Karuizawa 1960 Japanese Whisky Sells for Nearly $160K
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Small but Mighty: Rare Japanese Whisky Sells for Nearly $160K Despite Being 1/3 the Size of a Normal bottle

Japanese Whisky

This 250-milliliter bottle of Karuizawa 1960 47 Year Old Japanese whisky sold for nearly $160,000 at Bonhams Hong Kong’s latest whisky sale. (Photo: Bonhams Hong Kong)

Bonhams Hong Kong concluded its latest whisky sale Friday, totaling more than $3 million in sales. The biggest seller was a 250-milliliter bottle of Karuizawa 1960 47 Year Old, the oldest known vintage from Karuizawa. The small bottle of Karuizawa 1960 sold for about $159,169, more than tripling its estimated sale.

“The market demand for fine and rare whiskies continues to be insatiable,” said Daniel Lam, Bonhams’ director of wine and spirits Asia, according to The Drinks Business. “This January sale, held only two months after our previous flagship auction, saw strong interest and robust bidding across the board, showing that the market appetite builds fast.”

According to WhiskyBase.com, Karuizawa 1960 is bottled at 62.2% ABV.

Nine of the top-10-selling lots at the auction were Japanese whiskies, showing the continuing trend of Japanese whisky’s immense popularity.

In August, a ruckus was caused within the U.S. government over Japanese whiskey when a $5,800 bottle of Hibiki whisky gifted to then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went missing. An investigation regarding the disappearance of the bottle concluded in November with no answers.

Meanwhile, a bottle of Yamazaki 55 Year sold for nearly $800,000 in October, and another went for more than $550,000 this month. Tickets to dinners including tastings of the Yamazaki 55 have been priced between $5,000 and $15,000.

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David Morrow is the managing editor of Whiskey Raiders and has been with the company since September 2021. David has worked in journalism since 2015 and has had bylines at Sports Illustrated, Def Pen, the Des Moines Register and the Quad City Times. David holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Saint Louis University and a Master of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. When he’s not tasting the newest exciting whiskey releases, David enjoys spending time with his wife and dog, watching sports and traveling.