Bonhams Hong Kong To Auction Rare Japanese and Scotch Whiskies

In Hong Kong next month auction house Bonhams will be auctioning rare whiskies, a passion investment segment that is growing at a rapid pace.

Highlights include highly sought-after whiskies from the now silent Japanese distilleries Karuizawa and Hanyu (both of which have closed down and ceased production), and Scotch distilleries Macallan, Balvenie and Glenfiddich.

Headlining the sale will be the a magnificent full set (54 bottles) of Hanyu Ichiro's Card Series, which is offered first time in auction history with an estimation of HK$1,800,000 - HK$ 2,400,000.

Founded by the Akuto family, the Hanyu distillery has an intriguing history. The Akutos have been brewing sake as far back as 1626 in Chichibu. They began making single malt whisky when the 19th generation of the family Isouji Akuto set up a distillery in Hanyu in 1941.

In 2000, the Hanyu distillery was sold and shut down due to ailing business. Isouji's grandson Ichiro Akuto, determined to let the Hanyu name live on, rescued 400 casks from the distillery, with vintages ranging from 1985 to 2000. The top 54 single cask barrels were bottled and sold as the Ichiro 'Playing Card' series, with the first expression released in 2005, and the last – the Joker – in 2014.

Since debuting in 2005, the 54-bottle series has been sought after by many whisky lovers. Because of its rarity, it is seldom seen on the auction market. Only 3 collectors in the world are said to be in possession of the complete series. The upcoming auction at Bonhams provides a good opportunity for ardent collectors to get their hands on this highly coveted series.

Daniel Lam, wine and whisky specialist at Bonhams Hong Kong, says "In just a few years, whisky has become the choice of spirit for many buyers in the region – a development that we hadn't anticipated. As the number of whisky collectors in the region increase, we believe that whiskies of tip-top quality, or those which have long ceased production, are in shortage. Under such circumstances, auction houses are a reliable source for collectors to get their hands on precious drams at reasonable prices. I hope that whisky lovers and collectors will not miss the range of rare and precious whiskies on offer at our upcoming auction."


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