I just want to share my past experience I had with a purchase of rare whisky bottles from a well reputated Glasgow based Auction house called McTear's.
At their 7 December 2011 Whiskysales a few interesting lots pulled my attention and I decided to buy them. I was able to buy many interesting lots amongst which were LOTS number 695, 751 and 864. Here the details of the LOTS as described on the McTear's website
including their respective pictures.
The description is clear, the photo's crystal clear. Nothing wrong right ? As you can clearly see, nothing wrong besides a little low filling level of one bottle. But the picture clearly showed the bottles are in a very good condition and very well sealed and the description is clear.
But here the real pictures of 3 bottles taken by my good friend who went to McTears to collect the lots.......
Yes, they are OPEN !!
Yes they are OPEN !!
A few bottles were simply opened ?? Either by the auction house and or the previous owner. But this without any mention on the website and in the corresponding LOT description. At first I was very positive for the outcome....McTear's is a well reputated auction house, is it not ? They would of course settle this, no ?
So very big was my surprise to get this mail from Mr. Stephen McGinty - the auction house Whisky expert :
"Dear Mr Timmermans,
I refer to the above and to your recent e-mail and I can confirm that I have reviewed the information provided.
Following my enquiries I can confirm that all bottles are entered into the auction on the basis of “sold as seen”. As such all bottles where the seal has been broken we will be unable to offer any refund for. We would be happy to enter the bottles into a future auction on your behalf. Let me know your thoughts on this.
Lisa Mitchell (on behalf of Stephen)
How sad is this ??
So just a little - or better a BIG - warning for you whiskylovers out there. Better ask for a solid written description before you start buying or bidding.
Fine whisky greetings,