Proving rare whiskies still hold plenty of appeal to collectors and investors, the Yamazaki single malt whisky aged 50 years NV has set a new world auction record for a single bottle of Japanese whisky, going under the hammer for HK$2,337,000 (S$391,611) at Sotheby’s first wine sale of the year.
The lot was snapped up by an Asian private buyer for more than twice its pre-sale estimate of HK$700,000–1,100,000. (The second best performing lot of the January 29 auction, 10 bottles of Richebourg 1976 Henri Jayer, sold for HK$1,476,000, also exceeding its pre-sale estimate of HK$700,000–1,100,000.)
A previous world record for the Yamazaki 50 year old was established in November 2016 at the Bonhams Fine and Rare Wine, Cognac and Single Malt Whisky in Hong Kong, where a bottle fetched HK$588,000.
“Once again we saw active bidding from across Asia, underpinned by discerning buyers here in Hong Kong,” said Adam Bilbey, Head of Sotheby’s Wine Asia, of the sale, while the auction house’s wine specialist in Asia, Paul Wong, called the result proof that the whisky market is “in full swing.”