If you’ve ever dedicated yourself to collecting something, you’d know the attachment goes far beyond the time and money involved. In many ways, a collection is a tangible reflection of one’s personality, making the day you part ways with it a very sad one. However, for one anonymous collector by the name of “Pat”, this feeling was likely aided by the £3.4 million (AU$6.4 million) he gained from the sale of his private whisky collection, which became the largest ever sold.
Comprised of over 9,000 bottles, Pat’s whisky collection had to be sold across 23 different auctions from 25 September 2020 to 22 November 2021. Accrued over the course of 15 years, the collection included 5,000 single malts, more than 1,000 blended whiskies, and 600-plus American whiskeys; more than 9,000 bottles hailing from over 150 Scottish distilleries, as well as bourbons and bottlings from Europe and all over the world.
The American whiskey auction on October 2020 was able to reach an eye-watering £376,000 (AU$712,000) on its own, while the European Bottler’s Auction in December 2020 sold for a total of £302,000 (AU$572,000). His range of Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection whiskies apparently also fetched £246,209 (AU$465,800) in October 2021
For those that know their whisky, some of the highlights from Pat’s whisky collection included:
- Brora 1972 Rare Malts 22 Years Old (£20,500 / AU$38,800)
- Glenfarclas 1952 Family Cask #1712 Release I: (£18,000 / AU$34,000)
- Karuizawa 35 Years Old Bourbon Cask #8518 / Emerald Geisha (£9,200 / US$17,400).
The final auction of the collection in November 2021 was able to reach £758,200 (AU$1.4 million). £26,100 (AU$49,200) of this was then donated to Teenage Cancer Trust, with Whisky Auctioneer pledging £2,400 (US$4,500) of their own.
When asked about the feeling of parting ways with this unique, historic and diverse collection of bottles, Pat acknowledged that it, “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.”