After scouring the world for the finest whisky, one man’s personal collection turned out to be the largest ever to come to auction.
Known only as Pat, this collector first bought whiskeys on the recommendation of a colleague. He then set out to explore and taste all areas of whiskey, and his collection began to grow. Almost 20 years later, Pat’s Whisk(e)y Collection (as it was known) has become the largest private collection ever to be auctioned.
He worked with auction house Whiskey Auctioneer to bring 9,000 bottles to market, and 23 auctions later the curtain closed with the last auction on November 22 last year with a total of £3,360,000 (over US$4.5 million).
According to Whiskey Auctioneer, Pat’s Whisk(e)y Collection took over a year to be auctioned off through a series of specially curated monthly auctions and dedicated sales. The collection included 5,000 Scotch single malts, over a thousand blended whiskeys and 600 American whiskeys, as well as hundreds of single grain whiskeys and independent bottlings.
Whiskey Auctioneer’s online platform for buying and selling whiskey and spirits found Pat’s collection to be unique in the company’s history, and one of the company’s greatest success stories. company never to be replicated in the secondary market.
Iain McClune, Founder of Whiskey Auctioneer, said in a prepared statement: “The Pat’s Whisk(e)y collection was historic, a unique chance for whiskey enthusiasts old and new to bid on some of the most diverse bottles of the secondary market. . The variety of whiskeys on offer was unique, with whiskeys accessible at all price points, hopefully inspiring the next generation of collectors. It is highly unlikely that we will ever see a collection as large and diverse as this, meaning this auction will go down in whiskey history, setting a precedent for future collectors.
Pat, the owner of the collection, said building a whiskey collection was never his original goal. “I just wanted to try everything and there were so many outings, distilleries and countries to explore. When I reached over 2,000 bottles I set out to create a collection that represented the full picture of whiskey and to me that meant everything from ageless statements, blends and whiskeys of the world to examples the rarest – a real showcase from all sides of such a varied spirit.
Pat said selling the collection was a deeply emotional process and “such an important part of my life. I think this incredible journey culminated in a fitting finale with these bottles being reintroduced to the market for others to enjoy, perhaps with additional knowledge gained alongside. My journey with whiskey is not over but I hope my approach will inspire whiskey lovers and future collectors to be diverse and eclectic when building their own collections. Anyone can collect whiskey and good whiskey can be found anywhere and at any price.
Highlights from the 23 auctions held include:
- The Heart & Soul: Bourbon & American Whiskey Auction (total hammer price:
- £376,183.00), October 2020.
- A Journey of Discovery: The European Bottler’s Auction (total hammer price: £302,456.00), December 2020.
- A Connoisseur’s Choice: Gordon & MacPhail Auction: (total hammer price: £246,209.00), October 2021.
- Pat’s Whisk(e)y: The Grand Finale (total hammer price: £758,223), November 2021.
Highlights of the 9,070 lots include the following hammer prices:
- Brora 1972 Rare Malts 22 years old / 60.02%: (total hammer price: £20,500)
- Glenfarclas 1952 Family Cask #1712 / Release I: (total hammer price: £18,000)
- Highland Park 50 Year Old 2018 Release / Charity Lot: (Total Hammer Price: £15,000)
- Glenfarclas 1953 Family Cask #1678 / Release I: (total hammer price: £10,100)
- Karuizawa 35 Year Old Bourbon Cask #8518 / Emerald Geisha: (total hammer price: £9,200)
- Glenfarclas 1957 Family Cask #2111 / Release I: (total hammer price: £9,000)
- 2018 release of Dalmore 45 Years: (total hammer price: £8,700)
- Glenfarclas 1955 Family Cask #2211 / Release I: (total hammer price: £8,200)
- Old Rip Van Winkle 23 Year Old Family Selection / Stitzel-Weller: (total hammer price: £8,000 hammer price)
- Eagle Rare 20 Year Old Double Eagle Very Rare 2020 Release: (Total Hammer Price: £7,600)
Inspired by Pat and to mark the end of this collection, Whiskey Auctioneer hosted the world’s first-ever Summit of Collectibility, bringing together industry leaders and experts for a discussion on modern collectors and the future of whiskey on the secondary market. The Summit of Collectibility recording is available in its entirety here.