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Bottle of 1762 Cognac sells for record-breaking £118,580

A bottle of one of the world’s oldest surviving Cognacs – Gautier Cognac 1762 – broke a world record yesterday after selling for £118,580 at an online auction.

The rare liquid went under the hammer at an online auction held by Sotheby’s. The fine and rare spirits sale, entitled ‘Distilled’, brought in £1.5 million.

The 1762 Cognac was sold to an Asian private collector, who has been invited to visit Maison Gautier to enjoy a bespoke tasting at the distillery.

Only three bottles of the incredibly rare Cognac remain, having been held in the same family for generations with their original labels intact.

Sotheby’s sold the last and largest of the three bottles, known as ‘Grand Frère’ (big bother). Its little sister is housed in the Gautier Museum, and its little brother was sold at auction in New York in 2014.

The oldest vintage Cognac ever to be sold at auction, the spirit was originally part of a trio of 1762 vintage Gautier Cognacs preserved since the end of the 19th century.

The year 1762 is notable for a number of historic events: Britain entering the Seven Years’ War against Spain and Naples, Catherine II becoming empress of Russia, and the first Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in New York.

During the 19th century, the current owner of Maison Gautier’s great grandparents fostered an orphan called Alphonse who left his adopted family in 1870 to work in the Cognac region.

Returning in 1880, Alphonse arrived home to his adoptive parents with a cart loaded with bottles of Cognac, likely acquired in lieu of wages.

Most of the bottles were soiled, but among them were three Maison Gautier Cognacs, with their labels in pristine condition.

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