The world’s largest known collection of rare Japanese whisky will go under the hammer in an online auction hosted by a Perth-based auctioneer.
The collection of 290 bottles, which had been built up over the last 10 years by a European collector, has an estimated value of more than £500,000.
Karuizawa whisky has come to be regarded as one of the world’s most coveted whiskies since the distillery stopped production in 2000.The collection being auctioned in Perth covers almost every flavour created by the renowned Japanese distillery.
It is believed to be the first time such an extensive collection has been made available for auction anywhere in the world.
Amont the lots on offer will be a bottle of Karuizawa 1960 which last sold at auction in Hong Kong for £96,000 in 2015 setting a new record for a Japanese whisky. More than 230 of the bottles are single casks and include some exceptionally rare bottlings such as a 1963 50-year-old and a 1964 48-year-old bottled for Wealth Solutions in Poland.
Whisky Auctioneer will open bidding for the 290 lots at 11am on Wednesday, April 5 and close proceedings at 7pm on Monday, April 17.
The sale is a coup for Whisky Auctioneer which specialises in auctioning fine, old, rare and collectable whisky. Iain McClune, founder and owner of Whisky Auctioneer, collected the bottles personally and transported them back to Scotland.
He said: “A collection of this size from one of the world’s most collectable distilleries has never previously been seen at auction, so we’re absolutely thrilled to have fought off some stiff competition to lead the sale.
“While we’ve seen a lot of our business come from within the UK and Europe, this particular collection is likely to have global appeal. We expect to see some significant interest from rare whisky collector hotspots such as the US, Taiwan and of course, Karuizawa’s homeland of Japan.”
And Andy Simpson, of Rare Whisky 101, added: “Over the past few years, we’ve seen the availability of Japanese whisky at auction continue to increase led by the highly sought-after Karuizawa. These low volume but high value bottles impact the market significantly with many bottles fetching in excess of £2,000, most frequently coming to market as individual bottles or small collections.”