The sale to an Asian private collector was the highlight of Sotheby’s inaugural live spirits auction in Asia, concluding a three-day sale that also included the second part of wines from the collection of Hong Kong billionaire Joseph Lau.
The Black Bowmore Archive Cabinet, which had a pre-sale estimate of about HK$4m, includes all five Black Bowmore releases, housed in a bespoke cabinet created by craftsman John Galvin.
All proceeds will go to the Islay Development Initiative, a community-based charity on the Hebridean island.
Black Bowmore, a peated single malt distilled on 5 November 1964 and matured in first-fill Sherry casks, has acquired a legendary status among whisky lovers and collectors over the past three decades.
The first edition of 2,000 bottles, aged for 29 years, was released in 1993 and priced at £80-110 a bottle. Further editions followed in 1994, 1995 and 2007, culminating in a final release in 2016 of a 50-year-old Black Bowmore with a £16,000 price-tag.
‘The exceptional result for The Black Bowmore Archive Cabinet is a fitting testament not only to the concept and attention to detail of what is an extraordinary work of art, but also to the esteem with which collectors revere Black Bowmore,’ said Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s spirits specialist.
‘Steeped in history, these whiskies transcend the concept of collectible whisky, their richly nuanced character and undeniable quality having attained legendary status over the years since their first release.’
Other highlights of the spirits sale on 18 April included a bottle of The Macallan The Red Collection 50 Year Old, which fetched HK$687,500 (US$88,500), and a 10-bottle set of Karuizawa MMA Gold Winners, sold for HK$937,500 (US$120,700).
The top lot from the sale of the Wines from the Cellar of Joseph Lau Part II on 16 April was nine bottles of Romanée Conti 1990 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, which sold for HK$3.5m (US$450,590), almost double the pre-sale estimate.
A bottle of Château d’Yquem 1865 quadrupled its estimate, fetching HK$437,500 (US$56,324), versus a pre-sale estimate of HK$65,000-95,000 (US$8,000-12,000).