Bottle of ‘most sought-after Scotch whisky’ to come under hammer at Sotheby’s in London next month

A bottle of the world's most valuable whisky is on display during a media preview of Sotheby's auction, in London, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023. After being aged in sherry casks for six decades, just 40 bottles of The Macallan 1926 were bottled in 1986. This bottle of whisky has an estimated price of $900,000-1,450,000. Advance bidding will open on Nov.1, 2023. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

LONDON (AP) — A bottle of what Sotheby’s is calling “the most sought-after Scotch whisky” is set to go up for auction next month, with an estimated price of up to 1.2 million pounds ($1.4 million), the auction house said Thursday.

It said the 96-year-old bottle of single malt from distiller Macallan — The Macallan Adami 1926 — will come under the hammer in London on Nov. 18, with a price estimate above 750,000 pounds. Advance bidding will begin Nov. 1.


A version of The Macallan 1926 was sold by Sotheby’s in 2019 for 1.5 million pounds, a record for any bottle of wine or spirit. The appearance of three different bottle variations of the whisky at auctions in 2018 and 2019 led to the record being broken three times.

“The Macallan 1926 is the one whisky that every auctioneer wants to sell and every collector wants to own,” said Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s global head of spirits. “I am extremely excited to bring a bottle to a Sotheby’s auction for the first time since we set the record for this vintage four years ago.”

After being aged in sherry casks over six decades, just 40 bottles of The Macallan 1926 were bottled, making them the distillery’s oldest vintage.

Sotheby’s said some of the 40 were offered to Macallan clients, with up to 14 decorated with Macallan’s iconic Fine and Rare label, including the record-breaker. Twelve of the bottles, including the one being sold next month, had their labels designed by Italian painter Valerio Adami.

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