A complete set of the rare Japanese Hanyu card series whisky is poised to smash a previous world record at the upcoming auction organized by Kaigai Fine Wine Asia on October 10, signaling the demand for ultra premium whisky remains strong despite global pandemic.
Founded in 1941 by Isouji Akuto, a 19th generation descendant of a long line of sake brewers to produce Scotch-style malt whisky, the Hanyu distillery ceased production in 2000.
But not before the grandson of Isouji, Ichiro Akuto, stepped in to secure the 400 premium whisky casks left from the distillery. An avid whisky lover like his grandfather, Ichiro personally selected the prized amber liquid to be bottled for each ‘card’ released between 2005 and 2014, ensuring that the Hanyu legend lives on.
Each ‘card’ was bottled from a single cask of premium whisky and a full set normally consists of 13 diamonds, hearts, spades, clubs and two jokers.
The collection on offer on October 10 however is made even more rare because it has altogether 58 bottles since four of these card series bottles had an additional separate edition.
Additionally, the full card series has what the auction house says as “immaculate provenance”.
Speaking of the crown jewel lot, the auction house enthused: “Never has there been such an epic full collection of Hanyu Ichiro’s Malt Card Series whiskies in the world from a single collector offered at auction. Never has a set with such immaculate provenance, which has been purchased over time from the distillery directly been offered, and that we were able to verify through purchase receipts and records.”
It carries an estimate of US$1.7 million to US$2 million, which means even with low estimate realized, it would smash a previous record for world’s most expensive whisky collection set by Bonhams last November at US$1.52 million.
In addition to the 58-bottle Hanyu card series, the upcoming 32nd Kaigai Wine and Whisky auction will also feature wines from Domaine Leroy, D.R.C., Chateau Lafite Rothschild, and Chateau Mouton Rothschild to name a few.
“This is featured alongside an impeccable collection of wines from a single Japanese collector who has an extensive collection of Domaine Leroy and Armand Rousseau,” added the auction house.
The October sale is expected to fetch between US$3 million and US$4 million, according to Kaigai.
Kaigai 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.
Kaigai Fine Wine Asia (KFWA) is a leading distributor of fine and rare wines founded in 1967 as the wine division of a family-run trading company based in Tokyo. The company also expanded into wine auction.
In anticipation of the world-record smashing lot, we have rounded up some of the most expensive whiskies ever sold at auction. Will Kaigai’s Hanyu set a record next month? We will have to wait with bated breath.