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Sotheby's is auctioning 'the most valuable whiskey in the world'

Prepare to dig deep, for the last bottle of its kind broke all previous records

Sotheby's is auctioning 'the most valuable whiskey in the world'
Danielle de Wolfe
20 October 2023

Here at ShortList, there's nothing that grabs our attention quite like the sound of a gavel going down on the world's most valuable whiskey.

Which is why Sotheby's latest auction has us checking our bank balance, with one particular bottle of whiskey poised to break all manner of records.

Aged in Sherry casks for six decades and with just 40 bottles in existence, this limited-edition bottle of The Macallan 1926 is ready to take our money.
Created in 1986, Sotheby's will be putting the bottle of The Macallan Adami 1926 up for auction in London on November 18, with advance bidding opening on 1 November.

And when we say this bottle is rare, we really do mean it.

Not satisfied with its 'one of 40' label, add to that the fact this bottle is one of only 12 in existence to feature a label designed by Italian painter Valerio Adami in 1993.

It's made even rarer by the fact one of the 12 limited-edition painted bottles is believed to have been destroyed during a Japanese earthquake in 2011.

Sotheby's is auctioning 'the most valuable whiskey in the world'

Of the remaining bottles, a further twelve were also adorned with the handiwork of Pop Artist Sir Peter Blake to immortalise the ‘roaring 20s’.

With a previous bottle of The Macallan 1926 having sold for a record breaking £1.5million in 2019, the guide price on this beauty is looking incredibly steep.

Expected to fetch between £750,000 and £1.2million, this fine specimen of a bottle is the first 1926 bottle to have undergone reconditioning by Edrington-owned Macallan Distillery ahead of it's impending auction.

According to Sotheby’s global head of spirits, Jonny Fowle, The Macallan 1926 is “the one whisky that every auctioneer wants to sell and every collector wants to own”.
Fowle continued: “Working alongside our friends at The Macallan Distillery to recondition and perform clinical analysis on this bottle and liquid has elevated it to an unparalleled status.”
“Now, as the bedrock for all Macallan 1926 authenticity and with its condition approved by master distiller Kirsten Campbell, this must surely be the most desirable bottle of whisky ever to come to the market.”
The first time one such bottle from this vintage has gone up for auction since the record breaking figure was set four years ago, the initial limited 1986 bottling was only offered to the brand's top clientelle rather than being made available to the public.
The forthcoming sale is about to change all that, with three different variations of the bottles having broken all manner of records on the rare occasions they were previously put up for auction.
Prospective whiskey owners (or simply the curious) can discover more about the forthcoming sale by popping over to Sotheby's site now.
  • While we have you, discover the best whisky, taste tested.