Islay whisky auction tops £130,000

Just some of the whiskies auctioned off as part of the collection.

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A treasure trove of rare whiskies produced by legendary distilleries on Islay have sold at auction for £138,000.

More than 100 buyers from 20 different countries bid for the 268 lots contained in ‘Pat’s Whisky Collection’.

The mystery seller decided to part with his 9,000 bottle library last year through a series of auctions as part of his mission to share his passion for whisky by passing his bottles to new owners.

Billed by auctioneers as the ‘largest private collection of whisky’ it had ever put under the hammer, it also sees £10,000 – a percentage of the proceeds raised – going to Islay-based charities and projects.

The collection was also sold to commemorate Islay’s festival of music and malt – Fèis Ìle – held during virtually this year during the last week of May – and the incredible bottlings the event has inspired over nearly three decades.

Established almost 30 years ago, the festival usually draws visitors from across the globe to experience the island’s community, culture, and world-renowned whisky.

Islay by Ben Shakespeare.

The auction saw limited-edition Fèis Ìle expressions from distilleries including Port Ellen, Laphroaig, Bruichladdich and Ardbeg.

It was conducted by the Perth-based Whisky Auctioneer between Friday May 14 and  Monday May 25.

Whiskies included the 1981 single cask Port Ellen, which was hailed as arguably one of its rarest around, with only 220 bottles in existence. It sold for £7,000 alone.

Also in the collection was Bowmore’s 25-year-old anniversary which was bottled to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the annual Fèis Ìle festivities.

In 2010, Bowmore released just 100 bottles of the limited edition signed 25-year-old. It went for £2,500.

Joe Wilson, of the Whisky Auctioneer, said: ‘Fèis Ìle is an iconic celebration of whisky and Islay culture that draws people back to the island year after year.

‘From Port Ellen to Bowmore and Bruichladdich to Ardbeg, this collection of Fèis Ìle bottlings is without a doubt the largest and most complete that we have ever encountered.’

Mr Wilson said the collection included ‘incredibly scarce malts’ produced to celebrate the iconic whisky region.

The sale also featured whisky donated to the Fèis Ìle committee by distilleries in order to raise charitable funds for the island for its Islay Wave Project, which focuses on ways to support culture, artists and youth.

Florence Grey, chairperson at the Fèis Ìle committee, said: ‘Fèis Ìle was delighted to be given the bottles in this charity auction from Diageo, plus a signed bottle from the legendary Islay whisky maker Jim McEwan.

‘All the proceeds raised from these bottles will benefit our island community as the funds will kickstart our Islay Wave Project – an ongoing project that will begin after this year’s virtual festival.

‘Focusing on ways to support our island’s culture, artists and youth, The Islay Wave Project concentrates on everything we celebrate throughout Fèis Ìle. We are very grateful to Whisky Auctioneer for their support in bringing these bottles to auction.’