Whisky Focus - World’s Largest Collection Of Karuizawa Japanese Whisky Up For Auction

290 Bottle Collection Of Karuizawa Whisky Up For Auction

15th March 2017
A collection of 290 bottles of the highly sought after Karuizawa Japanese Whisky to be sold at auction.

The 290 bottle Karuizawa Japanese whisky collection is up for auction.

Karuizawa Japanese whisky has become one of the world’s most coveted whiskies by connoisseurs and collectors around the world since the distillery stopped production in back in 2000.

As time passes bottles are getting rarer and rarer at auction and prices continue to rise so I am sure there are a few of you who will be pleased to hear that the world’s largest known collection of rare and collectable Karuizawa whisky will go under the hammer in an online auction which is being hosted by Whisky Auctioneer (www.whiskyauctioneer.com).

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.

The collection being auctioned by Perth (Scotland) based Whisky Auctioneer covers 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.

Amongst 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. Over 230 of the bottles are single casks and include some exceptionally rare bottlings such as the 1963 50 Year Old and the 1964 48 Year Old bottled for Wealth Solutions, Poland.

Karuizawa Ghost Series, which is expected to attract a lot of attention in the Karuizawa whisky auction.

Excluding the highly rare bottle of 1960, the average price paid for each bottle within the collection is expected to top £2,000, although some of these bottles are likely to sell for considerably more.

Whisky Auctioneer will open bidding for the 290 lots at 11.00am (GMT+1) on Wednesday 5th April and close the auction from 7pm on Monday 17th April.

The sale is a coup 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.

Karuizawa is not the only Japanese distillery to benefit from such a rise in stock. Last year, the most expensive bottle of whisky to sell at an auction in the UK was a bottle of Yamazaki 50 year old which sold for £62,600.

Iain McClune, founder and owner of Whisky Auctioneer, collected the bottles personally and transported them back to Scotland, Iain commented: "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."

Occasionally bottles of Karuizawa do come available from specialist online whisky retailers such as Master of Malt and of course The Whisky Exchange who have in the past released a number of Karuizawa bottlings which were exclusive to the London based whisky shop.

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