This Bottle Just Sold for $2.7M

Macallan Adami 1926 whisky, of which there were only 40, far outreaches estimates
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 19, 2023 8:02 AM CST
This Bottle Just Sold for $2.7M
A view of a bottle of Macallan Adami 1926 whisky, on display at Sotheby's in London, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023. A bottle of Scotch whisky billed as “the most sought-after” in the world sold on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023 for $2.7 million, an auction record for a bottle of wine or spirits.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

A bottle of Scotch whisky billed as "the most sought-after" in the world sold Saturday for almost $2.7 million, an auction record for a bottle of wine or spirits—and far above initial estimates of up to $1.5 million. The Macallan Adami 1926 sold at Sotheby's in London, after a bidding war between would-be buyers on the phone and in the room. Just 40 bottles of the Macallan 1926 were bottled in 1986 after being aged in sherry casks for 60 years. Twelve of the bottles, including the one sold Saturday, had labels designed by Italian painter Valerio Adami. Another bottle from the same cask was sold by Sotheby's in 2019 for almost $1.87 million, which was a record for wine or spirits until Saturday.

"The Macallan 1926 is the one whisky that every auctioneer wants to sell and every collector wants to own," said Jonny Fowle, Sotheby's global head of spirits. He said the record-breaking sale was "nothing short of momentous for the whisky industry as a whole." The bottle sold Saturday is the first to have undergone reconditioning by the distillery ahead of auction. This included replacing the cork and applying new glue to the corners of the bottle labels. The final price of $2,714,250 includes a charge known as the buyer's premium on top of the sale price of $2.18 million. The price well exceeded the pre-sale estimate of $900,000 to $1.5 million.

And what is a $2.7 million whisky like? Macallan's Master Whisky Maker Kirsteen Campbell, who gave the tipple a sniff during the reconditioning, said it contained notes of "rich dark fruits, black cherry compote alongside sticky dates, followed by intense sweet antique oak." "Dark chocolate, treacle, ginger … the notes go on and on," she said. "It was a very special moment to experience the opening of this iconic 60 Years Old single malt, first bottled 37 years ago, and I hope the new custodian will enjoy the same privilege."

(More whisky stories.)

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