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Octomore Whisky Auctions

Understanding Octomore Whisky at Auction in Australia

Octomore single malt whisky presents a unique case study in the auction market for spirits. Initially released in 2008, Octomore quickly gained a cult following, notably for its heavily peated composition, often exceeding 80 ppm (parts per million). While consumer markets often demand consistent products, Octomore's fluctuating peat levels—ranging from 80 to as high as 300 ppm—contribute to its unique market appeal. The distillery's limited annual production further amplifies this demand, leading to rapid sell-outs upon each release.
In Australia, the availability of Octomore at retail outlets is exceptionally limited, and when available, inventory is quickly depleted. Consequently, most Octomore bottles are tightly held by their owners, limiting their appearance on the secondary market. When bottles do come up for auction, they are generally propelled by what is colloquially referred to as the "auction 'ds": death, divorce, and debt. These compelling life circumstances typically force owners to part with their prized possession, making auctions one of the few avenues where this elusive whisky can be acquired. Therefore, the auction platform serves as a critical conduit for the exchange of Octomore bottles, driven by both scarcity and life events necessitating liquidation of assets.

Octomore whisky auction : Auction Performers

Auction Performers

Octomore 1st Release 01.1
Released in April 2008 with a peat level of 131 ppm, it was the most heavily peated whisky at the time. Only 6,000 bottles were produced and matured for 5 years. In Australia, it has been auctioned for around $1900+.

Octomore 2.2 Orpheus
With a peat level of 140 ppm, this release was aged in Château Pétrus Bordeaux casks for 5 years. Only 15,000 bottles were released. Its auction price is generally around $1200.

Octomore 4.2 Comus
This release has a peat level of 167 ppm and was matured in Sauternes casks, also for 5 years. With 18,000 bottles produced, it is a desired bottle with an auction price of $900+.

Octomore 8.3 Masterclass Islay Barley
Released in 2017, it has a record-breaking 309.1 ppm peat level. The whisky was matured in various ex-Bourbon and European oak casks. Its auction price typically sits around $790+.

Octomore OBA/C_0.1 (Black Arts)
In an orange bottle and tin. A unique release with undisclosed peat levels and maturation details. Only 3,000 bottles were produced and it's generally sold at auction for $1300+ in Australia.

Current Status (September 2023)
The 13th release consisting of 13.1, 13.2, and 13.3 are already sold out at the distillery, leaving only 13.4 available. Specialist retailers price the 13th releases and some earlier versions around $250, which often influences the starting bids at auction.

Find out more about the process for selling your Octomore whisky online and preparing for auction to obtain the best price.

Investment Outlook

When considering investment and arbitrage opportunities in Octomore whisky, it's important to distinguish between recent releases and older ones. Recent releases, particularly those from the last few years, can typically be found at specialist whisky retailers for under $300. However, bottles from releases prior to 11 are usually priced significantly higher due to their scarcity and market appeal. In investment terms, releases 8 and earlier possess what's known as "market charm." These are bottles you're likely to hold for a few years and expect a reasonable return on investment, given their limited availability and increased demand over time. The inaugural release and other limited bottlings are particularly promising for investment, as their value is likely to continue climbing. However, it's crucial to consider market volatility and be prepared for occasional drops in market value.

Current Trends and Observations

Current trends indicate a shift in the Australian market for Octomore whisky at auction. There is an increasing number of collectors vying for less available stock. Mark Wickman, a whisky auctioneer at Wickmans Fine Wine and Whisky Auctions, has observed a price differential inversion between the UK and Australia. Specifically, earlier versions of Octomore are fetching higher prices in Australian auctions compared to their UK counterparts. This could be an indication of rising demand and limited supply in the Australian market, affecting auction prices.

Auctioning Octomore whisky

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