TIMECAPSULE OF RARE SAMAROLI AND CORTI BROTHERS WHISKIES COME TO AUCTION
For dedicated whisky collectors, there are few independent bottlers as iconic and revered as that of the late Silvano Samaroli and the Corti Brothers.
The former, a visionary Italian importer and bottler whose whiskies are compared to works of art, and the latter, American gastronomic specialists who bought and bottled casks from legendary distilleries during the industry downturn in the 1980s. Their expressions are now some of the most prized in existence.
Now, a collection of 60 of these whiskies, unmatched in provenance and curated by the celebrated connoisseur and collector Emmanuel Dron, is coming to auction in a landmark sale presented by market leaders Whisky Auctioneer.
Running from 17 to 21 June 2021, the auction will include many whiskies regarded as the finest ever bottled* and the most sought-after Samaroli whiskies, signed by Silvano Samaroli himself. These include the 1967 Strathisla, legendary 1967 and 1970 Laphroaig bottlings, a 1951 Glen Cawdor (Springbank), and the 1966 Bowmore Bouquet, which many experts consider the most incredible whisky in existence.
The collection also includes the most extensive and comprehensive known lineup of rare Corti Brothers bottlings. Included will be vintages that occupy a special place in the history of Scotch whisky, including a very rare 1965 Clynelish and interesting examples from fascinating distilleries such as Balmenach and Imperial distilled in the 1960s.
The Corti Brothers of Sacramento imported Scotch whisky to the United States for bottling throughout the 1980s. Today, their expressions are regarded as some of the most highly prized for collectors in terms of quality and variety.
The French born, now Singapore-based collector’s personal collection offers a rare glimpse into the golden age of whisky production during the 1960s, as dedicated connoisseurs from both sides of the Atlantic began importing and bottling single malt whisky.
Throughout his life that has primarily been dedicated to whisky, Emmanuel Dron forged strong relationships with those in the industry and in particular a close friendship with the late Silvano Samaroli. His resulting collection is unmatched in provenance, with each bottle purchased personally from the iconic independent bottlers.
Emmanuel Dron commented:
“For my personal whisky collection, I have been piecing together old and rare independent bottlings for the last 25 years. These legendary bottles from Silvano Samaroli and the Corti Brothers are definitely one of my proudest achievements.
“Over the last 10 years at the Auld Alliance we’ve seen a growing demand from connoisseurs in Asia and beyond to try many of these whiskies, which are widely considered amongst the finest in the world. Now is the chance for collectors to acquire some of our rarest treasures.”
Joe Wilson, Head of Auction Content at Whisky Auctioneer, said: “This collection is a magnificent example of some of the finest and most collectible independent bottlings in existence. What’s special about Emmanuel Dron’s collection is that these bottles have unparalleled provenance. Whiskies with such an impeccable source are hard to come by.
“This auction will present an opportunity for collectors worldwide to own a piece of whisky history – from unique spirit distilled in the 1960s to some of the finest bottles ever produced from distilleries including The Macallan, Bowmore, and Laphroaig. The collection also includes Emmanuel’s personal favourite – Samaroli’s 1970 Laphroaig. Emmanuel Dron is a collector passionate about sharing his love of whisky and the chance for other collectors to acquire such incredible bottles to add to their own whisky libraries.”
Over the last five years, Whisky Auctioneer has seen the volume of Samaroli bottlings soar by 90% and their hammer price increase by 75%. There has been a particular appetite for such bottles from Asian buyers, who accounted for nearly 50% of the value of Samaroli whiskies sold, with a particularly strong appetite from Singapore-based collectors.
Similar demand for Corti expressions has been seen from Asian countries, with buyers from this territory comprising 37% of global sales of Corti bottlings, whilst accounting for over 60% of the value. Hong Kong has the largest collector’s appetite for independent bottlings, followed by Singapore and Taiwan.
To register for the auction, visit www.whiskyauctioneer.com
*Considered to be some of the best whiskies ever produced, the collection features all five whiskies to hold places #1 – 5 on Whiskybase’s list of the top 1000 whiskies ever bottled.
About Emmanuel Dron and the Auld Alliance Singapore
Emmanuel Dron has been an expert in the whisky industry for 25 years, previously working at La Maison Du Whisky as a regional manager. He is the founder of The Auld Alliance, a world-renowned whisky bar in Singapore boasting an impressive selection of around 2000 bottles representing every distillery in Scotland. The Auld Alliance has also selected and bottled a number of rare single casks under its name.
Emmanuel is the author of “Collecting Scotch Whisky”, the most comprehensive book on old and rare Scotch Whisky ever written. The book profiles more than 2,500 rare bottles by independent bottlers and official bottlings, as well as an essential guide to dating and authenticating older bottles.
About Silvano Samaroli
Silvano Samaroli is perhaps Italy’s most revered independent bottler of Scotch whisky. With an impeccable taste in single cask whiskies, and an eye for aesthetics, he is regarded by many as a visionary.
Silvano entered the world of whisky in 1968, setting up Samaroli Import. The company’s transition from importer to bottler began in 1979 as a collaborative effort with W.M. Cadenhead, Scotland’s oldest independent bottler. This inspired him to bottle his first casks with labels designed by Samaroli himself. The bottling was done for him by R.W. Duthie, a harmonious relationship which lasted into the 1990s and produced some of the world’s most sought after whiskies, such as the 1967 vintage Laphroaig and the legendary Bowmore Bouquet.
Silvano Samaroli passed away in 2017 leaving a legacy of legendary bottlings that inspired those to follow in his footsteps and are lusted after by collectors worldwide.
About the Corti Brothers
The Corti Brothers have played a significant role in the history of independently bottled Scotch whisky, taking advantage of a downturn in the industry in the 1980s and securing a range of casks from some of the industry’s most iconic distilleries.
The Corti Brothers were a family grocer business founded in 1947 by Frank and Gino. Frank’s son Darrell was the one to introduce a specialist spirits knowledge to the business, and they began getting their own Scotch whisky bottled for them in 1978.
About Whisky Auctioneer
Whisky Auctioneer is the global market leader and trusted authority on the buying and selling of whisky and spirits at auction. Founded in 2013 and located in Perth, Whisky Auctioneer utilises its expertise and knowledge combined with its auction platform, to increase interest and passion in the whisky and spirits community.
Whisky Auctioneer endeavours to make the market more accessible for buyers and sellers of any background and geography. Its monthly global auctions feature the most comprehensive selection of old, rare and collectible whiskies and spirits available online. Whisky Auctioneer is passionate about connecting these bottles with those who share in their passion and actively support their customers in their aims, whether that be consuming, collecting or investing.
In February 2021, the Perth-based online auction house made history during the iconic sale of The Perfect Collection when a bottle of The Macallan 1926 Fine and Rare 60 Year Old sold for a hammer price of £1m, the first time a single bottle of whisky has sold at an online only auction for one million pounds.
Whisky Auctioneer became the first online auction house to sell a million-pound bottle and outperformed the nearest traditional auction house by 200% in value from spirits sales in 2020, showcasing the move that whisky collectors, investors and drinkers have already made online and firmly establishing their leading position within the modern secondary whisky market.
The business currently sees over 100,000 bids per month and has conducted deliveries to 74 countries across the globe. It also opened its first European base in Germany last year.
The business’ Founder, Iain McClune, was listed as ‘One to Watch’ in The Telegraph’s Most Ambitious Business Leaders 2020 programme.