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Japanese whisky retains strong performance at auction

Bonhams Hong Kong concluded its latest whisky sale on 21 January 2022, totalling HK$23.5 million. Of the top ten lots included in the sale, more than half sold above their high estimates and nine were Japanese whiskies.

Karuizawa-1960-47 year old, sold for HK$1,240,000.


The star of the sale was a 250ml Karuizawa-1960-47 year old. It is the oldest vintage known from the legendary Japanese distillery. The lot realised HK$1,240,000, almost tripling its estimate.

The auction achieved total sales of HK$23.5 million, with customers demonstrating a stronger preference for Japanese whiskies, which represented nine lots in the top ten.

Scotch sold only 80%, underlined by high performers from Macallan, Bowmore and Highland Park. In this category, Macallan Millennium-1949-50 year old sold for HK$384,400.

Daniel Lam, Bonhams’ director of wine and spirits Asia commented: “The market demand for fine and rare whiskies continues to be insatiable. This January sale, held only two months after our previous flagship auction, saw strong interest and robust bidding across the board, showing that the market appetite builds fast.”

Lam stated that first-time buyers are one driving factor, as nearly one in every five bidders from the sale were new to the company.

He said: “After some very strong seasons for Japanese whisky, we are excited to see how Scotch – now looking attractively-priced in comparison – will perform in 2022.”


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