Crate of Kweichow Moutai Sells for Seven Figures at UK Sotheby’s

Baijiu enthusiasts are well aware that Kweichow Moutai tends to retail for higher prices than many rival baijiu brands. A highly collectable spirit, baijiu has brought a tear to the eye thanks to market value as much as alcohol potency. Now, it seems, the value of Kweichow Moutai has risen internationally.

In mid-June, Sotheby’s of London held a spirit sale featuring a range of whiskeys from Japan and Scotland. Also in the mix was a crate of 1974 Sunflower Kweichow Moutai, the first time the spirit was available for auction in the UK. Experts expected the baijiu lot to be popular, with a predicted value of up to £450,000. Astonishingly, the final price was a cool £1 million – a record sale high outside of China.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the buyer has preferred to remain anonymous. All we know that is the winning bidder hailed from Asia and thus doubtless knows just how valuable this purchase could yet prove to be. Sunflower is a rare brand of Kweichow Moutai, which very briefly superseded the ever-popular Flying Fairy bottle. 1974 saw an end to mass production of the Sunflower brand, ensuring that this haul may yet grow in value over time.

All the same, the staggering sum paid for the baijiu has still been considered a surprise. In the end, 14 bidders threw their hats into the ring in an attempt at claiming the prize. Now, though, the question remains – what does this mean for Kweichow Moutai? Is the buyer predominantly based in the UK and aims to spark an interest for baijiu in the west? Or was the auction observed from afar, with an enterprising collector spotting a potential bargain?

It may sound odd to describe a seven-figure sale in such terms, but collectable baijiu regularly changes hands for staggering sums at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong. Christie’s of Shanghai also raised over £2.5million in Moutai sales back in 2018. We’ll be watching developments with curious eyes. This may have been the first baijiu auction in the UK, but based on the results, it will not be the last.

A Serious Question Needs Answered!

Further reading: Moutai Scientific Analysis – VS – V.I.P Jiu 8 Scientific Analysis