ISTANBUL: CHINESE CUSTOMER BOUGHT A YAMAZAKI 55YO AT 30% DISCOUNT ON PREVIOUS PRICES
By Siulan Law Mathews DipWSET
Source: House of Suntory
The Unifree Duty Free shop at the Istanbul Airport in Turkey announced that they have sold a bottle of Yamazaki 55 Year Old for USD559,200 to an unnamed customer from China.
The sold price was almost 30 percent lower than another bottle bid at USD776,000 at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport Retail in October last year and a bottle sold in an auction by Bonham Hong Kong in 2020 for USD795,000.
The bottles being sold at Schiphol and Istanbul Airport were from the second batch of the 100 bottles of Yamazaki 55YO released in 2021 by brand owner House of Suntory to the rest of the world, with a number allocated to key travel retail partners, including Gebr. Heinemann which run the Istanbul and Schiphol Airport duty free shops.
While the bottle sold in Bonham’s Hong Kong auction belongs to the first batch of 100 bottles released to Japanese domestic consumers through a lottery system in 2020.
Istanbul Unifree Duty Free shop invited interested parties to submit bids. It was said eight people put in offers to and the USD559,200 bid from a customer in China won out.
Ruediger Stelkens, Director Purchasing Liquor, Tobacco and Confectionery at Gebr. Heinemann, said: “We always strive to offer our travelling shoppers superior experiences and premium products. Whisky enthusiasts know they can rely on Heinemann and our joint venture partners as a flagship destination for the discovery of rarities like the Yamazaki 55 YO.”
“Our effort going forward will be to continue to focus on premium and exclusive products in all categories and locations,” added Stelkens.
"This sale provides further evidence that special products can help to achieve amazing results for airport retail and that Istanbul Airport is the perfect site to offer rarities like The Yamazaki 55 YO to a particularly discerning international clientele," said Unifree Duty Free CEO Ali Senher.
Yamazaki 55 YO is the oldest single-malt whisky ever released by the Yamazaki Distillery. The bottles are considered highly rare because the blend includes whiskies distilled under the supervision of the company's founder, Shinjiro Torii.
Suntory had put a recommended retail price of USD 60,000 per bottle for both releases. This means the bottle sold in Istanbul, albeit much cheaper than the other two bottles, had a 9-times price inflation while the other two bottles had a staggering 13-times inflation.
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