Breaking: 1926 Macallan sells for £1m

The ‘Holy Grail’ of Scotch, a bottle of The Macallan 1926 60 year old with a hand painted design by the Irish artist Michael Dillon, has been sold in London for £1.2 million (US$1.5m).

The bottle (pictured), one of the rarest in the world, was sold this morning (29 November) as part of Christie’s auction of fine and rare spirits and marks a new world record for any bottle of wine or spirits ever sold publicly, as well as a new high water mark for sales of Scotch whisky which have been mounting rapidly in recent times.

Tim Triptree MW, Christie’s international director of Wine, said: “The sale represents a landmark moment in the whisky market.”

Just this year world records for whisky were set in May by Bonhams in Hong Kong, when it sold two bottles of 1926 Macallan with labels by Sir Peter Blake and Valerio Adami. Then Bonhams broke its own record by selling another bottle with Adami label for over £800,000 in Edinburgh this October.

And now the record has been resoundingly smashed again – by the same whisky (albeit in a unique bottle). It was last seen in 1999 when it was sold at Fortnum & Mason and even The Macallan was unsure if the bottle still existed.

This bottle is the 25th to have been bottled in 1986 but while the other 24 received a label by either Blake or Adami (12 apiece), this was the only one to be decorated by hand making it the only one of its type in the world.

As previously reported by the drinks business, this sale features the largest collection of spirits Christie’s Wine Department has ever offered and also includes: a 50 year old Macallan in Lalique £60,000-£80,000), a 50 year old Yamazaki ‘1st Edition’ (£150,000-£200,000) – a bottle of which broke the record for most expensive Japanese whisky ever sold at Bonhams in Hong Kong this August – a 1919 Springbank, one of just 24 bottles released in 1970 (£100,000-£150,000) and a 1950s Berry Bros & Rudd bottled Highland Park Reserve 1902 (£4,000-£5,000).

More to follow.

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