Talk about total madness.
A bottle of the “world’s most sought-after Scotch whiskey” – Macallan 1926 – sold for more than $2.7 million on Saturday at an auction at Sotheby’s in London, the auction house said. auction in a press release. The transaction set a new auction record for any bottle of spirits or wine sold, selling for nearly three times the pre-sale low estimate of $934,274, or $1.4 million. dollars.
“This record result for The Macallan 1926 is nothing short of momentous for the whiskey industry as a whole,” Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s global head of spirits, said in a statement. “This new record result for The Macallan Adami feels most emotional to me, to have worked directly with the shipper and distillery to repackage, nose and authenticate this bottle, and then complete this journey to the rostrum by responding to the auction in room and on the phone.”
For Fowle, “bringing down the hammer for a new whiskey world record is a feeling” he “will never forget”.
How many Macallan’s 1926s were produced?
Just 40 bottles of The Macallan 1926 were produced in 1986, after aging in sherry casks for six decades, Sotheby’s said, making it the oldest Macallan whiskey ever produced at that time.
None of The Macallan bottles have been put up for sale, Sotheby’s said in the product description on its website. Instead, some were offered to the distillery’s best customers, adding to their appeal and value.
At least three other bottles from the collection were sold at auction in 2018 and 2019. One of them, decorated with one of 14 “Fine and Rare” labels, had already set a record for the most expensive bottle. price never sold, when it reached 1.9 million dollars at Sotheby’s. in 2019.
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Before the auction, Fowle told AFP he had tested a small sample of the whisky.
“I tasted a tiny drop – a tiny drop – of this. It’s very rich, there’s a lot of dried fruit as you would expect, a lot of spices, a lot of wood,” he told AFP.
Fowle said the whiskey was “incredible” and should not be taken lightly, explaining that the liquid had “spent 60 years in dark European oak, which was reflected in the color”.
“The whiskey had incredible depth of character – rich dark fruit, black cherry compote alongside sticky dates, followed by sweet and intense antique oak, which for me is a recognizable note of such an aged Macallan” , said Kirsteen Campbell, Macallan’s whiskey mistress, in a statement. “Dark chocolate, molasses, ginger… the notes go on and on.”
Campbell said being involved in sensory analysis of the whiskey was “an incredible privilege” and “it was a very special moment to experience the opening of this iconic 60-year-old single malt, bottled for the first time 37 years ago.
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Sotheby’s, in the press release, said it worked directly with The Macallan to “repackage and authenticate” the bottle, marking the first time this has been done for a 1926.
Analyzing the repackaging process, Sotheby’s said the capsule and stopper were replaced while new glue was applied to the corners of the bottle label, designed by Italian painter Valerio Adami.
Twelve of the 40 bottles of Macallan 1926 bore the label designed by Adami, Sotheby’s said. Of these, one is believed to have been destroyed in the 2011 Japan earthquake, adding to the bottle’s rarity factor. There are only 10 left, according to the auction house.
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Saman Shafiq is a trending news reporter for USA TODAY. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter @saman_shafiq7.