The Macallan 1926 Single Malt Breaks Auction Records, Fetching $2.7 Million

Featured & Cover The Macallan Adami 1926 was sold at Sotheby's in London on Saturday

In a historic moment for the world of spirits, a rare bottle of The Macallan 1926 single malt whisky has shattered records, fetching an astounding $2.7 million (£2.1 million) at a recent Sotheby’s auction. This sale not only establishes a new benchmark for the most expensive wine or spirit ever sold at auction but also highlights the unparalleled allure of this sought-after Scotch whisky.

Sotheby’s, the renowned auction house, orchestrated the sale on a Saturday, with the Macallan 1926 single malt exceeding its estimated price, selling for more than double the initial valuation. Jonny Fowle, the head of whisky at Sotheby’s, provided a tantalizing preview of the prized bottle, revealing, “It’s very rich, it’s got a lot of dried fruit as you would expect, a lot of spice, a lot of wood,” according to statements made to the AFP news agency.

This particular Macallan 1926 single malt spent an impressive 60 years maturing in dark oak sherry casks before being bottled in 1986, adding to its mystique and rarity. Only 40 bottles were produced, and these were reportedly not made available for public purchase. Instead, select bottles were offered exclusively to The Macallan’s top clients. Over the years, whenever these elusive bottles have surfaced at auctions, they have consistently generated extraordinary results. In a comparable instance in 2019, a similar bottle commanded an impressive £1.5 million.

Expressing the significance of The Macallan 1926, Mr. Fowle emphasized, “It is the one whisky that every auctioneer wants to sell and every collector wants to own,” underscoring its iconic status in the world of rare spirits.

Sotheby’s provided additional insights into the distinctive labeling of the 40 bottles from the 1926 cask. The bottles were marked in various ways, with two lacking any labels, up to 14 adorned with the iconic Fine and Rare labels, and 12 receiving labels designed by renowned pop artist Sir Peter Blake. Another set of 12 bottles, including the record-breaking one sold recently, featured labels crafted by Italian painter Valerio Adami.

The Adami-designed bottles, known as The Macallan Adami 1926, hold particular intrigue. The article notes that it remains uncertain how many of these 12 bottles still exist today. One was reportedly lost in a devastating earthquake in Japan in 2011, and there are indications that at least one more has been opened and enjoyed, adding an element of mystery to the limited availability of this prized whisky.

The sale of The Macallan 1926 single malt at a staggering $2.7 million not only sets a new record for the most expensive wine or spirit sold at auction but also underscores the enduring fascination and desirability of this exceptional Scotch whisky. With its rich history, unique maturation process, and limited availability, each bottle of The Macallan 1926 represents a rare and coveted piece of spirits history.

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