Auction Report: Whisky Auction’s January Auction

13. January 2016 | 4.5K Views
Please note that this article is based on the old Whiskystats database.
Some numbers and figures may not match what you find in the Whiskystats 2.0 database.

To support the first ever whisky auction live podcast, we used the whiskystats database to predict the prices for some lots of the most recent Whisky Auction‘s online auction. The hammer fell last Saturday (9th of January 2016), so now it is time to compare our predictions with the actually achieved prices. 

Some weeks ago the idea was born to make a live coverage of bidding at an online auction. Steven Zeller, also known as SmokyBeast, teamed up with some fellow whisky collectors to create the first ever whisky auction live podcast. The result is an entertaining recording of them as the talk shop about their intended bottles and fail and win as they bid on them. You can find the podcast on soundcloud. To support them, we estimated the prices of some of their objects of desire prior to the auction deadline.
As this is the first time we officially used our database to estimate future auction prices, we are thrilled to see how accurate these preditictions were. The following predictions are the exact wording we gave to SmokeyBeast & Co. three days prior to the auction. The results are the hammer prices for the single lots. We marked the results green if we were happy with our prediction, brown if it was not too bad and red in all other cases.
Ardbeg 16yo (Vintage 1998) Malts of Scotland
Lot IM060b
Prediction: “In June and July of 2015 this bottle was regularly traded for 170 Euros. Before and after that, prices are around 200 Euros and up to 240. Last price observation was in September though. Below 250 seems possible, everything above would be an all time high.”
Result: 171€ We slightly overestimated the price. It bounced back to the level of the mid of last year.

Lagavulin 21yo (Vintage 1991) OB
Lot IM538
Prediction: “According to our database, this bottle was sold in October for 900 Euros. This looks like an extreme outlier though, since in the same month we also have a trade for around 650 Euros. Ignoring this outlier, prices seem to decline since the peak in the midth of 2014 (600-700 Euros). Latest prices are below 600 and even go as low as 525 (May 2015). A price below 600 seems reasonable.”
Result: 600€ Spot on! October’s 775 Euro were indeed only an outlier.

Lagavulin (Feis Ile 2014) 19yo (Vintage 1995) OB
Lot IM546b
Prediction: “Prices are back at the initial level of 400 Euros. The peak was reached this year in April with 500 Euros. Prices slightly above 400 Euros seem fair. Everything below 400 is a real bargain. Wouldn’t go beyond 500.”
Result: 340€ The downward trend continued. Lowest ever recorded price. True bargain or about to lose more value in the upcoming months?

Laphroaig 21yo (60th Anniversary Bottling) Douglas Laing & Co.
Lot IM605
Prediction: “We haven’t seen this one for a long time. Last prices come from June 2013 where it was sold for around 230 Euros. In the period from mid 2013 to November 2015 the Laphroaig index climbed by 50%. Consequently prices for around 340 Euros and above seem possible”
Result: 405€ Slightly above our prediction, but when considering our improvised price projection method not that bad indeed!

Port Ellen 19yo (Vintage 1977) Hart Brothers
Lot IM660
Prediction: “Last observations come from April 2014 with 280 Euros. Best guess is again taking the Port Ellen index increase since 04/2014 as a reference. Consequently, a price of 350 Euros is possible. Everything above would mean a higher increase than those of the most traded Port Ellens in average.”
Result: 371€ Again slightly above our prediction, but again we are pretty happy with our price projection method.

Port Ellen Cask Strength Collection 26yo (Vintage 1982) Signatory Vintage Scotch Whisky
Lot IM690
Prediction: “Prices climbed from 300 to 370 Euros in the last three years. Taking into account that the last observation was in March 2015 a price above 400 is likely.”
Result: 605€ Although we expected a price above 400 Euros, we honestly did not have 600 Euros in mind.

Port Ellen The Old Malt Cask 23yo (Vintage 1978) Douglas Laing & Co.
Lot IM667
Prediction: “The price level for this bottle is on a steady rise. Sold in November 2015 for 410 Euros. One can hope that the price does stabilise as the Port Ellen index does, but 450 Euros are possible.”
Result: 451€ No comment 🙂

Macallan 26yo (Vintage 1975) Gordon & MacPhail
Lot HM821
Prediction: “Last prices are from one and half-year ago with 230 Euros. Since then, the Macallan index climbed by 20%. Consequently, prices between 250 and 300 can be expected.”
Result: 375€ Obviously, our rude price projection method is not impeccable.

Macallan 20yo (Vintage 1978) Gordon & MacPhail
Lot HM825
Prediction: “Based on the Macallan index we expect prices to be below their mid 2015 peak. 200 to 250 Euros seem most likely. Anything below 200 would be a (preferable) surprise.”
Result: 255€ No surprise, and only slightly above our predicted interval.

Bowmore Stamps 15yo (Vintage 1998) Gordon & MacPhail
Lot IM189a
Prediction: “Prices declined in 2015 from 190 to 130 Euros. Likely to stay at a level below 150 Euros.”
Result: 131€ Looks like the prices indeed stabilise on that level.

Bunnahabhain 17yo (Vintage 1979) Signatory Vintage Scotch Whisky
Lot IM387
Prediction: “Traded every two years, always gaining around 100 Euros. Naively following that, 450 to 500 Euros are the best guess. But seriously, everything below 450 or even 400 should be fair.”
Result: 400€ We have to admit, this was a pretty lucky guess.

So this was the roundup of our first little auction prediction. We really enjoyed seeing our database in action and are pretty satisfied with it’s prediction capabilities. Actually, our predicitons were only guesses based on the whiskystats price observations and indices. We are looking forward to the next auctions and maybe we can improve the precision of our predictions.