Private collection of rare whiskies worth toasting

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 November, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 20 November, 2009, 12:00am

After holding Hong Kong's first wine auction in April last year following a decade-long hiatus, Bonhams will set another precedent next Friday by holding the city's first whisky auction, where aficionados can bid for the most prized single malts to go under the hammer.

The auction house will offer more than 150 lots from the Willard S. Folsom Collection of Old and Rare Whiskies, a single-owner collection of more than 3,000 bottles, the largest ever auctioned.

Amassed over two decades, the collection features Ardbeg, Bowmore, Dalmore, Glenfiddich, Laphroaig, Springbank, Kinclaith, Killyloch, Ben Wyvis, Glen Grant, Glenmorangie, The Glenlivet, Strathmill, Mortlach and The Macallan.

The late Willard S. Folsom began his long love affair with single-malt whisky in 1988 after attending a tasting. He soon became a whisky lover, travelling the world in search of rare bottles, snapping up the best in the Scottish Highlands, the Lowlands, Speyside, Islay and Orkney and anywhere else he could find them.

'In over 20 years of conducting whisky auctions,' noted Martin Green, Bonhams whisky specialist, 'this is the most exciting collection I have ever handled'.

Among other fine whiskies, top lots include a first-edition Glenfiddich, a 1938 Macallan Speymalt, a 1959 Glenlivet from its Cellar Collection, and a 40-year-old Laphroaig.

Wine lovers won't be disappointed, either, as the auction house will also host its most diverse Fine and Rare Wines Auction ever. The sale of more than 500 lots will feature several local collectors' wines stored in European cellars, including remarkable clarets from years 1982, 1986, 1989 and 2000, fine wines from Lafite, Latour, Mouton, Haut Brion, La Mission Haut Brion and Petrus.

Burgundy wines from the legendary Domaine de la Romanee Conti, Rousseau, G. Roumier, J.F. Mugnier, Leroy, Coche Dury and Ramonet are available. Completing the wine selection is a major collection of Californian cult wines.