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February 20, 2020

Market drop seen in world’s largest whisky collection auction

National

February 20, 2020

LONDON: The market for rare whisky has been on a continuous rise, and almost every month brings with it headlines of bottles prices breaking records at auction or new, high-end bottles being released by brands for astronomical prices.

In the past 6 months, however, the market for rare whisky has been showing signs of slowing and the recent auction of the 'Perfect Collection' by Whisky Auctioneer, one of the most covered and broadcast auctions of the millennium, has clearly shown that a market peak for whisky is indeed on the way, reported international media on Wednesday.

The first and most evident lot to show the slow of the rare whisky market is the famed Macallan 1926 bottling designed by Italian artist Valerio Adami. Whisky Auctioneer and Bloomberg estimated this bottle would sell for over £1.5 million pounds.

However, the bottle only reached the price of £825,000, which is lower than the record set two years ago in 2018, when the bottle sold for almost £850,000 at a Bonhams auction in Edinburgh. With the continuous rise of the Macallan 1926 bottlings, including the ones with labels by Peter Blake and Valerio Adami, most expected this lot to soar, especially following the record-breaking Macallan 1926 that sold for over £1.45 million pounds at a Sotheby's auction several months before.

Many Macallan lots showed signs of slowing, including several expressions from the Macallan Six Pillars collection. While the full set previously sold for over £650,000, four of the rarest bottlings in the set only reached a combined £250,000 in the recent auction.

Many Macallan Fine And Rare bottlings and Black Bowmore expressions shows price drops compared to previous auctions, and very few bottles on the auction showed significant rises in price. The famed rises far beyond estimates that whisky fans have grown accustomed to in the auction world were nowhere to be seen, a clear indicator that the market for rare whisky is indeed slowing in 2020.

The 1st part of the Whisky Auctioneer's ‘Perfect Collection’ has come to a close and the 2nd part of the auction begins at the end of the month.

The star lot for the 2nd part is the aforementioned, record-breaking Macallan 1926. No doubt, most collectors and whisky fans the world over will be watching closely as bidding begins, to see if another steep price drop will follow.

Even if a single buyer comes in strong, the overall theme shows a ceiling for rare whisky bottles, as many secondary sellers in the industry have grown greedy.

With the huge price increases, the market was bound to reach a ceiling eventually and with the disasters taking place across the globe, the mood of investing in a fun category such as whisky has been dampened.