Sam Hellyer, head of wines and spirits at Chiswick Auctions (21% buyer’s premium), said: “It was one of those things that came in from a private vendor who owned a house clearance company. They sent me a number of pictures of various whiskies to value from a collector’s home. Most of the items were worth less than £100 individually, but the second I saw this I knew it was something a little special and in great condition.”
The label was key: “That instantly dated it to sometime around the mid-1970s when the measurement of bottled spirits moved to metric. Unusually, it has both measurements on it, so it could be from either side of the change, but it made it easy to identify.
“Looking at previous auctions, it had been going up in value for the last six years every time a bottle appeared in the market. I valued it between £800-1200 and it sold for £1000 – anything that sells bang in the middle of my estimate is always gratifying.”
The Laphroaig, offered in the Wines & Spirits sale on October 27, was bought by a European wine and spirits merchant.