A rare bottle of whisky has sold for a world record £848,750 at auction.

Described by experts as “the Holy Grail of whisky”, the bottle of the 1926 Macallan Valerio Adami attracted attention from some of the world’s most serious collectors.

It fetched a hammer price of £700,000 plus a buyer’s premium of £148,750 in the auction at Bonhams in Edinburgh on Wednesday.

It had been expected to fetch between £700,000 and £900,000.

The whisky is officially described as a 60-year-old, having been created in 1926 and bottled in 1986.

Martin Green, Bonhams whisky specialist in Edinburgh, said: “I am delighted at this exceptional result. It is a great honour to have established a new world record, and particularly exciting to have done so here in Scotland, the home of whisky.

“The Macallan 1926 60-year-old has been described as the Holy Grail of whisky.

“Its exceptional rarity and quality puts it in a league of its own, and the world’s most serious whisky collectors will wait patiently for many years for a bottle to come on to the market.”

Bonhams said the previous world record was set by the auction house in May this year when another bottle of The Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 was sold for £814,081.

Macallan commissioned two Pop Artists – Valerio Adami and Peter Blake – to design labels for a very limited edition of 24 bottles. Twelve carried the Adami label and 12 had the Blake design.

It is not known how many Adami bottles still exist.

One is said to have been destroyed in an earthquake in Japan in 2011, and it is believed at least one of them was opened and drunk.
The bottle sold on Wednesday was bought by the seller direct from the Macallan distillery for an undisclosed sum in 1994.

In May, Bonhams Hong Kong sold a bottle of The Macallan Peter Blake 1926 60-year-old for £751,703.

About The Author

Sean Murphy

Driven by a passion for all things whisky-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over six years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink.

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