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From whisky beginner to boffin: Auction of 9,000 bottles raises more than £3.3 million

The whisky collection was the largest in the world to be auctioned.
The whisky collection was the largest in the world to be auctioned.

Over 9,000 bottles of whiskies from a man’s personal collection have raised more than £3.3 million in auctions.

According to the Whisky Auctioneer, Pat’s Whisk(e)y Collection is the largest in the world to come to auction.

The collection of over 9,000 bottles took over 12 months and 23 auctions to sell off – raising £3,360,000.

A sample of Pat’s Whisky Collection. Supplied by Whisky Auctioneer.

It featured over 5,000 Scotch single malts, more than 1,000 blended whiskies, over 600 American whiskies and hundreds of “often-overlooked” grain whiskies and independent bottlings.

Highlights included a Brora 1972, bottled as part of the rare malts series, which sold for £20,500 and a Glenfarclas 1952, which fetched £18,000.

A winning bid of £15,000 was paid for a bottle of Highland Park 50-year-old.

Additionally, nine of the auctions were curated exclusively from Pat’s collection.

The Heart and Soul: Bourbon and American Whiskey Auction held in 2020 between October 9 and 19 raised £376,183 in total.

During Pat’s Grand Finale, £23,759 was raised for Teenage Cancer Trust. The Whiskey Auctioneer contributed a further £2,375.90 to the charity.

Building a collection was ‘never actually my original goal’

The collector, known only as Pat, bought his first whiskies based on the recommendation of a colleague.

His determination to explore and taste every area of whisky soon outstripped his ability to open the bottles he was acquiring and so he began his collection.

Pat from Pat’s Whisk(e)y Collection. Supplied by Whisky Auctioneers.

Pat said: “Building a whisky collection was never actually my original goal – I simply wanted to try everything and there were so many releases, distilleries and countries to explore.

“When I reached over 2,000 bottles, I decided to create a collection that represented the full picture of whisky and for me, that meant everything from non-age statements, blends and world whiskies to the rarest examples – a true showcase of all sides of such a varied spirit.”

However, he explained that selling the collection was a “deeply emotional process” for him.

He added: “My journey with whisky is not over but I hope my approach will inspire whisky lovers and future collectors to be diverse and eclectic when constructing their own collections.

“Anyone can collect whisky and good whisky can be discovered anywhere and at any price.”

Iain McClune, founder of Whisky Auctioneer, described Pat’s Whisk(e)y Collection as “historic” and as a “once in a lifetime chance” for whisky lovers to bid on some of the most diverse bottles.

He said: “The variety of whiskies on offer was unique, with whiskies accessible at every price point, hopefully inspiring the next generation of collectors.

“It’s highly unlikely we’ll ever see a collection as large and diverse as this one, meaning this auction will go down in whisky history, setting a precedent for future collectors.”

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