Ichiro’s Malt Card Series – (Almost) Complete Series For Sale

ichiros-malt-cardsWell the catalogue is out for Bonham’s Hong Kong auction on August the 28th 2015. Masses of Japanese whisky on offer but the highlight would have to be an entire Ichiro’s Malt Card Series being sold as one lot. I say entire but to my mind the collection is not complete. There were 2 bottling’s of the Ace of Spades and this collection has only one of them. Yes they were from the same cask but the release was staggered, one bottling being 55%abv and one being 55.7%abv. Obviously this also means one spent a little longer in the cask so is a bit older in whisky terms and as it was aged in oak the profile will be slightly different. Also I believe the auction catalogue for the bottling of the Ace of Spades being sold contains an error. They say it is the bottling 113 of 300 but this should have an ABV of 55.7% not the 55% listed in the catalogue. The first series of 122 bottles(in total) was the 55% version.
The catalogue estimate, HK$ 1.8 million – 2.4 million = USD$232,000 – $310,000
Gulp, not to shabby for a collection of whiskies that if you paid retail would not have cost more than USD10,000 in total. The cheapest bottling was about 60 bucks and I paid about 350 bucks for the most expensive, the Joker Monochrome. Also hard to believe is that this upswing in value happened in less than 10 years.

***Note: I have already been updated and I apologize for any discrepancies in my original post but the are 4 double cards in the series. Ultimately this extends to the fact that the series for sale is not complete. Thanks to Ulf Buxrud for the clarification.
Ichiro’s Malt Full Card Series

9 thoughts on “Ichiro’s Malt Card Series – (Almost) Complete Series For Sale

  1. There are four double issued cards, not only the Ace of Spades. Hence, a complete collection consist of 58 versions. Se all details on my web site for the card series, especially tab ‘Trivia’.

  2. Hi, we met in Zootrope Bar, trying some bottles in 2013.
    I have read you articles about the price increases. I agree with you. But the time of Ichiro’s Malt Card is over for the common people.

    Thanks for all,

    • Hi Oriol,

      Was that the time in Zoetrope you were with your wife? Yes, so many bottles most people can no longer afford. Unfortunately I think this will only get worse.


  3. I have about 25 Card Series bottlings.
    Even at the original relative peanuts per bottle, I could mostly only afford one bottle of each & they are mostly open, so they are worth nothing except as a valuable historical library for my palate.
    I taste a small dram occasionally so I can make them last as long as possible.
    One key bottle which is unopened (and likely to remain so!) is the colour Joker.
    Much more common than your monochrome one, Brian, but still very valuable.
    Drink or sell? Hard to say – if I’m a bit skint later in life, it may be too valuable to open.
    This is the dilemma we face with what’s happened in the Japanese whisky market.
    Previously “standard” bottles are now worth a fortune Those Miyagikyo 12yo bottles we bought are probably worth double what we paid.
    And nobody can now afford the genuine rarities.
    I don’t know what you paid for that Ocean Karuizawa 21yo, but even in the short time since you bought it you could make your investment many times over.
    I know you won’t sell it, though – pulling teeth would be less painful!

    • Well done on getting 25 bottles of the card series Alan. Open or not that is quite a feat in itself and as these bottling’s pass into legend and whether by the bottle of the dram are unaffordable for most, at least you got to try them. Most of my bottles of Hanyu are less that a quarter full and I to0 pour sparingly from these.

  4. I’ve checked out some of the price estimates on the Bonham’s website.
    They are totally gobsmacking – unbelievable!
    One estimate was for 2 bottles of Yamazaki 12yo for about AU$600. They may be an old bottling but even so………..
    I’ve seen Yamazaki 12yo at Dan Murphy’s for $105 – it may pay to stock up.
    I remember, because it was only a couple of years ago, when I thought the $85 they were asking for Yama 12 was over the odds – how times have changed!
    It makes some of my bottles of Port Ellen and Ardbeg seem like I should mix them with Coke!
    Only kidding!

    • I have checked a few of the previous Bonham’s HK auctions Alan and from what I’ve seen most bottles achieve the upper end of the estimates. You may have seen a bottle of the 67 Karuizawa with the estimate of AUD$16-20000. They have sold for this previously.

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