Welcome back to another edition of Auction Spotlight where we take a look at the price differential between an auction and the previous 3 month prices to get a feel for where the market is at.
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This auction spotlight we take a look at Irish Whiskey Auctions latest (July) auction vs all sales from the 30th of March, to the 30th of June inclusive. Summer is usually a bit of a slow starter for auctions, so it will be interesting to investigate and see if that’s the case here, or if IWA have remained consistent throughout all that’s going on in the world.
Now, for the numbers of the auction which there were quite a few shockers. As always we’ll start out with my ‘watchlist’ where I earmark certain bottles or new releases that caught my eye during the auction to give an indication of some sort of value.
Top level stats:
Number of lots: 1069
Number of lots successfully won: 1035
Avg Price of Successful Lot: €241.41
Avg Change Successful Lot: -1%
New/ Noteworthy Sales
Bushmills Causeway Collection 2001 Feuillette Cask: One of the causeway collections that always gets my attention at auction, being such a small quantity it screams out collectable. The last 3 months it averaged at €1,080, but that has slid down rapidly from €1,467 avg for the month of May, to €1,022 in June. It looks like the slide hasnt come to a stop yet, and the hammer came down at €800, 30% down on the 3 month average. Will this be a bargain in months to come?
Corbetts Killowen Special Liqueur Whisky 15 Year Old: A little piece of history here, a 15 year old liqueur from Brown Corbett, Belfast. Dated as a late 1920s, early 1930s bottles from the now silent distillery Killowen (not to be mixed up with the new craft distillery also known as Killowen!) Guide Price on this item was a wide range of €2,500 – €3,500 a tough one to put a value on due to it’s rarity and lack of sales. The hammer came down at €2,020. This might turn into a great deal down the line when international whiskey collectors look to fill their boots with silent distillery bottles! Great to see.
Dungourney 1964 Special Reserve: The Dungourney 1964 has been going up and up over the last while with no end in sight. It reached an average of €1,750 with the 3 month average reaching €1,825. There was a lot of interest in this lot with 33 bids. The hammer finally fell at €2,200, a 19% increase on the 3 month avg and just shy of the all time high €2,450 from July last year.
Teeling W.O.W Amburana: The first in a new series from Teeling, where they sent out samples of unique casks to patrons who gave feedback and ultimately chose what would be bottled. This sold previously in early March for €150 and previous to that in Feb for €220. It seems the collection has been picked up by a few people who needed this one. The hammer price was a staggering €340.
Waterford SFO 1.1 – Donoughmore: One of the tougher to get Waterfords. As a Taiwanese exclusive this was always going to be tough for Irish collectors. It had been hovering around the €200 mark the last 3 months. Strangely it sold on Catawiki and Scotch Whisky Auction a few days prior for under 200 and even as low as 150 at the end of June. Quite shocking to see it spike up to €520 here, a 52% increase on the 3 month avg.
Woodford Reserve Baccarat Edition: Not Irish, but a noteworthy one I believe to show that Irish Whiskey Auction is Irish, Whiskey Auction instead of Irish Whiskey Auction.. if that reads right you’ll know what I mean! This particular bottle averaged €1100 on the various other auction sites but that was smashed by IWA increasing 15% coming in at €1,300
Bushmill Causeway Collection
It seems like every month I say that the Causeway Collection is dipping, and it continues this month. None of the Causeway collection hit the 3 month average, with only two coming close, the 1992 Malaga Cask just shy by 1.6% coming in at €540 and the 2008 Muscatel falling shy by 1.8% at €180 average over 9 bottles.
The 2001 Feuilette was the biggest hit, as outlined above followed by the 2011 Banyuls Cask dropping 22% earning €126 over 5 bottles , but up on the last IWA by 16%. If there’s any light at the end of the tunnel, it’s the fact that most have increased, or stagnated from the last IWA (green bar). This may indicate to us that the market is bottoming out, and we’re turning a corner. Hopefully that is the case for the causeway collectors!
The Founding Fathers had fallen out of favour late last year, but seemed to have a bit of a rocky resurgence in recent times. One of the first, the LVA, is seen now and again and usually fetches around the 600 mark. This appearance smashed that dropping the hammer at a stunning €820. A recent release, An Chead hOcht, reached €300 in the last IWA. It’s showed up in a couple of auctions since, and this time around it dropped 10% on the last IWA, but increased 21% on the 3 month average coming in at €270. The Old Cannon had 2 bottles in selling on avg for €123 which was a good 7% increase on the 3 month average, but down 6% from the last IWA.
The Dingle single malts had a good spread in this auction, mostly in the positive % difference.
The Single Malt (SM) B1 came in at €322 which was a 15% drop in the 3 month average and last IWA.
SM B2 seems to have done really bad with 5 bottles averaging at €78. This is 30% down on the 3 month average, and 36% down on the last IWA.
SM B4 Cask Strength really outperformed itself skyrocketing 58% above the average and 56% over the last IWA increasing to €240.
SM B3 Cask Strength wasn’t too far behind gaining 31% over the last 3 months climbing to €190.
The Dingle Celt also made an appearance in this auction, pulling in a cool €1,150. Nice to see as I think it was 100% brought out for collectibility, at least the market thinks so too!
Overall a good performance for Dingle this auction, I think it’s clear to see the collectability seems to be in the Cask Strength editions rather than the 46% releases.
We had 2 Dunville 12 Cask Strength come up in this auction, cask 1326 and 1327. Both dropped down on the average with the 1326 dropping 9% to €185. The 1327 came in at €155, a 16% decrease.
The first sighting of the 20 year old Dunville for the palace bar was this auction. Keeping in mind the retail price of the bottle was €350, following up with a hammer price of €280 is not good for the seller, but great for the buyer!
Unfortunately for Greenspot collectors there was an average drop of 10% this auction, the biggest hit being the 1991 Single Cask from The Whisky Exchange (26 yr). It did decent money last auction getting €610, but it couldn’t keep up the traction with the average of 2 bottles falling €100, or 18%, down to €510.
The 2006 Single cask from TWE and 2005 Mitchells didn’t fair much better with the 2006 dropping 10% down to €403 with 4 bottles showing up, and the 2005 losing 9% down to €460.
The 2008 Palace bar was the only one to show any sort of optimism, albeit from the last auction and not the 3 month average. It gained 3% since its last showing, 1.5% off the 3 month pace finishing at 350. The Revolution single cask made a decent showing at €440.
Jameson St Patricks Day
Its been a while since we’ve seen this many St Patricks day bottlings in one auction so I thought it would be good to see the performance. Overall it’s down 14% on average with a good chunk of that coming from a haemorrhage performance from the 2014 dropping 38% to just €64 over 2 bottles. The 2016 was the only one to outperform the average, gaining 23% rising to €69. There were two others in the auction without a 3 month average the 2012 doing €73 over 4 bottles and the 2013 a whopping €245 over 3 bottles! This gives us all of the collection bar the 2019, putting the collection around the €700 mark.
It’s been a difficult few months for the JJ Corry collection, where nearly every auction it was downtrending.. it seems to have come back with a bang now with all of the bottles increasing on the average and last months IWA. The average increase was a whopping 38% with the Gold Rush living up to its name and skyrocketing a 74% on the average averaging €147 over 2 bottles. The Hanson also recovered nicely from its dip gaining 55% up to €60 this time around. The Battalion B2 made an appearance here too going for 110, more than the B1 which achieved €85 gaining 25% over the average. Is this a sign of JJ Corry fever coming back?
Theres a big ebb and flow when it comes to Killowen in auction, sometimes it gets some ridiculous price, then the next month a flop. Fortunately for the drinkers among us this was a flop month. The Pinot Noir was one I was looking out for, I made a prediction privately that we’d see multiple show up in this auction and it could be got for €100
Turns out, there were 4 on auction this time around, and they averaged out at €112 (2 at €100, 2 at €120), this was a 26% decrease on the average and a whopping 46.5% drop from the last IWA. Elsewhere for Killowen, the BWW dropped 17% a bit of a surprise there, I thought with the BWW upcoming and another addition to the Bonded Exclusive Series people would want to snatch it up, but it came in at 280. The cúige collection has been slipping and it stabilized now from the last IWA, but still down 20% over the 3 month average coming in at €260.
Overall, there was just a 1.6% drop in prices for the MVRs. The 1987 jump there is a little bit deceiving, with 2 bottles being sold one for €2,350 and one for €940. The lower one had a low fill level which skews the data a bit, but the €2,350 is still up a healthy 17.5% from the last pristine bottle sold in April. The 2009 is another standout here, with 7 being sold in the last 2 months the average has been set at just shy of €4k ( some peaks and dips amongst them.) This one finished at €5,100 which is a 25% increase over the average and 31% above last months showing in IWA. It really goes to show how many people there are looking to get their hands on a 2009! Considering also that this was a 750ml bottling its even more impressive and somewhat of an indication to me that collectors are starting to consider finishing out their collections with mismatched bottle sizes. A welcome change in my opinion.
Other than that, most performed in and around the average, some up slightly some down slightly which is expected. If there are specific ones you’re looking to value, consider downloading The Whiskey Companion app as outlined in the beginning of the article which will give you the min, max, 3 month average and a list of all the recent sales broken down by bottle.
There were a few special bottles here too with the Midleton 20th anniversary coming in at €4,100 increasing 21.5% above the average. 26 Year Old 175th Anniversary also showed up keeping steady with a 2.7% increase to €1,900. A bit of a shocker was The Housewarming dropped 44% down to €1,050.
A set that I always keep my eye on simply due to its affordability and I am a big fan of redbreast. There wasn’t too much movement on the CS series, with an average difference of 4.7% down on the average. The Birdhouse special 10 year cask strength took a bit of a hit, with 13 bottles in the auction averaging out at €108 down 32% on the average and 21% from last months auction. The main talking points of the 12 CS would be the b1/11 which dropped 18% on the average, 30% on last months auction coming in at €208 with 2 bottles. The other would be the B1/18 which had a very strong showing increasing on the average by 24% reaching €135.
Of course, we would need to look at the dream cask series. Before anyone asks, this is in no way advocating for the Mano A Lamh to be apart of the DreamCask series, it just fit in nicely to this chart. As a whole the DC collection decreased 2.4% and the mano a lamh increased 13% to €390. The 32 price dropped from the last IWA by 21.5% but even dropping like that its still gained 1.3% on the 3 month average finishing at €2,900 for 2 bottles. Dreamcask 20 PX is still going down with 3 bottles coming in 15% under the average at €707, 10% below the last IWA. Even with 6 bottles of the new DC29, the average of the lot came in at €1,015 just 3% shy of the 3 month average.
Teeling renaissance series 1, and by extension the rest of the renaissance and revival series have been on my radar now since its outstanding €310 spike in April. It has been dropping like a stone since with 15 coming to auction since. 6 of those were in this auction with an average hammer price of €139 a 38.4% drop on the previous 3 months. Renaissance 2 climbed a nice 13% to €138 but its still under rrp.
It looks like there is a bit of renewed interest in the Revival series vol 1 which increased 33% to €253. On the other end of the spectrum the vol 3 dropped a staggering 62% on the average.
Another great bottle from Teeling to see in this auction was the Muscat Pot Still first release, (this is the one exclusive to WA before the Pot Still B1 release) of only 250 bottles. A fabulous presentation and the price shows its importance coming in at €740.
I think this could be the first time we’ve seen Waterford on the increase in about 6 months. Overall the bottle prices have increased by 10.5%. The biggest losers being Ratheadon 1.1 and Hook Head 1.1.
Ratheadon 1.1 dropped a huge 39% over 4 bottles averaging at €115, a fraction of what it was last year! Hook Head dropped 20% , below RRP now coming in at €60 (and there was only 1 in the auction!). The big winners were Donoughmore and Lacken, both continental exclusives. The Donoughmore I outlined above in the noteworthy sales and the Lacken being a French exclusive increased 46% to €130.
The micro cuvee Lómhar increased on the 3 month average by 10% coming in at 280 over 2 bottles and the Pilgrimage decreased 4.5% to €753 over 2 bottles.
An that’s a wrap for this auction spotlight, I hope you enjoyed the new format and more of a conversation and visual side of things, leaving the data to be easily found on The Whiskey Companion app by just searching for the bottle you’d like to value! Connect with me on Instagram or Facebook @thewhiskeycompanion or on twitter @carl_twc.