LONDON — A bottle of Scotch whiskey billed as the world’s “most sought-after” sold on Saturday for nearly 2.2 million pounds ($2.7 million), an auction record for a bottle of wine or spirits.
The Macallan Adami 1926 sold at Sotheby’s in London, after a bidding war between potential buyers over the phone and in the room.
Only 40 bottles of The Macallan 1926 were bottled in 1986 after aging in sherry casks for 60 years. Twelve of the bottles, including the one sold on Saturday, bore labels designed by Italian painter Valerio Adami.
Another bottle from the same cask was sold by Sotheby’s in 2019 for almost £1.5 million, which was a record for wine or spirits until Saturday.
“The Macallan 1926 is the whiskey every auctioneer wants to sell and every collector wants to own,” said Jonny Fowle, global head of spirits at Sotheby’s.
He said the record sale was “simply momentous for the whiskey industry as a whole.” »
The bottle sold on Saturday is the first to have been reconditioned by the distillery before its auction. This included replacing the cap and applying new glue to the corners of the bottle labels.
The final price of 2,187,500 pounds ($2,714,250) includes a fee called the buyer’s premium on top of the sale price of 1.75 million pounds. The price far exceeded the pre-sale estimate of £750,000 to £1.2 million.
And what does a $2.7 million whiskey taste like? Kirsteen Campbell, Macallan’s master whiskey maker, who sniffed the drink during repackaging, said it contained notes of “rich dark fruits, black cherry compote alongside sticky dates, followed by ancient oak soft and intense.
“Dark chocolate, molasses, ginger…the notes go on and on,” she says. “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 will enjoy the same privilege. ”
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