Hanyu card series in full (pic: Kaigai Fine Wines)
Japan Whisky Wine

‘The most complete’ set of Hanyu card series to smash world record

An extremely rare full set of Hanyu card series will go under hammer in October in Japan at Kaigai Fine Wines, and is expected to smash previous world record.


Japanese auction house, Kaigai Fine Wine (KFW), will present “the most complete” set of Hanyu Ichiro’s Malt Card Series this October in Tokyo, featuring a rare set of 58 bottles.

The extremely rare set is expected to fetch US$1.7 – US$2 million. If realized, it would set a new world record.

Previously at Bonhams in Hong Kong, a full set of 54 cards was sold for HK$11,890,360 ( US$1.52 million) in November last year.

Hanyu card series in full (pic: Kaigai Fine Wines)
The full Hanyu card series presented by Kaigai consists of 58 bottles including four rare editions (pic: Kaigai Fine Wine Asia)

Founded in 1941 by Isouji Akuto, a 19th generation descendant of a long line of sake brewers producing Scotch-style malt whisky, the Hanyu distillery ceased production in 2000.

The cult-like Hanyu card series was released as a unique collectible set of whiskies by the grandson of Isouji of the now defunct Hangyu distillery between 2005 and 2014.

The full set is believed to consist of a full deck of 52 different card bottles plus two jokers, but according to Kaigai, four of these card series bottles had an additional separate edition, so there are in fact a total of 58 bottles.

The first editions are extraordinarily rare, with just over 100 bottles produced for each of those four bottles.

The collection is expected to fetch at least US$3 million (pic: Kaigai)
The collection is expected to fetch at least US$3 million (pic: Kaigai Fine Wine Asia)

The collection also boasts what the auction house lauds as “impeccable provenance” with clear traceability and original receipts.

“This collection comes with impeccable provenance from a Japanese collector, with the bottles having never been moved since they were acquired and stored in pristine conditions”, says the auction house on its authenticity.

“KFW has also been able to verify the authenticity of these bottles through original receipt records kept by the collector, with each bottle having been individually examined by our specialists to ensure quality,” it adds.

Kaigai Fine Wines will also be collaborating with Rolls Royce Tokyo to host this potential record-breaking auction on October 10 at Rolls Royce Tokyo in Kioi-Cho.

In addition to the superlative collection, the auction will also present other sought-after bottles from Burgundy and Bordeaux including Domaine Leroy, D.R.C., Chateau Lafite, and Chateau Mouton Rothschild.

The entire sale is expected to fetch US$3 million to US$5 million.

Interested parties can register here to bid in the live auction room on the day. In addition, there will be both telephone and internet bidding available for bidders from Japan and overseas. 

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