The collection was built up over 10 years by Jon O’Connell from York who first discovered the renowned Speyside single malt whisky after a chance encounter on a fishing trip in Scotland.
O’Connell, a biologist, first fell in love with theAberlour A’bunadh whisky, which was introduced in 2000 and released in limited-run batches, after enjoying a dram with a fellow fishing enthusiast on Rothiemurchus lochs near Aviemore. He then spent 10 years collecting a bottle from every batch ever made from auctions and whisky shops across Europe.
The 66-bottle vertical collection is now on sale at £15,884 on the online marketplace of leading whisky broker, Mark Littler Ltd. Littler specialises in helping people sell rare whisky bottles and collections – in 2020, he helped Matthew Robson from Taunton sell his 28-bottle collection of Macallan single malt for over £40,000.
Aberlour’s A’bunadh range owes its origins to a bottle buried in the foundation of its still room dating back to 1898. The bottle was found in 1973 by workers who were said to have drunk half the bottle before its remaining contents were sent to the Aberlour laboratory for analysis. The A’bunadh whisky is a loving recreation of this lost single malt.
The collection of A’bunadh – which means ‘the original’ in Gaelic – contains two highly sought-after special edition batch bottlings; the A’bunadh Silver Label Millennium Edition, bottled in 1999 in preparation for the millennium celebrations, and the Silver A’bunadh, an extremely limited collection consisting of only 37 bottles.
O’Connell said: “What a day it was meeting that fisherman and sharing a dram of AberlourA’bunadh. I’d never seen anything like it before so I decided to buy myself a bottle and from there, I set myself a challenge to collect a bottle from every batch ever produced.
“It took 10 years to track all the bottles down, with batch 15 being undoubtedly the most difficult. When I finally got my hands on the last bottle to complete my collection, I felt a real sense of achievement. I’ve decided to put them up for sale because I think they would make for a wonderful present for someone – certainly for that fisherman that inspired me all those years ago!”
Mark Littler, whisky broker and founder of Mark Littler Ltd, said of the collection: “This vertical collection of A’bunadh whisky is the largest whisky collection that we have ever sold – having a bottle from every batch ever produced makes this truly unique. Jon’s decision to start collecting bottles of whisky was a great one and we are seeing more people invest in whisky the way that Jon has. If you can amass a collection like his then it can be extremely rewarding indeed.”
In 2020, Mark Littler launched its online marketplace as a place for individuals passionate about whisky to buy and sell it at a fair price. He said: “We have seen many occasions where rare whisky collections and bottles sell at auctions for far less than they are actually worth, so in a bid to offer our clients auction beating prices, we launched the Mark Littler Ltd marketplace to enable individuals with whisky collections to earn more for their bottles – and their hard work.”
Mark Littler will soon be launching an in-depth Whisky Bottle Investment Guide, which will provide an introduction into the world of whisky investment, while offering practical advice to readers to help them understand the market and industry.