This Might Be a Record-Setting Scotch Whisky Auction

The upcoming Distillers One of One event has one bottle going for $650,000

Old Pulteney Bow Wave
Old Pulteney Bow Wave, one of the unique whiskies up for grabs at Distillers One of One
Rich Maciver

Whisky auctions are booming, but would you really pay several thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of dollars for a single bottle? You might if the cause is good and the Scotch whiskies are truly one-of-a-kind, which is what the second edition of The Distillers One of One promises to offer.

A biennial event held by the Worshipful Company of Distillers and the Distillers’ Charity (along with Sotheby’s), the One of One auction promises an “unparalleled collection of one-off, never-to-be-repeated Scotch whiskies from distilleries across the length and breadth of Scotland.” A previous edition, held in 2021, raised roughly $3.1 million for Distillers’ Charity — principally for the Youth Action Fund, which aims to improve the life chances of disadvantaged young people in the Scotch whisky-making communities. Sotheby’s claims it was the largest-ever charity auction of Scotch.

House of Hazelwood Wants to Redefine Rare Scotch Blends
“It’s hard to imagine another whisky company creating a whisky like this.”

The most eye-catching bottle in the 2023 edition? Probably Old Pulteney’s “Bow Wave,” a 45-year-old single malt that spent four decades in American oak casks and another five years of maturation in a single first-fill Spanish oak butt. Bow Wave (estimate £20,000 – £30,000) takes its name from the wave that forms at the bow of a ship when it moves through the water, a notion that inspired the decanter’s physical form.

Other highlights include a 55-year-old Bowmore STAC (estimated £300,000 – £500,000), a 1950s collection of Glenfiddich, a 51-year-old Bowmore expression presented in a hand-blown, 1.4l black glass vessel, The Glenturret “Enduring Spirit,” a set of four bespoke Lalique decanters and filled with four unique whiskies, and unique bottles from House of Hazelwood, The Last Drop, The Glen Grant and more.

The auction will be held at Hopetoun House, Scotland on Oct. 5.


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