Historic Sale: Macallan Adami 1926 Whisky Fetches Unprecedented $2.7 Million at Auction

by Ethan Kim
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whisky auction record

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In a historic auction event, a bottle of Scotch whisky, hailed as “the most sought-after” globally, was successfully sold for a staggering sum of nearly 2.2 million pounds, equivalent to $2.7 million. This remarkable sale, achieved at Sotheby’s in London, stands as an unprecedented record for the auction of wine or spirits.

The prized item in question, The Macallan Adami 1926, garnered intense interest, sparking a fierce bidding war between prospective buyers participating both via telephone and within the auction hall itself.

A mere 40 bottles of The Macallan 1926 were produced in 1986, following a meticulous aging process in sherry casks spanning six decades. Notably, twelve of these bottles, including the one that found its new owner on this remarkable Saturday, featured exquisite labels designed by the renowned Italian painter Valerio Adami.

It is worth noting that a bottle from the same cask had previously been sold by Sotheby’s in 2019, achieving a remarkable price of almost 1.5 million pounds, holding the record for wine or spirits auctions until this monumental Saturday sale.

Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s global head of spirits, commented, “The Macallan 1926 is the holy grail of whiskies, coveted by auctioneers and collectors alike.”

An intriguing facet of this sale is that the bottle in question had undergone meticulous reconditioning by the distillery prior to being presented for auction. This process included the replacement of the cork and the careful application of new adhesive to the bottle labels’ corners.

The final transaction price of 2,187,500 pounds, or $2,714,250, encompasses an additional fee known as the buyer’s premium, applied on top of the initial sale price of 1.75 million pounds. This remarkable outcome far surpassed the pre-sale estimate, originally ranging from 750,000 pounds to 1.2 million pounds.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about whisky auction record

What is the significance of the Macallan Adami 1926 whisky sale?

The sale of the Macallan Adami 1926 whisky is historically significant because it set a new record by fetching a staggering $2.7 million at Sotheby’s in London, making it the most expensive bottle of whisky ever sold at auction.

How rare is the Macallan Adami 1926 whisky?

The Macallan Adami 1926 is exceptionally rare, with only 40 bottles produced in 1986. This scarcity, combined with its long aging process in sherry casks for 60 years, makes it highly coveted among collectors.

What makes this whisky so special?

Several factors contribute to its uniqueness. Firstly, it is from a limited batch of just 40 bottles. Secondly, 12 of these bottles feature labels designed by renowned artist Valerio Adami, adding artistic and collectible value. Lastly, this particular bottle underwent meticulous reconditioning by the distillery, further enhancing its appeal.

Who participated in the bidding for this whisky?

The auction witnessed intense competition between prospective buyers who participated both through telephone bids and in-person at the auction venue, reflecting the global interest and desire to own this iconic bottle.

What was the previous record for a bottle of wine or spirits at auction?

Before this sale, the record for the highest price achieved for a bottle of wine or spirits at auction was approximately 1.5 million pounds, which was also for a Macallan Adami 1926 bottle sold by Sotheby’s in 2019.

How much did the final buyer pay for the Macallan Adami 1926 whisky?

The final price for the Macallan Adami 1926 whisky, including the buyer’s premium, was 2,187,500 pounds, equivalent to $2,714,250, significantly surpassing the initial pre-sale estimate of 750,000 pounds to 1.2 million pounds.

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