A rare bottle of 50YO Yamazaki whisky broke the record for the most expensive bottle of Japanese whisky ever sold. It was sold for HKD2.659million (USD343,000) at Bonhams in Hong Kong last week.
Japanese media reported that the buyer, who joined the auction via phone and chose to remain anonymous, was from Asia.
Released in 2005, the Yamazaki 50 Year Old 1st Edition was matured in casks made from Japanese Oak. It comes from Japan’s oldest whisky distillery, the Yamazaki, which was founded in 1923 and is based in the Osaka Prefecture.
This expression is thought to be the oldest Yamazaki on the market and is one of just 50 made. Sold on 17 August, it smashed its pre-sale estimate of HKD1.8 to 2.4million and became the most expensive Japanese whisky ever sold.
It broke the record held by another bottle of Japanese single malt whisky, Karuizawa 1960-52 year old-The Dragon, which fetched HKD2.4million in May.
The world’s most expensive whisky ever sold was a Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 60-year-old sold for HKD8.636million, which was sold in May in Hong Kong also by Bonhams. At the same auction, a bottle of Macallan Peter Blake 1926 60-year-old fetched HKD7.962million.
“The Yamazaki 50-year-old is an exceptional whisky and, of course, very rare indeed,” said Daniel Lam, Bonhams head of fine wine and whisky.
“This new world record for a bottle of Japanese whisky – just a few months after we set the previous one – and the world record we set for Scotch whisky in May demonstrate that the auction market for single malt whisky is in good health.”
(the writer can be contacted at: DavidMa@thewinechronicle.com)