‘Holy grail’ goes for record £1.5m at whisky sale

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS -

A sin­gle bot­tle of the “holy grail” of whisky has sold at auc­tion for a record £1.5 mil­lion, say Sotheby’s.

The Ma­callan 60Year-Old 1926 had been es­ti­mated at be­tween £350,000 and £450,000.

It is part of a col­lec­tion of Scotch whisky de­scribed as the most valu­able to be of­fered at auc­tion, and ex­pected to sell for around £4 mil­lion in to­tal.

The Ul­ti­mate Whisky Col­lec­tion, the auc­tion house’s first of­fer­ing of spir­its from a sin­gle owner, com­prises 394 lots, 467 bot­tles and nine casks.

The com­pany claims it is the most com­pre­hen­sive col­lec­tion of Scotch whisky to come to the mar­ket from a pri­vate seller – a wine col­lec­tor who turned to Scot­land’s na­tional drink.

The man spent his youth in the UK but now lives in Amer­ica and built his col­lec­tion with the help of US-based whisky spe­cial­ist Jonathan Read.

Whiskies from Bow­more, High­land Park and The Ma­callan dis­til­leries be­came his fo­cus, with

Sotheby’s de­scrib­ing the orig­i­nal la­bel 60-year-old The Ma­callan 1926 from cask num­ber 263 as the holy grail of whisky.

The cask pro­duced only 40 bot­tles.

The pre­vi­ous auc­tion record for a sin­gle bot­tle was £1.2 mil­lion, set by an­other bot­tle of The Ma­callan 60 Year Old 1926 drawn from the same cask but pre­sented in a unique bot­tle painted by the Ir­ish artist Michael Dil­lon at a Lon­don auc­tion in Novem­ber last year.

The man be­hind the col­lec­tion, who has not been named, has said pre­vi­ously: “Col­lect­ing whisky over these past 20 years has been a real pas­sion of mine, though it was not some­thing I set out to do.”

On­line bid­ding opened on Septem­ber 27, cul­mi­nat­ing in yes­ter­day’s live auc­tion in Lon­don.

Jamie Ritchie, chair­man of Sotheby’s Wine, said: “It is an hon­our to launch spir­its as a new cat­e­gory for Sotheby’s Wine and to pre­sent the world’s largest and most im­por­tant sin­gle­owner spir­its sale.

TRIPLE TIP­PLE: The Ma­callan 60-Year-Old 1926 sold for £1.5 mil­lion, more than three times its es­ti­mate

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