LONDON — The Macallan 1926 has long been called the world’s most sought-after Scotch and the world’s most valuable whisky. The reputation is well-earned, based on the news out of Sotheby’s auction house in London, CNN reported.
The Macallan batch made in 1926 has continued to draw stunning amounts at auction, breaking the world’s record for a bottle of wine or spirits at the auction on three consecutive occasions. In 2018, Sotheby’s sold a bottle of the whisky that had been marked ‘Fine & Rare” was the first bottle of wine or spirits to bring more than $1 million, according to Sotheby’s website.
That record didn’t stand long. Over 2018 and 2019, The Macallan 1926 broke the world’s record for a bottle of wine or spirit three straight times with each of the 1926 versions with artwork by: Sir Peter Blake and Michael Dillon, marked Fine and Rare. The Nov. 18 bottle shocked even the professions when it went for $2.7 million and set another record. Sotheby’s said.
Sotheby’s had expected it to sell for between $934,274 and $1.4 million, but the Macallan 1926 with the “Fine and Rare” stamp exceeded all of the auction house’s expectations, going for $2.7 million CNN reported.
Why are the world’s wealthiest Scotch lovers so willing to hand over millions for this one bottle of fine Scotch? Well, if you keep yourself from drinking it, it’s a great investment. Though there is one confirmed report out of Japan that at least one bottle was opened and consumed, CNN reported.
The 1926 batch was a fine example of the whisky makers’ art, aged in sherry kegs for six decades before the company drew off 40 bottles in 1986 and didn’t put them up for sale, adding to the rarity. This was the oldest Macallan vintage ever produced, which adds even more to the value. The company offered a few of the coveted bottles to its biggest clients, adding to the luxury and legend -- and questions of how many more bottles are out there?
Any time one or more of these bottles goes to auction, a frenzy ensues among the extremely wealthy who either really like Scotch, or who can tell a great investment when they see it. The price of these bottles at auction has steadily risen.
Out of the 40 bottles drawn in 1986, a maximum of 14 were decorated with the iconic Fine and Rare labels. Two other bottles were released with no labels at all. One was hand-painted by Irish artist Michael Dilllon, who immortalized Macallan’s own Easter Elchies House. When that bottle was sold in 2018, it became the first bottle of whisky to surpass £1 million at auction.
Of the remaining bottles, in 1986, 12 were Labelled by Pop Artist Sir Peter Blake, whose work depicted the top events of the year 1926 in black-and-white sketches and photography.
In 1993, a further 12 bottles had their labels designed by Italian painter Valerio Adami. The rarity factor is amplified in the knowledge that one of the Adami-labelled bottles is thought to have been destroyed during a Japanese earthquake in 2011, while the remaining unlabelled bottle is lost said CNN.
It is also believed that at least one of the 40 bottles has been opened and consumed, verified by images taken in Japan.
The bottle that went for $2.7 million was the first to undergo reconditioning by the distillery ahead of being presented at auction.