Bottle of Macallan Scotch Whisky Sells for Record-Setting $1.1 Million at Auction
Got a few bucks to drop on a good bottle of whisky? How many bucks? Maybe about a million bucks? On October 3, a bottle of the extremely rare Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 sold at auction for a new world record of £848,750 ($1.1 million) at British auction house Bonhams.
The previous record was held by a bottle of the same whisky, also sold by Bonhams earlier this year, for £814,081 ($1.06 million).
“I am delighted at this exceptional result,” said Bonhams whisky specialist Martin Green in a statement. “It is a great honor to have established a new world record, and particularly exciting to have done so here in Scotland, the home of whisky. Bonhams now holds the record for the three most valuable bottles of whisky ever sold at auction.”
The whisky was sold to a private collector in Asia, who bid in the Edinburgh, Scotland-based auction via phone, USA Today reports. The seller was described as a U.K.-based whisky connoisseur who was in a taxi in Italy when the item sold, according to The Telegraph.
Why is the whisky so pricey? For one thing, a very limited edition of 24 bottles was all the company made back in 1986. Twelve of them, including this one, feature labels designed by pop artist Valerio Adami. Now in his 80s, Adami is an Italian artist famous for his bold, comic-book-style art outlined in thick, black lines.
The bottle is presented in a specially commissioned cabinet called a Tantalus, which is based on the traditional “brass and glass” distillery spirit safe. It’s also signed by Adami and by former Macallan chairman Allan Shiach.
The other 12 bottles of the original 24 feature labels by artist Peter Blake, who co-created the famous cover of The Beatles’ "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band" album.
It’s unclear how many of the Adami-labeled bottles still exist. One was reportedly destroyed in an earthquake in Japan, and at least one of them is believed to have been consumed. If you can’t even imagine paying seven figures for one bottle of anything, there are plenty of inexpensive yet thirst-quenching options in the best beer in every state gallery.