Cask of Macallan 1989 sells for £242,000

Highlighting the growing strength of the rare whisky market, a cask of Macallan 1989 went under the hammer for £242,000 at an auction in Blackpool last week.

This cask of Macallan 1989 sold for £242K last week

Believed to be a world record for a cask of 1989 whisky, the £242K sum was achieves after an “epic bidding battle that lasted over four hours,” according to Whisky-Online Auctions, which managed the sale.

The cask, a refill Sherry hogshead, has been maturing in one of Macallan’s bonded warehouses since being filled in January 1989, and is the oldest of a series of Macallan casks auctioned by Whisky-Online.

The sale is an astonishing return on investment for the previous owner of the 52.75% abv cask, who paid £2,700 for it in 1994.

Illustrating how prices for old and rare whisky casks have surged over the last few months, a similar cask of Macallan 1995 sold for £52,100 – less than a quarter of the price – last November.

“This was a superb sale. Macallan is a blue chip distillery known for its Sherry casks, so it’s ideal for auctions like ours that specialise in quality older whiskies.

“It is great to see this level of demand for casks of single malt from serious auction buyers,” said Wayne Ormerod, founder of Whisky-Online Auctions.

“There were multiple bidders who were determined to secure the cask, which is why the auction kept extending and it ended up going for such a fantastic price.

“We’ve been auctioning rare bottles of whisky for several years, so when the opportunity to start auctioning casks came along it seemed like a natural progression. We’ve been surprised by just how successful it’s been,” he added.

Whisky-Online Auctions began selling bonded casks of single malt last July. In addition to Macallan there has been interest in casks from Isle of Jura, Tullibardine and Arran.

“A cask of aged Macallan is an increasingly historic and valuable asset and will always fetch high prices, particularly as the old Macallan distillery will be closing later this year after production is switched to the new facility. That makes these casks representing the distillery’s golden era even more special,” Ormerod said.

“This is a new and rapidly-growing part of our business and we expect these extraordinary prices will attract many other cask owners keen to find out how much their own liquid gold could achieve at auction,” he added.

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