Setting a new global record, the most coveted bottle of Scotch whisky, the Macallan Adami 1926, fetched a staggering $2.7 million at Sotheby’s auction on November 18. This sale eclipsed the previous record held by another bottle from the same cask, highlighting the soaring trend of spirit auctions surpassing multimillion-dollar bids in recent years.
Crafted from sherry casks and bottled in 1986, only 40 Macallan 1926 bottles were released, with 12 adorned with labels by Italian painter Valerio Adami. The bottle auctioned off underwent refurbishment by Macallan’s distillery, receiving a new capsule, cork, and meticulously applied glue to the labels’ edges.
Sotheby’s, dubbing it the “world’s most expensive whisky,” initially estimated its auction value between $700,000 and $1.2 million, marking the highest valuation ever placed on a spirit by the auction house.
Kirsteen Campbell, a Macallan whisky maker, described its contents as featuring “rich dark fruits, black cherry compote alongside sticky dates, followed by intense sweet antique oak,” according to the Associated Press.
This isn’t the first high-priced sale of Macallan 1926; several bottles have commanded staggering sums in recent years, signaling a growing appetite for exclusive spirits. From Dubai Airport to auctions in Hong Kong and London, these prized bottles have consistently broken records, with one bottle in 2018 becoming the first whisky to surpass one million pounds.
The fervor for Macallan extends beyond singular bottles; a 82-gallon 1989 Macallan sold for $1.4 million last year, while a cask left untouched for over three decades fetched $1.3 million, setting a new auction record. The trend underscores a thriving market for exceedingly rare and meticulously crafted whiskies.