Macallan: Rare Scotch whisky becomes world's most expensive bottle at £2.1m

The Macallan Adami 1926

The Macallan Adami 1926 was sold at Sotheby’s in London on Saturday

A rare bottle of whisky has been sold for $2.7m (£2.1m) – breaking the record for the most expensive wine or spirit sold at auction.

The Macallan 1926 single malt is one of the world’s most sought-after bottles of Scotch whisky.

It was sold by Sotheby’s on Saturday, at more than double its estimated price.

The auction house’s head of whisky said he had been allowed to taste “a tiny drop” of it beforehand.

“It’s very rich, it’s got a lot of dried fruit as you would expect, a lot of spice, a lot of wood,” Jonny Fowle told the AFP news agency.

The whisky spent 60 years maturing in dark oak sherry casks before becoming one of just 40 bottled in 1986.

The 40 bottles were reportedly not made available for purchase – instead, some were offered to The Macallan’s top clients.

And the appearance of any of these bottles at auction over the years has resulted in extraordinary results – a similar bottle was sold in 2019 for £1.5m.

Speaking last month in the run-up to the auction, Mr Fowle said The Macallan 1926 “is the one whisky that every auctioneer wants to sell and every collector wants to own”.

Jonny Fowle, Sotheby's Global Head of Spirits, with The Macallan Adami 1926_(3)

“It’s not a whisky to take lightly. It’s a rich, rich dram, but it is incredible,” said Jonny Fowle from Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s said the 40 bottles from the 1926 cask had been labelled in different ways.

Two bottles had no labels at all, a maximum of 14 were decorated with the iconic Fine and Rare labels and 12 were labelled by pop artist Sir Peter Blake.

A further 12 bottles – including the record-breaking one sold on Saturday – were designed by Italian painter Valerio Adami.

It is not known how many of the 12 bottles of The Macallan Adami 1926 still exist.

One is said to have been destroyed in an earthquake in Japan in 2011, and it is believed at least one other has been opened and consumed.

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