In early April, Sotheby’s Hong Kong announced its largest spirits online sale, from April 21 to May 5. Titled ‘Distilled: whisky, moutai and more’, bidders from across 13 countries participated in this two-week-long sale. The final result; the silent Japanese distillery Karuizawa captured the top position, making it one of the most valuable spirit sales yet. This auction by Sotheby’s recorded a total sale value of $7,67,196.
The highest bid was pegged at approx $60,790 for a single bottle of 52-Year-Old Karuizawa – Streams of Time, which was distilled way back in 1965. The same amount was also bid for 30 bottles of Karuizawa 36 Views of Mount Fuji.
The third sale on the list was one bottle of Karuizawa Aqua of Life 50-Year-Old 1968, which sold for approx $55,991. It was one of the limited-edition 248 bottles ever made.
As a matter of fact, Nagano-based Karuizawa distillery closed its operations permanently in 2011, making it one of the most sought-after brands for the discerning collectors of rare spirits.
In total, there were 133 lots of the finest whiskies on sale, from the biggest brands in the Scotch and Japanese whisky industries. Some of the website highlights by Sotheby’s feature rare Scotch Glenfiddich 50 Year Old (second release), Mortlach 75 Year Old Gordon & MacPhail Generations, The Macallan, Chinese spirit Kweichow Moutai from the 1980s and 1990s, Japanese classics from Karuizawa and Flying Fairy Precious Moutai 1992.