The pair of The Macallan 1926 set the new world record as the most expensive whisky bottles sold during an auction in Le Clos, Dubai airport luxury spirits retailers earlier this weekend where the two bottles were sold at a whopping Ksh 62,820,500 each.
One might ask what makes this specific bottle special. To begin with, Of the 40 bottles of The Macallan 1926 produced, 12 were given to the British artist Sir Peter Blake who also designed the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band cover for The Beatles, and 12 were given to the Italian graphic artist Valerio Adami, one of the 21st century’s most acclaimed pop artists. Each of the two artists created a bespoke label for the bottles, making them highly sought after by art-lovers and whisky collectors alike.
Secondly, there’s the oak. Seven oak casks were chosen and blended to create “M”. The resident whisky maker took two years selecting the seven rare sherry casks out of 200,000 different oak casks of which ranged in age from about 75 to 25 years old. But they do not have an age statement since the casks were chosen for rarity rather than age even though for the fact that the whisky was distilled back in 1926, and aged for 60 years in sherry seasoned oak barrels before being bottled and released in 1986.
“These represent some of the most exclusive bottles ever produced making this an iconic sale that will be remembered worldwide for years to come. It is incredibly rare for The Macallan 1926 to be made available for purchase, and the sale offers whisky connoisseurs the chance to secure historic bottles emblematic of 20th century pop culture. The Macallan is renowned for its outstanding quality and this sale demonstrates the brand standing as a leading figure in the whisky industry worldwide.” said Geoff Kirk, Director of Prestige, The Macallan.
The sale at Le Clos sets a new benchmark for private sales and completes another chapter in The Macallan’s history as a collector’s whisky – the distillery also currently holds the record for most expensive whisky bottle sold at auction with The Macallan M Imperiale achieving US$628,000 at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in 2014.
But the sale by Le Clos may not hold onto its record-breaking status for long: it comes a few weeks before two more of the Blake and Adami bottles are due to be auctioned by Bonhams Rare and Fine Wine and Whisky on Friday, 18 May in Hong Kong.