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