Karuizawa sets world record at auction

A 1960 bottle of Karuizawa sold for HK$918,750 at Bonhams’ Friday auction – the most ever paid for a single bottle of Japanese whisky.

1960 Karuizawa world recordProving that Asia’s thirst for rare Japanese whisky remains unquenched, Hong Kong’s auction house, Bonhams achieved two world records at its whisky sale last Friday.

A bottle of 1960 Karuizawa “The Cockerel” sold for HK$918,750, a new world auction record for any single bottle of Japanese whisky and Hanyu Ichiro’s Full Cards Series (52 cards and 2 jokers) went for HK$ 3,797,500, – another new world auction record for any Japanese whisky series, proving that the recent stock market turmoil hasn’t dented demand.

Both lots went to a single buyer from South East Asia by telephone, said the auction house.

One of only 41 bottles ever made after ageing for 52 years in casks, the Karuizawa is one of the rarest bottles in existence – especially since the distillery closed down in 2000.

Daniel Lam of the Bonhams wine department in Hong Kong said, “As the first auction house that brought whisky sale to Asia in 2009, our Bonhams Hong Kong team has been working our best since then to introduce different exceptionally high quality whiskies to our clients around the world. The record result is the reflection of the strong demand for the outstanding quality of the whiskies in the sale, regardless of the recent global economic slowdown.”

Ichiro card series

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