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It has hired independent whisky specialist Adam Irvine to work with its consultant Colin Fraser, who will lead the whisky department.

Fraser, who was worked with L&T as a silver, coins, medals, arms and armour specialist since 2005, said: “We are Scotland's oldest firm of auctioneers. Why have we not been doing focused whisky sales? This is about rectifying that.

“Whisky is a huge market and is at an all-time high in terms of interest and the number of bottles on the market. As always, good things sell well – fortunately there are a lot of good things on the market.”

The firm plans its first auction for December 5 and could hold up to three a year.

Internet-savvy buyers

The December sale will be a live auction in its Edinburgh saleroom with live bidding available on its own platform L&T Live, thesaleroom.com and Invaluable. It will include around 100 lots with estimates starting at £100 and going up to £20,000 for top estimates. In line with the wines, spirits and whisky sector, the buyer’s premium is 15%.    

Fraser added: “We are taking what we know about auctions and using that knowledge, that marketing expertise, and bringing it to whisky. The whisky market is very internet-savvy.”

He believes there will be an ability to cross-sell from existing auction clients into whisky and to attract new whisky-buying customers across its other sectors.

One of the December sale highlights is a Macallan 1971 bottle estimated at £10,000-15,000.

A number of auction houses hold dedicated whisky sales, including McTear’s and Bonhams.

Last month Bonhams sold a 1926 60-year-old Macallan with a label by Valerio Adami for a premium-inclusive £848,750 and Sotheby’s New York sold a 1926 60-year-old Macallan with a label by artist Sir Peter Blake for a premium-inclusive $843,200.