Japan and across the world have started to give fine Japanese whiskies the attention they deserve. Whisky connoisseurs should be glad to know that there will be an impressive Japanese contingent in the Whisky Auction Featuring Closed Distilleries on February 6, 2015, at Bonhams Hong Kong. As Daniel Lam of the Bonhams Wine & Whisky Department in Hong Kong says, “Japanese whisky has now well and truly arrived on the international stage and no serious buyer or collector of whisky will want to miss the chance to own these exquisite and rare whiskies.”
The 250-lot auction will offer rare single malts from the most sought after brands in
Japan, including whiskies from several now-closed distilleries, such as the celebrated pair of Karuizawa and Hanyu. The termination of Hanyu was a great disappointment for Broom, but the mothballing of Karuizawa was a disaster.
Bonhams has established itself as one of the world’s premier auctioneers of Japanese whisky in 2014, with
• More than 380 bottles auctioned across three sales.
• More than 99% were sold by lot, totals were 40% higher than estimates
• Spectacular successes: a bottle of Yamazaki 50-year old sold in August for HK$257,250, while a bottle of Karuizawa 33-year old took HK$245,000.
The story of Japanese whisky isn’t one of unpredictable, overnight success. Whiskies from
Japan have been winning accolades at the Whisky Magazine Awards, including the coveted Best Single Malt, for several years.
“We are perhaps more eager to see it as something new, rather than as an industry which has been producing since 1928.” says Dave Broom, author of The World Atlas of Whisky.