Rare Scotch whisky becomes world’s most expensive bottle at $2.7m

Rare Scotch whisky becomes world’s most expensive bottle at $2.7m

Sunday, November 19, 2023 – The world’s “most sought-after” bottle of Scotch whisky sold for a record $2.7 million on Saturday, November 18, breaking a record previously set by another bottle from the same cask, according to Sotheby’s—the latest spirit to receive bids exceeding millions of dollars in recent years.

The Macallan Adami 1926 sold for nearly 2.2 million pounds at Sotheby’s auction in London, according to the auction house, which noted the three previous auction records for any bottle of wine or spirit were broken by bottles from the same cask between 2018 and 2019.

The previous record was set in 2019, after a Macallan 1926 sold for 1.5 million pounds ($1.8 million).

Sotheby’s—which referred to the bottle as the “world’s most expensive whisky” estimated the bottle would auction between $700,000 and $1.2 million, the highest estimate ever placed on a bottle of wine or spirit by the auction house.

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Only 40 bottles of the Macallan 1926 were bottled in 1986 after being aged in sherry casks for 60 years, according to Sotheby’s, and 12, including the bottle sold on Saturday, November 18 featured labels designed by the Italian painter Valerio Adami.

The bottle sold on Saturday was the first to be reconditioned by Macallan’s distillery, Sotheby’s said, a process that replaced both the bottle’s capsule and cork while new glue was applied to the corners of the bottle’s labels.

Kirsteen Campbell, a whisky maker for Macallan, said the bottle contained notes of “rich dark fruits, black cherry compote alongside sticky dates, followed by intense sweet antique oak,” according to the Associated Press.

Other bottles of the Macallan 1926 have been purchased in recent years. One bottle was sold in 2018, becoming the first bottle of whisky to surpass one million pounds, according to Sotheby’s. Two bottles were sold from the Dubai Airport in April 2018 for $600,000 each. Two other bottles were sold for $1 million and $1.1 million in Hong Kong earlier this month.

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Another bottle of Macallan was sold by Sotheby’s for nearly $1 million in 2017, in addition to a 64-year-old bottle that sold for $460,000 in 2012. The world’s largest bottle of whisky, an 82-gallon bottle of 1989 Macallan, sold for $1.4 million at auction last year. A rare cask of Macallan whisky that was left at the Scottish distillery’s warehouse for over three decades also sold for $1.3 million last year, breaking the previous auction record for a whisky cask.

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