Excitement builds for Whisky auction at Bonhams New York

Whisky, Cognac & Rare Spirits
29 Apr 2013
New York

NEW YORK — Bonhams highly anticipated April 29 Whisky auction will feature remarkable spirits, cognacs, scotches, bourbons and ryes. Sure to please seasoned collectors and emerging enthusiasts alike, the sale offers a wide selection of exceptional vintages spanning two centuries and ranging from the curious to the opulent.

The auction features many limited and commemorative edition cognacs and scotches. Several of these luxurious vintages are presented in distinctive artisan bottles which speak to the rarity of their contents. A legendary Remy-Martin Louis XIII Black Pearl on offer comes in a Baccarat dark crystal decanter (est. $13,000-17,000). Also in a crystal decanter is a Macallan Millennium distilled in 1949 (est. $8,000-10,000). A 57 year-old Macallan Lalique is as notable for its contents as for its sleek bottle and gorgeous frosted crystal stopper (est. $15,000-20,000).

Other limited edition highlights include a 50 year-old Macallan anniversary distilled in 1928 (est. $20,000-25,000), and a six bottle Springbank Millennium collection ranging from 25 to 50 years old, accompanied by a set of identical miniature bottles (est. $8,000-10,000).

Many of the whiskies on offer are especially notable for their age, giving collectors the opportunity to savour the vintages of their favourite distilleries from previous decades. A 25 year-old bourbon whiskey distilled in 1890 by WL Weller and Sons is a favourite of Bonhams Whisky Specialist Joe Hyman (est. $600-800). Encased in a woven wicker cage, Hyman is drawn to the unusual presentation of this impressive survival, while WL Weller aficionados will appreciate the chance to taste the acclaimed company's 19th century product.

Other notable whiskies include a 1955 40 year-old Bowmore (est. $5,000-6,000), a 12 year-old Chivas Regal bottles from 1950's (est. $400-600 each), a 12 year-old Glenlivet from the 1940s (est. $1000-1200), a pint bottle of Dewars White Label circa 1910 (est. $300-400), a Paul Jones whiskey circa 1910 (est. $600-800), a 1940s Four Roses rye whiskey (est. $400-600) and an Overholt 1911 rye whiskey (est. 600-800).

"American offerings are quickly catching up to their European counterparts. It used to be that collectors were only interested in scotch, but the market has really come to appreciate ryes and bourbons," noted Hyman.

Extraordinary spirits will also be up for auction. Highlights include a bottle of Bacardi Rum from the 1920s which was distilled and bottled in Cuba prior to the famed company's relocation to Puerto Rico as a result of the Castro regime ($800-1000).

"Collecting whisky and rare spirits is very rewarding, and gaining in popularity," said Hyman, adding with a smile, "Increased demand for whisky worldwide means more and more people are buying these rare bottles, and drinking the contents!"

Bonhams will hold an auction preview, showcasing all the rare and exotic bottlings, on Sunday, April 28 from 4pm-6pm. At the preview, whiskies for sampling will be available from Compass Box and poured by Brand Ambassador Robin Robinson.

Bonhams Whisky auction will take place on April 29 in New York. A full catalogue will be available in the coming weeks at www.bonhams.com/auctions/20986/


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com

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