Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus detects a rare selection of whiskies in Edinburgh

It feels like too long since Bonhams last held a whisky sale, but thankfully Martin Green and his team there have brought together a truly superb range of drams for lovers of fine single malt Scotches everywhere.

Next month's auction in Edinburgh boasts over 500 lots of the finest drams around with everything from Bowmore to Springbank and from Laphroaig to Talisker.

Lovers of the Macallan will be particularly happy as there are a good few dozen lots devoted to the brand, headed by a bottle of The Macallan-1938 which is listed at £1,300-1,500, and another of The Macallan Select Reserve-52 year old-1946 at £1,800-2,000. Both are still in their presentation cases with the levels in the neck.

One rather unusual offering is a bottle of Highland Park Rebus-20 year old. The whisky was named in honour of the 20th anniversary of the first Inspector Rebus novel from the hugely popular detective series set in Edinburgh which began in 1987.

The 44.7% volume 700ml bottle in contained in its original case, which is signed by Rebus's author, Ian Rankin, and expected to sell for around £800-1,000.

Lovers of Dalmore will be delighted to see a squat bottle of the Dalmore 50 year old-1926. It is presented in its original carton accompanied by a stopper and is listed at £2,000-2,200.

Dalmore 50 year old whisky
Dalmore 50 year old whisky

Springbank fans, on the other hand will instantly notice a set of Springbanks on offer from the 2001 release, with six bottles representing intervals from 25 to 50 years aging. The whole selection carries a relatively modest estimate of £3,500-4,000 - a good investment at that price.

None of these are the top lots, however, as Bowmore and Glamis have single bottle offerings which are expected to cause a great deal of excitement amongst bidders.

The Bowmore-40 year old-Vintage 1955 is presented in Caithness Glass decanter number 73 of 306, accompanied by stopper and held in a fitted wooden cabinet within the original packaging. 

The dram even comes accompanied by a certificate of authenticity which invites the buyer of the lot to visit the distillery to sample the unique whisky, with accommodation provided. It is valued at £5,500-6,000.

Glamis 10 year old whisky
Glamis 10 year old whisky

It is a bottle of Glamis-10 year old-20th Century which tops off the sale. Containing an impressive 4/5 of a quart of unblended Pot Still Malt at 86 degrees US proof, the level is on the shoulder (It is marked to note that Federal Law Forbids Sale or re-use of the bottle on the shoulder).

Previously imported to the US, it is now on offer at £8,000-10,000. Intriguingly, a bottle in the same sale which is thought to be the same stuff but which is missing its label carries an estimate of ¼ the confirmed kind. Bonhams' sale takes place in Edinburgh on November 17.


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