The Highlights From Sotheby’s Record-Breaking Whisky Auction

Advance bidding starts today on a collection that includes 30 bottles exceeding 50 years of age

The Timeless Whisky Collection stands as the highest valued single owner whisky auction ever to take place in the USA
Highlights from The Timeless Whisky Collection, the highest valued single-owner whisky auction ever in the U.S.

The appetite for rare whisky lots at Sotheby’s continues to grow, and the auction house’s latest collection is already being hailed as “the highest value whisky collection ever offered” for a single auction in the U.S., with a pre-sale estimate of $1.6 to $2.1 million.

The Timeless Whisky Collection, built over the years by an unnamed collector in California, features 30 bottles that exceed 50 years of age, led by The Macallan in Lalique Six Pillars Collection (est. $400,000-580,000), which comes with a bespoke display platform and an exclusive experience from the French glassmaker (the winning bidder and their guest will stay at Villa Rene Lalique in Alsace and dine at their 2 Michelin Star restaurant).

The Macallan in Lalique Six Pillars
The Macallan in Lalique Six Pillars

The emphasis on age statements here was purposeful. “Behind age statement is the vintage of a whisky, and, unlike rare wines, vintage is not always declared in whisky as it would require every element of the whisky that goes into the bottle to be from the same year of distillation,” says Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s Head of Whisky & Spirits, North America and EMEA. “The Scotch Whisky industry’s tendency to vat whiskies from different barrels together to achieve their final assemblage means that often whiskies are built using casks from multiple vintages. This collection showcases a huge number of whiskies that proudly bear a single vintage statement.”

Some other Timeless auction highlights:

While this is the most valuable whisky collection ever offered in the U.S. for a single auction, it won’t break Sotheby’s overall record, which happened with The Ultimate Whisky Collection Parts I and II (October 2019 and October 2020), which brought in a combined total of $11.2 million — the most valuable whisky collection ever sold at auction.

Online pre-bidding on The Timeless Whisky Collection begins Sept. 9 and the auction takes place on Sept. 23.


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