- One drama from 97-year-old Macallan Adami will set a mystery buyer back an incredible £78,000
A bottle of whiskey dubbed the “holy grail of single malts” set a world auction record yesterday, selling for more than £2 million.
Macallan Adami 1926 was one of only 12 produced in 1986 by the Speyside distillery.
Yesterday it smashed the previous auction record by over £700,000 – meaning each of the 28 25ml packs inside is worth an astonishing £77,857.
The 97-year-old whiskey was drawn from the distillery’s legendary cask number 263 and has a label by Italian pop artist Adami.
Bottle number 12/12 went under the hammer at Sotheby’s in London with an estimate of between £750,000 and £1.2 million following interest from collectors from around the world.
It was sold to an online bidder after a battle with a rival in the auction room.
A bottle of The Macallan 1926, the most expensive whiskey in the world
The bidding started at £700,000 and the winning bid of £2.18 million was greeted with cheers and applause.
Auctioneer Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s global head of spirits, toasted the new Gaelic world record by singing “Slàinte Mhath” from the podium as the gavel fell.
He later said: “This packaging represents the greatest thing the Scottish whiskey industry can produce and with which it can represent itself. I think for any collector this is the ultimate trophy.”
Aged for 60 years, just 40 bottles of The Macallan 1926 were bottled in 1986, at the time the oldest vintage of The Macallan produced.
The distillery commissioned Adami to design a label for 12 bottles, and fellow artist Peter Blake designed another label for a dozen more. A maximum of 14 bottles were decorated with the distillery’s Fine and Rare labels, and two bottles were released without any labels, one hand-painted by Irish artist Michael Dillon.
Originally bottled as a corporate gift to the distillery’s most valued customers, it has since been recognized as “the rarest and most valuable whiskey in the world.”
Previous sales have described it as the “holy grail of single malts”.
The previous world record for any bottle of wine or spirit at auction was set in 2019 when a bottle from the same cask, labeled Fine and Rare, sold for £1,452,000.