Auction of collector's stash

Largest private whisky collection to raise £8 million

Iain McClune

Iain McClune: largest collection by value

The largest private whisky collection could raise £8 million when it goes on sale at an auction early next year.

A Colorado businessman and philanthropist spent two decades scouring distilleries and auctions to pull together his collection of the finest scotch.

Mr Gooding,  a former PepsiCo bottling magnate, who died in 2014 at 67, amassed 3,900 bottles, including some rarities that may sell for almost £1.5m million each.

In February and April, they will be made available through an online auction via Perthshire firm Whiskey Auctioneer.

Mr Gooding’s widow Nancy said: “It was clear to us as a family that collecting Scotch was one of Richard’s greatest passions – an endeavour that spanned over two decades.

“He loved every aspect of it, from researching the many single malt distilleries to visiting them and tasting their whiskies.

Macallan record sale

A Macallan 1926 was sold recently

“He was always so pleased to acquire the bottles that he was searching for over the years – his mission was to collect a bottle that represented every single distillery but his favourite was always Bowmore, with his preferred whisky being Black Bowmore.

Rare whiskies continue to attract huge interest. Sotheby’s auctioned 467 bottles owned by another American collector, including a 1926 Macallan Fine & Rare 60 Year Old which sold for a record £1.45 million.

The Gooding auction includes two of those Macallans, one featuring a label created by the Italian pop art painter Valerio Adami. Only a dozen of the Adami bottles were made, and one was lost in the 2011 earthquake in Japan.

The sale is a coup for Iain McClune, a 33-year-old entrepreneur who founded Whiskey Auctioneer six years ago. His firm is one of a new generation of online players challenging traditional powers such as Sotheby’s in the rare-spirits market.


Particularly keen interest in the Gooding collection is likely to focus on defunct distillery production. They include Dallas Dhu, once made in Speyside. A 50-year-old Springbank from 1919 has an estimated range of £180,000 to £220,000.

Mr McClune said: “There’s never been a private sale of a collection like this ever before at auction – more than 3,900 bottles from one private collector.

“It’s the largest collection by value, by volume as well, and it’s very exciting to be part of that, to bring this to Whisky Auctioneer and to the wider public.

“What’s exciting about this collection is Mr Gooding really developed and built an extensive range of whiskies across the whole Scotch Whisky industry and from other countries as well.”

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