‘Rich, rich dram’: Rare 1926 whisky becomes most expensive bottle at £2.1 million

Macallan bottle had been expected to raise between £750,000 and £1.2 million at Sotheby’s auction in London

The record for the world’s most expensive bottle of whisky has been broken after a bottle of Macallan 1926 went for £2.1 million (€2.4 million) at a Sotheby’s auction in London.

The sale set a new record for any bottle of spirit or wine sold at auction, the auction house told the AFP news agency.

The rare bottle had been expected to raise between £750,000 and £1.2 million but surpassed estimates to fetch £2,187,500 on Saturday.

One of the Macallan 1926 bottles had set a previous record for the most expensive bottle ever sold in 2019, when it fetched £1.5 million at Sotheby’s.


Sotheby’s head of whisky, Jonny Fowle, told AFP that he had been allowed to sample the valuable dram before the sale.

Mr Fowle said: “I tasted a tiny drop – a tiny drop – of this. It’s very rich, it’s got a lot of dried fruit as you would expect, a lot of spice, a lot of wood.”

He added it had spent 60 years in dark European oak, which was reflected in the colour. “It’s not a whisky to take lightly. It’s a rich, rich dram, but it is incredible,” Fowle said.

The Adami 1926 is the oldest Macallan vintage ever produced. The bottles are among only 40 that Macallan, based in Moray, northern Scotland, has confirmed were bottled from Cask 263 in 1986.

However, these were not made available for purchase and were instead offered to Macallan’s top clients.

Records are broken each time one appears at auction: between 2018 and 2019, the record was broken three times by three of the different variations: Sir Peter Blake, Michael Dillon, and Fine and Rare.

The record-breaking bottle is one of the 12 Macallan 1926 bottles that in 1993 had their labels designed by the Italian painter Valerio Adami. – Guardian