The Macallan 1926 bottle, described by Sotheby’s as “The most expensive whiskey in the world”sold on Saturday for a record-breaking sum £2.1 million.
The unusual 75-litre bottle was expected to sell for between £750,000 and £1.2 million, but it exceeded estimates to fetch £2,187,500 ($2.7 million). “A new record for any bottle of liquor or wine sold at auction.”Sotheby’s said.
A 1926 Macallan bottle held the previous record as the most expensive bottle ever sold in 2019, when it was purchased for £1.5 million at the same London auction house.
Johnny Fowle, Sotheby’s mixologist, said before the auction that he had been allowed to taste the precious whisky. “I tried a small drop. It’s very delicious. It has lots of nuts as expected, lots of spicesYes, a lot of wood,” he said.
This Scotch whisky, with an alcohol content of 42.8°C, was distilled in 1926 – the oldest of the Macallan’s whiskeys – and bottled 60 years later. It was matured in oak barrels, which gave it its distinctive dark colour.
The bottle sold Saturday is the last in a series of 12 bearing a label designed by Italian illustrator Valerio Adami in 1993. One of those 12 bottles would have been destroyed during an earthquake in Japan.
Sotheby’s estimated that the price of the bottle would range between 750,000 and 1.2 million pounds sterling (856,000 and 1.4 million euros, 934,000 and 1.5 million dollars).
Only 40 bottles were produced from the cask this whiskey comes from.
One of them, a 70cl, was sold in 2019 for nearly £1.5 million ($1.9 million at the current exchange rate), setting the current record to date.
“It’s the same liquid” but “with a different label,” Sotheby’s specialist Foyle explained last month, when presenting a bottle of Macallan Adami.
From the bottle sold on Saturday, one milliliter was extracted for tests and compared to another bottle of the 1926 vintage, and from now on it will be used as a reference for future comparisons.
With agency information
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