Bonhams Hong Kong Presents 30-Year-Old Macallan Cask

A Nippon Whisky Collection online-only sale returns with fresh-to-market editions from the early years of the 'big eight' Japanese distilleries

For many whisky aficionados, owning a cask of whisky was once perhaps the pinnacle of their collecting journey. But as the market matures and collectors explore wider possibilities, whisky casks are now accepted by many even at the early stage of forming their collection. Old casks, especially from prestigious distilleries, are extremely rare, but a prime "all-rounder" example – a 30-year-old Macallan 1991 whisky cask – is appearing at Bonhams Fine and Rare Whisky sale in Hong Kong on 20 August.

Distilled by Macallan in December 1991, the cask was re-racked in 2017 with sherry. Sherry is the preferred choice of wood to give whisky a unique impact of clove, resin, dried fruit and tannin – a sweet palate which most drinkers will find approachable. Its high alcohol content at around 51.5% ABV makes it a highly desirable choice for both long-term collecting and for eventually yielding around 202 bottles for enjoyment. The cask carries an estimate of HK$3,200,000-4,000,000, which translates into a competitive per-bottle price at about HK$14,800.

Daniel Lam, Bonhams Director of Wine and Spirits, Asia, commented: "Whisky casks hitting 30 years old or above are exceedingly rare in the current market. This 1991 Macallan cask on offer in our August sale is an all-rounder of its class: it comes from a prestigious distillery, is casked in top-notch wood, a high alcohol content, and an attractive estimate. We expect a lot of interest as the market now matures towards collecting casks."

Bonhams currently holds the world auction record for a whisky cask. A rare 30-year whisky sherry hogshead cask from Macallan Distillery achieved HK$4,464,000/ US$572,000 at Bonhams Fine and Rare Wine and Whisky sale on 15 November 2019.


After a 100% "white-glove" achievement in March, the online-only sale of A Nippon Whisky Collection returns from 26 July to 2 August on Around 50 lots strong, the sale spotlights a range of fresh-to-market whiskies from the very early years of the eight most internationally-sought-after Japanese distilleries, namely Karuizawa, Hanyu, Yamazaki, Hakushu, Yamazakura, Miyagikyo, Yoichi and Saburomaru. Highlights include:

• 山崎 Yamazaki-Noblesse Oblige-25 year old. Est. HK$60,000-80,000.
• 山崎 Yamazaki-1984-20th Anniversary of WakuWaku. Est. HK$38,000-50,000.
• 余市 Yoichi-1976-15 year old-#126121. Est. HK$20,000-26,000.
• Ichiro's Malt Pulse・Moment-律動・刹那. Est. HK$30,000-40,000.


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