Never Behind the Times
The whisky you have been waiting for is finally released. But before you get the chance to drop into store or even get online, every bottle has been sold. But that is not the end of a bottle's story - it is usually just the beginning. Nobody could ever say to have seen it all when it comes to whisky, but our resident Auctions Manager Christoffer Hallstrom must come very close. In his own words, "there are more than just one or two reasons why people buy bottles at Auctions." Here, Christoffer suggests six reasons why you should use Auctions to buy your spirits.
1. Bottles you won't find in-store
Our stores can only stock so many bottles. And some bottles are not even sold online, never mind in-store. They may be distributed through an exclusive giveaway, sold at one particular event, or are being distributed via ballot. At Auctions, hard-to-locate expressions like this are listed every day. Bimber's Spirit of the Underground Single Casks were released via an online ballot, making it impossible to purchase directly. However, once the ballot was completed, Auctions came in to save the day. This "Victoria Station" edition hailed from a single cask that yielded only 271 bottles, so without Auctions Bimber fans may have found it particularly difficult to snap up this one.
2. Completing a set
As any whisky collector also knows, completing a set can take a bit of work. But because a single bottle will not be worth as much by itself as when it is part of a set, if you can play your cards right at auction you can walk away with the whisky you need for a steal of a price. Bottles of the splendid The Macallan The Harmony Collection may be scarce in stores, but at TWS Auctions you have the luxury to cherry-pick from this range as you please.
3. Finding particularly old bottles
On top of decadently aged malts and blends, you can also find affordable opportunities to taste fan-favourite whiskies from a certain era that collectors have stored. This Johnnie Walker Red Label went under the hammer in 2021 at a very reasonable £55, despite being carefully stored for over 50 years. On top of the visual appeal, you can taste the whisky of a particular era exactly as it was then. If you can find time-travelling experiences elsewhere at such affordability, do let us know.
4. Missing a new release
Occasionally a whisky may take your eye but all the bottles have been snapped up before you make up your mind. But there is no need to fret, as new releases often find a second wind at auctions. Popular expressions usually show their popularity under the hammer, so it can also be a useful way to gauge how a new release has been received by the whisky community. You might want to browse our current new releases for more reasons than you may think. Given the unprecedented nature of the entire industry's drop in production, the casks of whisky produced over the last two years are forecast to be highly sought-after and valuable over the next few decades. At this time, everyone from customers to master blenders are undoubtedly involved in an important period of whisky history.
5. Exclusive releases from abroad
There is only so much luggage space one can fill up with whisky (one whisky-lover familiar to our team recently squeezed in seven bottles in his hold luggage, which we think might be an informal record). But you cannot stay on holiday forever, and often in returning home you can find it hard to snap up a far-away distillery's latest offerings and releases. Luckily enough, Auctions is browsed upon from countries all across the world, and we regularly receive spirits that only a privileged few may be aware of. This marvellous Chichibu was released exclusively in Norway and Sweden (so Auctions can officially save you a flight as well as money).
6. Reliving a whisky memory
The sensations of smell and taste have a curiously strong relationship with memory. A particular aroma can transport you to a specific time in your life; a holiday abroad, a mother's baking, or of family gathered round the table for Christmas. Whisky can unlock memories you had forgotten about and relive those which you cherish: a trip to your favourite distillery perhaps, or a bottle purchased to remember an event. If you are as nostalgic as we are, these bottles are at high-risk of being frequently imbibed from. But through our skilled auctioneers, you may be able to find this exact liquid so you can re-live this again. It is our opinion that as much as memories are there to be made, they are also there to be remembered.
The original feature is from the Spring 2022 edition of Whiskeria, delivered to the door of W Club subscribers and also free with any Whisky Shop purchase in store or online. Click here to read the full Spring 2022 issue of Whiskeria online for free.