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Mystery man ‘Pat’ sells historic whisky collection with Perth auctioneer

The man known only as Pat, left, and Joe Wilson of Whisky Auctioneer.
The man known only as Pat, left, and Joe Wilson of Whisky Auctioneer.

A whisky buff who travelled the world in pursuit of bottles, has made history after selling his personal collection – the largest in the world to come to auction.

Working with Perth-based Whisky Auctioneer, the collector known only as “Pat” sold his collection of 9,070 bottles for a total of £3,360,000.

Pat’s Whisk(e)y Collection took over 12 months to auction off across a series of specially curated monthly spotlight auctions and dedicated sales.

Thousands of bottles

Dubbed the most complete picture of whisky ever brought to market, it featured in excess of 5,000 Scotch single malts, 1,000 blended whiskies, 600 American whiskeys and hundreds of often overlooked grain whiskies and independent bottlings.

Pat spent more than 15 years collecting, after buying his first bottles – the Douglas Laing Old and Rare Platinum Selection – around 2005 on the recommendation of a work colleague.

Initially a whisky novice, his determination to explore and taste every area of whisky soon outstripped his ability to open the bottles he was acquiring and so began his collection.

Collection sold online

He sold the bottles through Whisky Auctioneer, who describe themselves as “the world’s leading online platform for buying and selling whisky and spirits at auction”.

Highlights included a Brora 1972 Rare Malts 22 Year Old that made a hammer price of £20,500; a Glenfarclas 1952 Family Cask #1712 that fetched £18,000; and a Highland Park 50 Year Old 2018 Release that sold for £15,000.

The collection also included sought-after Japanese distilleries such as a Karuizawa 35 Year Old Bourbon Cask #8518 / Emerald Geisha that made £9,200.

One sale also raised £26,134,90 for Teenage Cancer Trust.

Iain McClune, Founder of Whisky Auctioneer, said Pat’s collection had been one of the company’s biggest success stories, likely never to be replicated on the secondary market.

One-off chance for collectors

Mr McClune said: “Pat’s Whisk(e)y Collection was historic, a once in a lifetime chance for whisky lovers old and new to bid on some of the most diverse bottles on the secondary market.

“The variety of whiskies on offer was unique, with whiskies accessible at every price point, hopefully inspiring the next generation of collectors.

“It’s highly unlikely we’ll ever see a collection as large and diverse as this one, meaning this auction will go down in whisky history, setting a precedent for future collectors.”

Pat, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “Building a whisky collection was never actually my original goal – I simply wanted to try everything and there were so many releases, distilleries and countries to explore.

The end of an ‘incredible journey’

“When I reached over 2,000 bottles, I decided to create a collection that represented the full picture of whisky and for me that meant everything from non-age statements, blends and world whiskies to the rarest examples — a true showcase of all sides of such a varied spirit.

“Selling the collection was a deeply emotional process for me since it has been such a huge part of my life.

“I feel this incredible journey has culminated in a fitting finale with these bottles entered back into the market so other people can enjoy them, perhaps with some added knowledge gained alongside.

“My journey with whisky is not over but I hope my approach will inspire whisky lovers and future collectors to be diverse and eclectic when constructing their own collections. Anyone can collect whisky and good whisky can be discovered anywhere and at any price.”

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