A bottle of Scotch whiskey considered “the most sought after” in the world sold for almost 2.2 million pounds ($2.7 million)
LONDON – A bottle of Scotch whiskey considered “the most sought after” in the world sold on Saturday for almost 2.2 million pounds ($2.7 million), an auction record for a bottle of wine or spirits.
The Macallan Adami 1926 was sold at Sotheby’s in London, after a bidding war between potential buyers on the phone and in the room.
In 1986 only 40 bottles of The Macallan 1926 were bottled after it had been aged in sherry casks for 60 years. Twelve of the bottles, including the one sold Saturday, had labels designed by Italian painter Valerio Adami.
Sotheby’s sold another bottle from the same cask in 2019 for almost £1.5 million, which was a record for wine or spirits until Saturday.
“Macallan 1926 is the whiskey every auctioneer wants to sell and every collector wants to own,” said Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s global director of spirits.
He said the record sale was “nothing short of momentous for the whiskey industry as a whole. “
The bottle sold Saturday is the first the distillery has reconditioned before the auction. This included replacing the cork and applying new glue to the corners of the bottle labels.
The final price of 2,187,500 pounds ($2,714,250) includes a charge known as buyer’s premium in addition to the asking price of 1.75 million pounds. The price far exceeded the pre-sale estimate of £750,000 to £1.2 million.
And what is a $2.7 million whiskey like? Macallan master whiskey maker Kirsteen Campbell, who smelled the drink during the reconditioning, said it contained notes of “rich dark fruit, black cherry compote along with sticky dates, followed by rich, sweet old oak”.
“Dark chocolate, molasses, ginger…the notes go on and on,” he said. “It was a very special moment to experience the opening of this iconic 60-year-old single malt, first bottled 37 years ago, and I hope the new custodian enjoys the same privilege.”