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1926 Macallan Shatters World Record Auction Price

At least four different bottles of the 1926 Macallan 60-year-old Scotch Whisky have held the world record for the highest price ever paid at auction for a whisky. The latest came Saturday at Sotheby’s in London, when a bottle featuring a label by Italian artist Valerio Adami shattered the previous record set by a Fine and Rare-labeled bottle in 2019. The winning bid came in at $2,414,250, beating the 2019 record price of $1.9 million and the pre-auction estimate by nearly three times.

Only 40 bottles of The Macallan 1926 were produced in 1986, with 12 featuring labels by Adami. 12 more had labels created by British artist Sir Peter Blake, and 14 labeled as Fine and Rare. Of the remaining two, one was unlabeled, and one record-setting bottle was hand painted by Irish artist Michael Dillon.

In a statement, Sotheby’s Global Head of Spirits Jonny Fowle said “This record-breaking result for The Macallan 1926 is nothing short of momentous for the whisky industry as a whole. When we first set the record for the Fine & Rare back in 2019 it was a defining moment not just for Sotheby’s, but for me personally. This new record result for The Macallan Adami feels all the more emotional for me, having worked directly with the consignor and distillery to recondition, nose and authenticate this bottle, then finish this journey on the rostrum fielding bids in the room and on the phone. Bringing down the hammer for a new whisky world record is a feeling I’ll never forget.

The bottle was the first 1926 Macallan to undergo reconditioning with a new capsule, cork, and new glue on the bottle label. Macallan Master Whisky Maker Kirsteen Campbell also authenticated the whisky with a 1ml sample compared with a known 1926 sample from the Edrington archives.

The record-setting price must still be certified as a world record by Guinness World Records.

The auction was part of Sotheby’s “Weekend of Whisky,” which also featured an extensive Japanese whisky collection that brought in a total of $2.2 million.

Links: Sotheby’s