Cover The Yamazaki-55 Year was auctioned off for HK$6,200,000, setting a new world auction record. (Photo: Bonhams Hong Kong)

The Yamazaki-55 Year, the oldest of its kind in history, established a new auction record for a bottle of Japanese whisky this weekend, fetching HK$6,200,000 (US$795,000)

The oldest Japanese whisky in history, Yamazaki-55 Year was auctioned off for HK$6,200,000 at Bonhams Fine & Rare Wine and Whisky Sale in Hong Kong this past weekend, setting a new world auction record for a bottle of Japanese whisky.

The amount was more than ten times the pre-sale estimate of HK$580,000–780,000. It also far exceeded previous records set respectively in March 2020 for GBP363,000, and in May 2019 for NT$13,512,500.

The single-malt blockbuster was distilled in the 1960s and produced in 100 limited edition bottles. It was freshly released this June by Suntory through a customer lottery system applicable only to residents from within Japan.

The Yamazaki-55 Year was matured in both Japanese Mizunara oak cask from 1960 and white oak cask from 1964, the year of the previous Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. Distilled to 46% ABV, it has a deep reddish amber colour with a complex agarwood and sandalwood nose, rich in fruity scents with a sweet aftertaste.

The gold-dusted bottle is kept in a black Mizunara oak box with Suruga lacquer while the bottle mouth is wrapped in handmade Echizen Washi and tied with a traditional Kyoto braided cord.

"The stunning price sets a new milestone for the market of Japanese whisky, testament to collectors’ desire and determination to acquire the very best the market has to offer," said Daniel Lam, Director of Wine and Whisky, Asia.

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