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Britain Whisky Auction 12697

Bottle of 1926 Scotch whisky sells for record £2.2m at auction

A bottle of Scotch whisky billed as “the most sought-after” in the world sold Saturday for almost £2.2m ($2.7m), an auction record for a bottle of wine or spirits.

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 £1.5m, until Saturday a record for wine or spirits.

“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.

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 £2,187,500 ($2,714,250) includes a charge known as the buyer’s premium on top of the sale price of £1.75m. The price well exceeded the pre-sale estimate of £750,000 to £1.2m.

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