London auction house Bonhams is to hold an auction in May, offering complete Japanese whisky sets for budding collectors with bidding starting from US$320.
Bonhams is presenting its “Fine and Rare Wine & Whisky Sale” on 16 May in Hong Kong, featuring a group of limited edition Japanese whisky series – most of them complete – from a myriad of world renowned distilleries such as Yamazaki, Hanyu, Chichibu and Hakushu.
As the recent sales at Bonhams reflect, the demand for Japanese whisky is strong with an average sell-through rate of 90%. In August 2019, Bonhams set a new world auction record for a Japanese whisky set, as Hanyu Ichiro’s Full Card Series sold for HK$7,192,000 to an Asian female collector, nearly doubling the previous record set in 2015, also by Bonhams.
Daniel Lam, Bonhams’ director of Wine & Spirits, Asia, commented: “Collecting by series is often considered the ultimate pursuit for any dedicated whisky collector. It takes a great deal of time and perseverance to acquire each bottle in the market, and therefore when a set is complete, it brings no less joy than a trophy bottle. It is rare that a full series – especially in the case of Japanese whisky – comes onto the market. But when it does, it holds more value than the individual bottles added together, and will surely be hotly-contested.”
Some of the highlights of the sale are a complete set of 16 bottles Suntory Yamazaki and Hakushu Vintage Malt 1st Edition-1979-1994 (estimate: HK$600,000 – 800,000), 11 bottles of The Ghost Series Japanese Whisky (1st to 12th Edition) (estimate: HK$820,000 – 1,100,000) and the largest group of Chichibu whisky ever offered at auction in Asia (estimate: HK$30,000 – 40,000).
Over 50 Scotch and Japanese whiskies have been targeted at budding whisky collectors. Ranging from HK$2,500 to HK$15,000, these bottles – all from sought-after distilleries – carry estimates lower than the current market price, such as Karuizawa-8 year old (bottled 1990’s Mercian) (estimate: HK$4,500 – 6,000), Macallan Speymalt-1973-30 year old (estimate: HK$13,000 – 18,000) and Chichibu-2019-#5821-Mount Bukō (estimate: HK$7,000 – 9,000).
Some of the selected wine lots in the sales are a Domaine Armand Rousseau vertical 1998-2009 (estimate: HK$230,000 – 280,000), a magnum of Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Eiswein 2016 (estimate HK$20,000 – 26,000) and bottles of Chateau d’Yquem in six-litre format spanning three decades of from the 1980s to the 2000s, including legendary vintages of 1985, 1989, 1990 and 2001 (estimates range from HK$8,000 to 12,000).
The sale is planned to be conducted live behind closed doors. Bids will be accepted in the following formats: online, on the telephone with a member of client services, or by leaving an absentee bid. You can browse the catalogue here.
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