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Rare bottle of Bowmore fetches record price at auction

A rare 30 year old bottle of second edition Black Bowmore single malt whisky has been bought for a record £11,900 in an online auction held by a Perth-based auctioneer. 

Published: January 17, 2018
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The sale, which took place on Whisky Auctioneer, saw the bottle being bought by an investor from the US for a record price, topping the previous mark of £9,500 set in 2017.

The rare Bowmore is the second of the three Oloroso cask 1964 expressions released in the mid-1990s.

As one of only 2000 bottles, it originally retailed on the high street for around £80.

However, according to the Whisky Auctioneer team it has, over the last 20 years, achieved "almost mythical status among whisky fans the world over".

The auctioneers added that it is not known how many bottles are left in circulation.

The bottle was one of over 4,500 bottles being auctioned off in December by company, securing a total of more than £1.2 million in sales, with other notable sales including a Port Ellen from 1981 which sold for £4,600 and a 27-year-old Laphroaig which went for £3,000.


Sean McGlone, director at Whisky Auctioneer believes the world record price achieved for the Black Bowmore Second Edition reflects the ongoing boom in the secondary market for rare whisky, with an increasing number of collectors, connoisseurs and investors participating in the market through online auctions.

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Adding that over the past year alone, Whisky Auctioneer has seen a 36 per cent rise in the number of users.

He said: “We were expecting some high bids for this incredible whisky, we hoped it would exceed expectations and break all previous records.

"It just goes to show how iconic this expression has become among whisky collectors and aficionados the world over. As more consumers discover the joys of rare and vintage whisky, it’s difficult to see how demand won’t continue to increase pushing up prices for those brands and bottles which are most coveted.

“Fortunately at Whisky Auctioneer we are continuing to attract some of the very best collections for sale worldwide. Having moved the world’s largest private collection of rare Japanese Karuizawa whisky last year for a record breaking amount, and setting records for icons such as this 30 year old Black Bowmore, we are developing a reputation as one of the very best whisky auctioneers available for both buyers and sellers.

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"We’ll do our bit to help growing the market by continuing to improve our service to make it easy as possible for whisky collectors to trade.”

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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