LONDON – A rare Japanese whisky collection has fetched 7,192,000 Hong Kong dollars ($917,000, ¥97.5 million) at an auction in Hong Kong, according to British auction house Bonhams.
The high price reflects the popularity of Japanese whisky, which has been praised by people around the world.
The Hanyu Ichiro’s Full Card Series, which was put up for auction Friday, is composed of 54 bottles sold by Venture Whisky Co., a firm headed by Ichiro Akuto in Saitama Prefecture.
Each bottle is named after a playing card in a full pack of cards and was released between 2005 and 2014.
As only limited numbers of each bottle were released, the series sparked a frenzy of interest among some whisky enthusiasts.
Although the auction house had expected the whisky set to sell for HK$4.5 million to HK$6 million the actual selling price far exceeded expectations.
The successful bid price was twice that of the same collection auctioned off in a previous Bonhams auction in 2015. The set in the 2015 auction sold for some HK$3.8 million.
Before the auction, Daniel Lam of Bonhams noted that market demand for Japanese whisky is “at its strongest.” He highlighted the collection’s rarity, saying it is believed that no more than four such sets exist in the world.