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 barrel was sold by Sotheby’s in 2019 for nearly 1.5 million pounds, 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.
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 (US$2,714,250) includes a charge known as 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.