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Personal whisky collection of over 9,000 bottles sells for over £3M

A man who has travelled the world in pursuit of good whisky, has made history after selling his personal collection - the largest in the world to come to auction.

Published: January 27, 2022
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Working with Whisky Auctioneer, over 9,000 bottles and 23 auctions later the curtain has closed with the final auction on 22 November 2021 bringing the total to £3,360,000 (over $4.5 million USD).

Unprecedented on the secondary market, 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.

Featuring over 5,000 Scotch single malts, more than 1,000 blended whiskies, over 600 American whiskies and hundreds of often overlooked grain whiskies and independent bottlings, Pat’s Whisky Collection is the most complete picture of whisky ever brought to market.

The collector, known only as Pat, bought his first whiskies based on the recommendation of a colleague.

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. 

Almost 20 years later, Pat’s Whisk(e)y Collection became the largest private collection ever to go to auction. 

Pat’s Whisk(e)y Collection was sold via Whisky Auctioneer.

A collection like no other, it has been one of the company’s biggest success stories and will likely never be replicated on the secondary market.

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Iain McClune, Founder of Whisky Auctioneer, 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, the collection’s owner, 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.

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"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.

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"Anyone can collect whisky and good whisky can be discovered anywhere and at any price.”

This last auction completed twenty-three auctions, nine of which were curated exclusively from Pat’s Whisk(e)y Collection.

Highlights from these curated auctions include:

  • The Heart & Soul: Bourbon & American Whiskey Auction (total hammer price: £376,183.00), 9 October 2020 - 19 October 2020
  • A Journey of Discovery: The European Bottler’s Auction (total hammer price:  £302,456.00), 10 December 2020 - 14 December 2020
  • A Connoisseur’s Choice: Gordon & MacPhail Auction: (total hammer price:  £246,209.00), 8 October 2021 - 18 October 2021
  • Pat’s Whisk(e)y: The Grand Finale (total hammer price: £758,223), 12 November 2021 - 22 November 2021.

Highlights from across the 9,070 lots include the following hammer prices:

  • Brora 1972 Rare Malts 22 Year Old / 60.02%: (total hammer price:  £20,500)
  • Glenfarclas 1952 Family Cask #1712 / Release I: (total hammer price: £18,000)
  • Highland Park 50 Year Old 2018 Release / Charity Lot: (total hammer price: £15,000)
  • Glenfarclas 1953 Family Cask #1678 / Release I: (total hammer price: £10,100)
  • Karuizawa 35 Year Old Bourbon Cask #8518 / Emerald Geisha: (total hammer price: £9,200)
  • Glenfarclas 1957 Family Cask #2111 / Release I: (total hammer price: £9,000)
  • Dalmore 45 Years Old 2018 Release: (total hammer price: £8,700)
  • Glenfarclas 1955 Family Cask #2211 / Release I: (total hammer price: £8,200)
  • Old Rip Van Winkle 23 Year Old Family Selection / Stitzel-Weller: (total hammer price: £8,000 hammer price)
  • Eagle Rare 20 Year Old Double Eagle Very Rare 2020 Release: (total hammer price: £7,600)

Mid-October to mid-November 2021 saw Whisky Auctioneer’s largest sales month in both value and volume, with site sales including a £758,000 hammer price for the grand finale sale of Pat’s Whisk(e)y Collection with £26,200 of this grand total going to Teenage Cancer Trust,  £5 million in sales during its October auction, and £246,000 raised through a specialist Gordon & MacPhail auction.

Inspired by Pat and to mark the end of this historical collection, Whisky Auctioneer ran the world’s first-ever Summit of Collectability, bringing industry leaders and experts together to pioneer a discussion around modern collectors and the future of whisky within the secondary market. 

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

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