THE PRICE OF THIS JAPANESE WHISKY INFLATED 6-FOLD IN TWO YEARS
By Siulan Law Mathews DipWSET
A bottle of Hanyu Ichiro’s Malt “9 of Hearts” was sold for HKD471,200 (USD62,800) in Bonhams Fine & Rare Wine and Whisky auction held in Hong Kong last Friday. The achieved price doubled the pre-sale lower estimate of HKD220,000, and was six times the last price achieved at Bonhams in 2017 at HKD79,625.
Another lot of seven “Ghosts Series” bottles with labels depicting Japanese ghost stories - including Karuizawa 16 and 18 year-old, Kawasaki 1980 33 year-old and Hanyu 2000 “Bar Keller” - achieved HKD930,000.
The stellar results achieved by Japanese whiskies reflected the scarcity of aged single malt Japanese whiskies in the market.
All of the top 20 lots in last week’s Bonhams auction were taken up by Scotch and Japanese whiskies. The top lot was a bottle of The Macallan 1928 50-year-old, which was sold for HKD1.5m, followed by a bottle of 59 year-old The Dalmore “Eos” 1951 achieving HKD1.1m. In third place was a 55 year-old Macallan in Lalique sold for HKD1m.
Fine wines did not achieve results as good as whiskies. The best preforming lot was three bottles of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s 2009 La Tâche which was sold for HKD117,800, followed by a lot with six bottles of 2010 Petrus achieving HKD198,400 and three bottles of 1998 Screaming Eagle sold at HKD62,248.
Daniel Lam, Bonhams’ Director of Wine & Spirits, Asia, comments, “We are pleased with the result: a sale total of HKD32.5million with top prices led by early Scotch whiskies and the Japanese ‘Ghost Series’ in seven bottles.
“Over 90% of the whisky buyers are private collectors, showing that market confidence continues to be strong. Once again, the sale attracted global participation spanning America, Europe and Asia, with interest from not only Greater China, but also from new whisky markets in Southeast Asia such as Vietnam and Malaysia.
“The result continues Bonhams' leadership in whisky auctions, and we look forward to our next whisky sale in Hong Kong this summer on 16 August.”
(the writer can be contacted at: SLawMathews@thewinechronicle.com)
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