Bonhams Hong Kong recently released a new catalog for its upcoming auction on August 28. There will be a selection of rare Japanese whisky; most notable perhaps is the entire collection of Ichiro’s Malt Card Series (54 bottles) which will be auctioned off in one. The price estimate? 232.000–310.000 USD.

Those wanting to know more about Ichiro’s malt can read the Chichibu distillery info on the site, but if you are busy we’ll help you catch up: Ichiro is the owner of the Chichibu distillery, Japan’s youngest distillery. His family had owned the Hanyu distillery, which went bankrupt in 2000. After buying up the old stock and founding his own distillery, Ichiro got the idea to label the Hanyu whisky as the Ichiro’s Malt Card Series. The bottles of this series have different playing card labels, 54 in total, with each label appearing on ten bottles — so there are only 540 of these bottles in existence. And each and every bottle tastes a little different from the next; the Joker bottle for example is vatted out of 14 different casks, each with its own unique style. The alcohol content of Ichiro’s Malt is above average, or at 54 percent to just over 61 percent depending on the label.

The playing card series is popular not only for drinking, but also for collectors, and a bottle can be considered an investment. After all, the whole series is being sold off for a fortune. We at dekantā receive a large amount of mail every month from whisky fans looking for a bottle. At the moment we have almost 40 different bottles on offer; it goes without saying that we will be following the auction for a chance to get a few more.

Henry Baldvin