The Golden Promise
Earliest Karuizawa Whiskies at Bonhams Hong Kong Sale

Hong Kong – Bonhams Fine and Rare Wine and Whisky sale in Hong Kong on Friday 19 November shines a spotlight on Karuizawa, the cult Japanese distillery which closed in 2001 and demolished in 2016, and which recently announced, to great excitement, the release of their final barrel.

The sale offers more than 20 prime examples of Karuizawa, some dating back to the earliest and rarest 1960s, considered the "hay day" of the distillery when – much influenced by Macallan – they took pride in using the 'Golden Promise' barley as an ingredient. Highlights include:

A bottle of Karuizawa-1964-51 year old-#1917. Estimate: HK$850,000-1,200,000.
A bottle of Karuizawa-1964-#3603. Estimate: HK$450,000-600,000.
A bottle of Karuizawa-1965-#8852. One of 150 bottles bottled in 2017. Estimate: HK$450,000-550,000.

Bonhams Director of Wine and Spirits for Asia, Daniel Lam, said: "In a strong sale the exceptional choice of rare Karuizawa whiskies stands out. 1960s vintages of Karuizawa are so rare now, that it will probably take many years to assemble a selection of this calibre in the market again. I am therefore expecting a lot of interest from collectors. In the Fine wines section we are offering fascinating Burgundies which seldom appear at auction. I am sure these will whet the appetite of connoisseurs in Hong Kong and beyond."

Further Japanese whisky highlights include:

Bottles from Karuizawa's 'Geisha' series, of which only as few as 70 complete sets were ever released. These include:

A pair of 38-year-old & 37-year old Pearl Geisha. Estimate: HK$300,000-400,000.
A pair of 31 year old and 29 year old Murasaki Geisha. Estimate: HK$280,000-360,000.

Bottles from Karuizawa's 'Noh' series, each unique in expression and telling its own story, including:

Karuizawa-1977-#7026-Noh. Estimate: HK$170,000-220,000.
Karuizawa-1976-32 year old-#6719-Noh. Estimate: HK$160,000-220,000.

Scotch whiskies are led by a single owner collection of the complete 17 bottle set of Port Ellen Full Annual releases. Each bottle will be sold individually, with the First Annual Release bottled in 2001 estimated at HK$22,000-28,000.

The Port Ellen Distillery on the Isle of Islay ceased production in 1983 but reopened two years ago, an event that created much interest. The sale also includes a bottle of Port Ellen-Sunflower-1969-24 year old (1000% [email protected]) bottled in 1993 by Carato of Italy (Estimate: HK$50,000-70,000), as well as a bottle of Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji – The Great Wave (Batch One) (Estimate: HK$100,000-140,000)

Fine Wines

The Wine section of the sale offers a selection of Bordeaux and Burgundies rarely found at auction. These include:

• Lot 81 – Three bottles of Château Mouton Rothschild 1959, Pauillac 1er Cru Classé. Estimate: HK$39,000-52,000.
• Lot 5 – A twelve bottle case of Château Lafite Rothschild 2005, Pauillac 1er Cru Classé. Estimate: HK$66,000-85,000.
• Lot 70 - A single bottle of Echezeaux 2010, Domaine Bizot. Estimate: HK$22,000-30,000.
• Lot 80 - Two bottles of La Romanée 2006, Domaine Comte du Liger-Belair. Estimate: HK$56,000-80,000.
• Lot 67 - Two bottles of Musigny 2007, Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier. Estimate: HK$30,000-40,000.
• Lot 96 - Three bottles of Chevalier-Montrachet 2005, Domaine Leflaive. Estimate: HK$17,000-22,000.

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