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Auctions: Anyone with experience?

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@RianC
RianC started a discussion

I've dabbled with using auction houses but never took the plunge, until today! Im using a UK based house and have already set a few markers - all on old (90s to 70s) blends.

I was amazed at how low a cost some of them went for last month which spurred me on to sign up. Hopefully I can finally snag that 80's, or earlier, bottle of JW black I've been on the lookout for without breaking the bank.

Has anyone here used them? If so, any tips? I'd be especially interested to hear about any bargains folk have found over the years.

Thanks

5 months ago

16 replies

@Alexsweden
Alexsweden replied

Never have, but I wish you good luck sir!

5 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Hewie
Hewie replied

Only bid what you're willing to pay. A friend accidentally won an auction for a bottle from a closed distillery. It cost her less than half what they go for in the UK but it was still a lot of dosh. I think she had an awkward conversation with her partner explaining how she accidentally bought the bottle by putting on a bid she was sure would be beaten!

5 months ago 4Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@Alexsweden - Thanks, good Sir!

@Hewie - Excellent point, thanks. The site allows you to place a hidden maximum bet so I've set them up so I can place one more small bet at the close if needed. So long as I keep my self-control it should be fine ...

5 months ago 1Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt

@RianC, if I had easy access to reputable auctions, I'd be bidding on the same stuff as you.

5 months ago 2Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

Three days to go until the hammer is down and I'm still alive on a few bottles but at my limit on a couple. It's my first stab at this so will learn from the experience and Ill admit I'm getting a little more nervous and excited as the deadline approaches.

I have some back up choices, just in case, and was fairly certain of my choices and amounts. That is until I started perusing the malts section earlier and saw some achingly desirable older bottles going for (relatively!) low prices. I also need to remind myself, come the evening in question, that there will be many more opportunities.

I think this could become quite addictive ...

5 months ago 4Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

Success! I managed to get the two main bottles I wanted and only went £5 over budget. They are, a JW Black from the 80s, boxed (not that I cared) and with what looked to be a decent fill level. Yes, please! Honestly thought I'd get outbid at the last but my luck was in.

Second is a Ballentine's 12, again from the 80s and @43%, 75cl and was exported for the Italian market. That's what I paid extra for but it looked in great condition and that it was exported there tells me it has a good chance of being very good. In fact, next time, I'll be hunting down those Italian imports - more liquor, higher abv and potentially better than standard at the time.

My third bottle is a ltr of White Horse from the 90s. I paid very little for it and bid low and early, more than expecting to be outbid. I wouldn't have chased this one but I've always been curious about it and now I have a ltr to get through!

All in all, a pleasing haul and I can't wait to try that JWB. Now I'm after a 60s or 70s bottle ha ha the fun never ends!

5 months ago 7Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge replied

@RianC, nice score!

On Saturday I had a couple of smashes of Johnnie Walker Black from a new bottle, 40%. It was delicious! I’ll be buying one very soon. I have an open bottle of JW Black from the 80s, it has held up well. It’s delicious!

5 months ago 2Who liked this?

@Alexsweden
Alexsweden replied

Nice, congratulations!

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@Alexsweden - Thanks, man! I might crack the JW at the weekend ...

4 months ago 0

@Alexsweden
Alexsweden replied

Let us know how you find it!

Also, I want to recommend a video for you if you're going to continue pursuing auctions. An apparently rather controversial figure, namely ralfy, has got some content about auctions. Now regardless of whether or not you're in the anti-vaxx camp i do believe that he is quite the experienced buyer and probably has a thing or two to say that might be helpful.

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@Alexsweden - Have you got a link? I have seen ralfy speak about auctions/taste old bottles in one of his vlogs before. His reference to the quality of older blends being better was what initially piqued my curiosity.

4 months ago 0

@Alexsweden
Alexsweden replied

Here's one: youtu.be/Rwd-2oeVUIc

I do believe that there are a couple of others and I'm not 100% sure this is the one I was thinking about. I believe one of them is one of the rare occasions that he films at home and not In the bothy. I hope it helps!

Also I would imagine that the higher the price and provenance if the bottle the higher the risk of fraud. Have you seen the very entertaining Netflix movie about wine auctions? I believe it's called sour grapes. Highly recommended!

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@Alexsweden - Excellent, thanks and apologies for the delayed response! I think I know the vlog you mean - back in his Glasgow place of I recall?

Not seen the Netflix thing either but will look it up. My partner would no doubt like it too.

Cheers

4 months ago 0

@RianC
RianC replied

Just scored a few more old blends from auction. I told you it could get addictive laughing

Three JW Reds: a 70s and 80s both 75cl @40% and a ltr 90s (Malaysian import) @ 43%.

I also got a J&B from the 70s (Italian import) also at 43% and 75cl.

All with good fill levels and decent nick. I feel a decade on decade flight coming up grin

I paid just a touch more for the 70s bottles than I wanted but got the two other JW Reds for a steal! Will have to keep sniffing for more old Black Labels as they were just out of reach this time. Still very happy with that little haul though.

4 months ago 4Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

@RianC I hope the Reds are better than the current version. I'm pretty sure all blends were better in those days than most of the Draino we're getting now.

4 months ago 2Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@BlueNote - The last Red I had was a litre bottle bought in Vietnam about 7 years ago. It was OK then but not really a sipper. I did enjoy red back in the 2000s though (as much as my undeveloped palate could) and by all accounts it seems that the quality really started to dip in the past decade. Personally, i 'd guess that when they rebranded for the new millennium and switched the Walking Man around is when the quality started to noticeably drop off. I hear the current red isn't much more than gut rot ...

I think the 70s and 80s ones will be excellent. The 90s is more of a gamble, but that it's an export to the Asian market at 43% gives me hope. It was only £22 as well so less than what I'd likely pay for a current ltr of Red ...

I like blends but there are just very few that appeal like these older ones do. Seriously, if I could access affordable blends half as good as that JWB I'd drink them more than malts.

4 months ago 2Who liked this?

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