Winter Rare Whisky Sale at McTear’s

This is the first Whisky auction that Jim or Nicola have ever attended, albeit we have visited other general auctions. It is also the first time either of us have visited McTear’s Auction Rooms.

Early on Wednesday the 3rd of February Jim and Nicola headed into the south side of Glasgow to McTear’s auction in time for the start of the 10.30 am sale of rare Whiskies.

Our first impression of this auction was very welcoming and fresh, the walls have prints / artwork ready for a future sale, the rare Whiskies were on display in one of the auction rooms and very expertly and professionally laid out.

We picked our seats after viewing some of the Whiskies that were to be auctioned, Nicola nipped out to the little coffee shop and brought back two coffee’s, we were now ready.

mctears-logoThe auction staff took their seats, some manning phones, others manning laptops for internet bids. The auctioneer took to his rostrum, ( and to our surprise it was the same auctioneer that travelled over to Islay to auction off the first bottle from the first cask of Kilchoman Single Malt Whisky, see Islay Festival day 6 ) and after checking with his staff the auction commenced.

It was not the Whisky Boys real intention to bid for any lots but we had spoke to each other saying if something was being auctioned and the price seemed inexpensive we then just might take a chance.

The highlight of the auction was expected to be a Springbank Whisky distilled in 1900 and bottled in December 1927 and was only a half bottle in size, the range of bids was thought to be in the region of £4000 to £6000, but it eventually sold to a telephone bidder for £2200. This telephone bidder was a prolific and successful bidder, his many bids were winners and his collection must be well worth a viewing.

Many of the lots seem to go on or about the lower of the estimates, but on the odd occasion one or two would fly, for example :- lot 81 a Rosebank 19 year old, a Rare Malts Selection range  estimate £120 – £160 in actual fact sold for £500. Lot 95 A Glenury Royal 23 year old also a Rare Malts Selection estimate £140 – £180 actually sold for £460.

The auction was exciting and a joy to be part of, so professionally run with everyone in attendance being respectful to the auctioneer, and the Whisky Boys will certainly be in attendance at their next auction on May the 5th.

Jim had ticked of a couple of  lots that if the bidding was not too fierce, then a bid by the Whisky Boys would be offered. So along came lot 190  which had four bottles :-

Distilled 1976, bottled 2002 Single Malt 46% alc/vol

Finished in Port Casks and bottled to commemorate the Centenary of the Distillery bottle no, 1954 40% Alc/vol.

GLEN MORAY 12 YEAR OLD 40% Alc/vol


The estimate price range was £80 – £120, which both Jim and Nicola thought was very reasonable, so we bid and managed to secure the four bottles for £80 plus £14.10 in auction fees and vat.

We have since found that the Glen Moray Centenary bottle is selling for up to £203 on the internet. So the Whisky Boys think they got a good bargain.

An enjoyable day was had by Jim and Nicola, all we have to do now is to decide which of the above bottles will be first for one of our official tastings, this will not be easy.

We would like to ask our readers to log onto McTear’s website, ( ) on a regular basis to keep upto date with up coming Whisky auctions, the next one is on the 5th of May, so print out their catalogue and take your time to peruse the ocean of Whiskies that will be up for sale.

We would like to acknowledge to Mctear’s that their Auction of rare Whiskies was of a very high standard and their staff were very helpful, courteous and friendly.

Well done all at McTears.

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