The world’s largest known collection of rare and collectable Karuizawa whisky from Japan has been snapped up for £770,000 in an online auction held by Whisky Auctioneer (www.whiskyauctioneer.com), in what is believed to be a world record for an auction of Japanese whisky.
A 70cl bottle of Karuizawa's 1960 52 year old, one of just 41 bottles originally released for £12,000 in 2013 sold for £100,100, setting a new UK and European record for a Japanese whisky.
The collection of 296 bottles, which had been built up over the last 10 years by a European collector, easily surpassed the pre-auction estimated value of around £500,000.
The auction has attracted worldwide attention which has translated into more than 5093 bids for the bottles, and resulting in 89 successful buyers. In terms of bottles purchased, the Unites States was by far and away the most popular destination, with 84 bottles purchased by US buyers. Germany finished in second place with 43, Hong Kong with 40, the UK with 37 and Greece with 23. Other successful buyers came from countries including Taiwan, China, Singapore, Canada, Belgium, Australia, Israel, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, France, Ireland and Poland.
The top 10 bottles by value to be sold during the auction were bought for a combined £217,060, with 7 of these bottles purchased by buyers in Hong Kong and the other 3 heading to Germany.
- Karuizawa 1960 Single Cask #5627 / The Archer £100,100.00
- Karuizawa 1963 Single Cask 50 Year Old #5132 £24,700.00
- Karuizawa Honor Sumo Collection / 1981 / 1982 / 1983 £17,100.00
- Karuizawa 1964 Single Cask 48 Year Old #3603 / Wealth Solutions £17,100.00
- Karuizawa 45 Year Old Single Cask #1946 / Aqua of Life £12,700.00
- Karuizawa 1995 Single Cask 18 Year Old #5022 / Ghost Series #2 - Only 22 Bottles £10,300.00
- Karuizawa 1981 Single Cask #158 / Sakura Cask - Only 45 Bottles £9,700.00
- Karuizawa Four Decades Ghost Series #5 / 1 of 24 Bottles £9,260.00
- Karuizawa 1970 Single Cask #6227 / Geisha Label £8,100.00
- Karuizawa 1983 Single Cask #3557 / Nepal Bottling £8,000.00
Karuizawa whisky has become one of the world’s most coveted whiskies since the distillery stopped production in 2000.The collection auctioned by Perth (Scotland) based Whisky Auctioneer covered almost every expression created by the renowned Japanese distillery. It is the first time such an extensive collection has been made available for auction anywhere in the world.
The sale has been a huge success for Perthshire firm Whisky Auctioneer which specialises in auctioning fine, old, rare and collectable whisky. In recent years, collectors have flocked towards Japanese distilleries, whose reputations and values have rocketed in the booming secondary market. According to rare whisky experts and analysts Rare Whisky 101, the RWK (Rare Whisky Karuizawa) Index, which tracks the performance of a select collection of bottles from this silent Japanese distillery, shows an increase in value of more than 300% since July 2013.