In a historic moment in the alcohol market, a bottle of Macallan 1926, touted as the world's sought-after scotch whisky, has set a new record by selling for approximately $2.7 million at a Sotheby's auction in London. This particular Macallan 1926 is part of an exclusive collection, with only 40 bottles crafted after aging in sherry casks for an impressive 60 years, marking it as the oldest Macallan vintage ever produced.
The Rarity of Macallan 1926
The allure of Macallan 1926 lies not just in its age but also in its rarity. Bottled in 1986 as part of a limited collection, these 40 bottles were drawn from sherry casks that had matured for six decades. The exclusivity of the label further elevates its value, particularly the Macallan Adami 1926, as it is the only one among 14 adorned with the iconic Fine and Rare labels.
This exclusivity stems from the fact that some of these bottles were reserved solely for Macallan's top-tier clients. In 1993, the Italian painter Valerio Adami added to its uniqueness by hand-painting an additional twelve bottles, one of which became the star of the recent auction.
Unprecedented Bidding War
As the bidding commenced at Sotheby's, a fierce competition unfolded, with one bidder participating virtually and the eventual winner present at the live event.
The rarity of the Macallan Adami 1926, combined with its exquisite label and storied history, sparked an intense bidding war, driving the final price to an astounding £2,187,500 ($2,724,967). This not only exceeded Sotheby's expectations, which had estimated a range between £750,000 and £1.2 million, but also set a new record for the highest price ever paid for a bottle of spirit or wine at auction.
Breaking Previous Auction Records
While this is not the first time a bottle from the Macallan 1926 collection has changed hands, the recent sale has surpassed the bids from both the 2018 and 2019 auctions. Notably, out of the twelve remaining bottles bearing the coveted 'Adami label,' one was believed to have been lost during a Japanese earthquake in 2011, adding an extra layer of rarity to the collection.
The Macallan 1926 has consistently proven itself as an investment and a symbol of prestige, with its recent auction success cementing its status as the crown jewel of the whisky world.