He Forgot About His Whisky for 30 Years. It Was a $1.2M Blessing

Cask of Macallan distilled in 1988 smashes auction record
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2022 9:40 AM CDT
This Cask of Whisky Just Smashed an Auction Record
Drink up, lucky auction winner.   (Getty Images/karandaev)

(Newser) – One very lucky (and apparently wealthy) Macallan fan now has enough of their favorite whisky to share with at least 500 friends, after scooping up a cask of it for nearly $1.2 million—the most expensive cask ever sold at auction. Per CTV News, a 100-gallon barrel of the renowned spirits was whipped up by the Scottish distillery in 1988, and some guy reported to be an expatriate bought it up for about $6,300. You'd think one wouldn't forget about such a purchase, but the buyer apparently had other stuff on his mind for the past three decades, as he didn't remember to come for it until the distillery recently sent out a reminder that the cask was still sitting around in one of its warehouses.

That owner apparently didn't feel like holding onto his liquor after so many years, and so put it up for grabs, in an online sale at Whisky Hammer that ended Sunday. "When this cask was listed ... we knew it had the potential to make history," the site's co-founder, Daniel Milne, tells the BBC. He adds, per the Robb Report: "Casks of this age and size are extremely rare, especially from The Macallan." The barrel is said to have enough liquid courage in it to fill 534 700-milliliter bottles.

The previous record for a whisky cask sold at auction, another Macallan barrel in 2021, was around $560,000. The only word on the buyer of the recent Macallan whisky—said in its tasting notes to have a "slightly nutty mouthfeel," with "waves of sweetness" and hints of "oak, leather, and spices," including "nutmeg, ginger, and ground coriander, over a wash of ginger perkin biscuits, soft buttery dates, and freshly baked apricot Danish pastries," per CTV—is that it's a private person based in the United States. (Read more whisky stories.)

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