Bottle of Macallan 60-Year-Old Whisky Sells for Record £1.452m at Auction in London

60-year-old Macallan whisky is often hailed as ‘The Holy Grail of Whisky’. One of the rare bottles of 1926 Macallan whisky was hammered down at £1.2m and sold for £1.452m after premium at Sotheby’s in London, setting a new world auction record for a bottle of whisky. Different from the bottles which held previous auction records, the present one is one of the only 14 bottles decorated with the iconic Fine and Rare labels.

This bottle of 60-year-old Macallan whisky becomes world’s most valuable bottle of whisky

The bottle was distilled in 1926 and bottled in 1986

Estimated at £350,000-450,000, the bottle elicited an intense bidding battle with strong interest from room bidders, telephone bidders and online bidders. It was hammered down at £1.2m and sold for £1.45m to a room bidder.

The previous auction record for a bottle of whisky was also set by a 60-year-old Macallan. The bottle features a label uniquely hand-painted by the Irish artist Michael Dillon, making it one-of-the-kind. It was sold for £1.2m.

The bottle is illustrated with Dillon’s depiction of The Macallan’s historic home, Easter Elchies House

The present bottle was distilled over 90 years ago and aged in European Oak for 60 years. It is one of only 40 bottles that Macallan has confirmed were produced from Cask 263 in 1986. Of the 40 bottles drawn, not all received the Fine and Rare label and packaging. 12 were labelled by Pop Artist Sir Peter Blake. A further 12 bottles had their labels designed by Italian painter Valerio Adami.

A bottle of 60-year-old Macallan with a label designed by Peter Blake

A bottle of 60-year-old Macallan with a label designed by Valerio Adami

Bottles of Macallan 60-year-old whisky sold for record-setting prices on different occasions this year. Last May, two bottles of Macallan 60-year-old whisky, a ‘Peter Blake’ bottle and a ‘Valerio Adami’, sold for HK$7.96m and HK$8.63m. The record was later replaced by another ‘Valerio Adami’ bottle of Macallan whisky sold in Edinburgh last August. The bottle of whisky was sold for £848,750 (HK$8.64m).

It is assumed that only a maximum of 14 remaining bottles could be decorated with the iconic Fine and Rare labels. And the present one which just sold for a record-smashing price is one of those bottles.

Most Expensive Bottle of Whisky

The Macallan Fine & Rare 60 Year Old 42.6 ABV 1926

Lot no.: 160
Estimate: £350,000 - 400,000
Hammer price: £1,200,000
Price realised: £1,452,000

Auction house: Sotheby’s London
Sale: The Ultimate Whisky Collection
Sale date: 24 October 2019