold on the 12 days of Christmas with low bottle numbers from Midleton themselves at good value really for €1,600 (some might say one of the only good value bottles from the 12 days!). When it showed up this time I think we all thought 2-2.5k tops with it, even with the crazy MVR prices as of late. Nope 2 people obviously really wanted the bottle which smashed all expectations and eventually landed the hammer at €6,000 !

Inish Turk Beg

A unique bottle and story puts this on the list for collectors. It’s rare to see at auction and the last one we saw went for the 600 mark. With the increased interest in collecting Irish Whiskey it was no surprise to see that price creep all the way up to €830 in this auction.

Cadenhead’s from Jamieson’s Bow Street Distillery

This is a very rare bottling from the Jameson(Although misspelled on the bottle) Bow Street Distillery by Cadenheads. It was brought out in 1963 a 27 year old whiskey with an amazingly dark colour and an extremely high ABV of 68.2%! It’s only come up twice at auction that I can find. Once as part of ‘The Perfect Collection’ and once in 2019. Both went just over 2.5k. This has followed suit dropping the hammer at €2,650, a true piece of Irish Whiskey history!

Greenore 10 and 19

Both of these Single Casks, 10 and 19 are rare to see and it’s no surprise that they made some serious hammer prices. The 10 which was initially bottled for Belgium reached 2150 this time around and the 19 bottled for The Loop reached 2050.

Under Performers

Bushmills

1992 Cognac Decreased 15% from €850 to €720
2001 Feuillette Decreased 16% from €1580 to 1320
2008 Muscatel Decreased 30% from €337 to €237
2010 Cognac Decreased 60% from €236 to €94 (Range: €80-€130)

Dingle

Cask 2: a slight under performance for Dingle’s Cask 2 which had been fairly consistent hitting over €2,500 and reaching heights of €3,500 not too long ago. This time around it was just shy of the avg hitting €2,200 (12% decrease)
Single Malt 1,2,3,3CS,4: All underperformed this auction after a little bit of an upturn in the last one with the prices settling on average 20% lower than the last 4 months.
Single Pot Still 2&3: Saw an average drop of 8% with some of the batch 2 out performing the average (just the way the range works)

Dunville

12 Year CS 1327: Slight drop off the average coming in at €211, 1% under the avg of €213
12 Year CS 1703: Dropping 30% of the €203 avg landing at €141 on average (Range: €135-€170)

Jameson

Caskmates The caskmates collection took a bit of a hit all around, with the average being 25% drop in prices all around. Beavertown and Revolution took the biggest hits at 35% but the hard to find Dieu Du Ciel went from €450 to €419 a 7% decrease.
Rarest Vintage Reserve (2007) Took a slight dip of 11% down from €480 to €425
Triple Triple With the Triple Triple finally available on the Jameson website, it was no surprose to see it take a dip from €105 to €51 (54% dip) as its now no longer a travel exclusive.

Midleton

Dair Ghaelach

Grinsells Tree 3,7 3 dropped 30% from €341 to €243 7 dropped slightly by 12% to €264 from €300
Bluebell Tree 3,4,6 Dropped on average 27% the hardest hit being Tree 4 dropping €500 to €340
Knockrath Tree 2, 6 Both dropped on average 24% to the €250 mark from €330.

Very Rare

1991 Dropped 15% on average from €2,350 to €2,000
2000 Dropped 30% from €985 to €700
2005 Dropped 8% from €670 to €617
2006 Dropped 11% from €672 to €600
2008 Dropped 17% from €718 to €595
2012 Dropped 15% from €665 to €564
2013 Dropped 13% from €804 to €697
2020 Dropped 4% from €780 to €750

RedBreast

Cask Strength

B1/13 Took a large hit of 37% decreasing from €206 to €129
B1/15 Took an even bigger nose dive dropping 46% from a peak of €520 to €283
B1/17 Dropped by 17% from €151 to €126
B1/18 Dropped 28% from €165 to €118

Special Release

Palace Bar Single Cask Dropped slightly with the hammer dropping at €421 down 2% from the average €430
Small Batch 14yr Bounty Hunter Dropped 11% from €276 to €245
Small Batch 14yr K&L Dropped 28% from €503 to €360
Small Batch 14yr Title Town Dropped 12% from €400 to €353
Small Batch US Exclusive Showed up on the Whisky Auctioneer last week and went for €473 this time around it dropped 46% to €255

Waterford

Pilgrimage Dropped 27% from €1041 to €763
Micro Cuvee Lomhar Dropped 7% from €286 to €265

Top Performers

Bushmills

1990 American Oak Rose from it’s inital €920 average by 49% to €1370
2006 Marsala Must have been one that many collectors needed to get their hands on as it doubled from its previous €778 avg to €1560 (101% increase)

Dark Silkie An unusually strong performance for Dark Silkie going from a €130 average to €255, a 96% increase

Dingle

Brianas Choice: A strong performace going from an average of €158 up to €290, and increase of 83%
Single Malt CS 1: Bouncing back from a dip to €911 the CS1 finished up at €1251 an increase of 37%
Single Malt CS 2: Rising a cool 15% from €279 to €321
Single Malt CS 4: One that a lot must be after, rising from €240 to €340 for a 42% increase
Super Valu 2 Casks: This skyrocketed from the previous average of €152 to €340 a 136% increase
Single Pot Still 1: Had a nice rise from €384 to €460 a 20% increase

Dunville

12 Year CS 1327: Slight drop off the average coming in at €211, 1% under the avg of €213
12 Year CS 1703: Dropping 30% of the €203 avg landing at €141 on average (Range: €135-€170)

Green Spot

10 year Bicentennial One of the most sought after Greenspots, rising 25% from its last average of €799 to €1000
Green Spot 2005 Single Cask #105181 - Mitchell & Son had a nice increase of 45% from €415 to €600
Green Spot 2008 Single Cask #283863 - The Palace Bar increased by 15% from €366 to €420
Green Spot 2007 Single Cask #7740 - Revolution Whiskey Bar increased by 13% from €411 to €465

Jameson

12 year Special Reserve increase by 31% from €91 to €120
Caskmate: Young Henrys one of the only caskmates seeing an increase of 88% from €200 to €375

JJ Corry

Armada 52 increasing 28% from €150 to €192
The Banner 2 increasing 51% from €47 to €71
Battalion 1 increasing 27% from €55 to €70
Black Friday increasing 41% from €82 to €115
The Old Tom increasing 83% from €74 to €136

Midleton

Dungourney 1964 Going from strength to strength it rose 16% from the €1,250 avg to €1,450

Dair Ghaelach

Grinsells Tree 5 increasing slightly by 12% to €500 from €445
Knockrath Tree 7 pegged to be the unicorn of the set, the price certainly reflects that jumping 120% from €272 to €600

Very Rare

The increases here on avg were 22% so I’ll just call out some of the noteworthy ones.
1992 Increased 59% on average from €850 to €1,350
1995 Increased 34% from €893 to €1,200
1999 Increased 38% from €650 to €895
2002 Increased 27% from €1,225 to €1,550
2004 Increased 25% from €725 to €910
2014 Increased 37% from €758 to €1,041
2016 Increased 24% from €330 to €410
2017 (New) Increased 22% from €582 to €711

RedBreast

Cask Strength

B1/16 Went from €82 to €105 increasing 29%
B2/19 Increased 35% from €80 to €108

Special Release

Dreamcask 20 Increased 14% from €600 to €681
Dreamcask 28 Increased 23% from €836 to €1026
RedBreast Single Cask La Maison Du Whisky - Cask #70946 (1998) Increased by 21% from €330 to €400
RedBreast Single Cask Master of Malt - Cask #18829 (2001) Increased by 46% from €290 to €422
Small Batch 14yr Bounty Hunter Dropped 11% from €276 to €245
Small Batch 14yr K&L Dropped 28% from €503 to €360
Small Batch 14yr Title Town Dropped 12% from €400 to €353
Small Batch US Exclusive Showed up on the Whisky Auctioneer last week and went for €473 this time around it dropped 46% to €255

Waterford

Overall Waterford single farm origins recovered 13% from its dip the last few months here are some noteable ones
Waterford SFO 1.1 - Ballykilcavan Increased 26% from €69 to €86
Waterford SFO 1.1 - Bannow Island Increased 21% from €69 to €84

Overall there were quite a few eyebrow raisers in this auction. The Bushmills Rare cask being the main one for me, and the strength at which the MVR 2009 performed this time around.
Did you have any raised eyebrows with these? Let me know in the comments what you bought, sold or had your eye on and as always feedback is very welcome on the format and content of these.

Sláinte

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