Aficionados of fine, rare whiskies will be presented with an unparalleled collecting opportunity when the renowned Willard S Folsom Collection goes to block on December 17 at Bonhams New York.
Folsom - a sports fan, football handicapper, race car driver, master of finance, scuba diver, skydiver, and salsa dancer at various times in his life - began his love affair with whisky in 1988 while reading a list of the best bars in the United States for single malt.
Included in the list was a restaurant ten minutes from Willard's home in Burlingame, California. After attending his first single malt Scotch tasting he immediately became a devotee of the whisky arts.
For the next 18 years Willard amassed his private collection.
Starting with establishing relationships within San Francisco's Scotch community it was not long before he began travelling the world in search of rare bottles. Having toured the Highlands, the Lowlands, Speyside, Islay, and Orkney, he purchased whisky from all over Scotland and the rest of the UK- resulting in a collection of over 3,000 bottles.
Following the successful sale of a portion of the vast collection in Edinburgh and another sampling to be offered on November 27th in Hong Kong, part three of the sale will take place at the New York galleries of Bonhams and consists of nearly 900 lots of premier single malt whisky.
The meticulously selected collection ranges from single malts distilled in the 70s and 80s to a 1924 Royal Brackla 60 year old estimated at $2,400-3,300.
The New York sale is being held in conjunction with Bedford Wine Merchants.
Undoubtedly one of the most sought after lots will be the Dalmore 50 year old.
It is beautifully presented in a crystal decanter along with a hand crafted wooden presentation case. Carrying an estimate of $6,500-7,300 it is sure to draw serious collector attention.
Also of great interest is the Dalmore 30 year old. This 150th Anniversary issue is offered in an Edinburgh Crystal decanter with sterling silver labelling. Bottle 37 out of a limited run of 50 and never for sale on the open market, the lot is estimated at $2,400-3,300.
The Balvenie 50 year old is also highly anticipated. Distilled in 1937 and bottled 50 years later, the bottle is designed to replicate the bottling style of the 1930s when it was originally distilled. This nostalgic lot is expected to fetch $4,900-5,700.
Another lot certain to attract bidders is a group of limited edition Springbank whiskies. Bottled for the millennium at five year intervals from 25 to 50 years maturation in the cask, the lot is comprised of Springbank 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, and 50 year old. The six bottle lot carries an estimate of $3,000-5,000.
Two 1940s Macallan's will also highlight the sale. Accompanied by a miniature for sampling purposes, the 1948 Macallan Select Reseve 51 year old is estimated at $3,500-$4,500. The 1946 Macallan Select Reserve 52 year old is numbered 536 and is expected to bring $2,000-2,300.
Also cause for excitement is an 18 year old Bowmore. Estimated at $3,300-4,100, this rarely seen bottle was distilled and bottled by Sherriff's Bowmore Distillery in the 1950s.
Other notable lots to be offered are a rare, limited edition 1963 Laphroaig 40 year old (est. $1,100-1,500); a limited edition Aultmore Centenary 16 year old only available to employees of the distillery (est. $900-1,200); and a 1963 Bowmore, bottled especially for a dinner at Chateau La Grange marking the 30th Anniversary of Morrison Bowmore's ownership of the distillery (estimated at $900-1,200).
"We're extremely excited to present this collection," said Martin Green, Director of Whisky at Bonhams.
"Not only is it the largest collection ever to come to auction; it is also distinguished by the fact that Folsom bought multiples whenever possible, which allowed him to take pleasure in actually drinking many of these bottles - highly unusual for a collector."
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