The Macallan Adami 1926, known as the “most valuable whisky in the world,” attracted fierce bidding from buyers both in the auction room and on the phone. This rare whisky, with only 40 bottles produced in 1986 after being aged for 60 years in sherry casks, is highly sought after for its exclusivity. The bottle sold at the auction features a label designed by Italian artist Valerio Adami, one of only twelve bottles with this unique label.
In 2019, another bottle from the same cask was sold by Sotheby’s for nearly 1.5 million pounds, which was a record at the time. Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s global head of spirits, expressed his excitement about the sale, stating, “The Macallan 1926 is the one whisky that every auctioneer wants to sell and every collector wants to own.”
Fowle described the sale as a significant moment for the whisky industry as a whole. He added, “It’s not a whisky to take lightly. It’s a rich, rich dram, but it is incredible.” The bottle sold at the auction underwent a reconditioning process at the distillery, where the cork was replaced and glue was reapplied to the label corners.
The final sale price of 2,187,500 pounds ($2,714,250) includes the buyer’s premium on top of the hammer price of 1.75 million pounds, surpassing the initial estimates of 750,000 to 1.2 million pounds. Kirsteen Campbell, Macallan’s Master Whisky Maker, shared her experience of sampling the whisky during its reconditioning. She described it as having a complex profile with flavors of rich dark fruits, black cherry compote, sticky dates, and intense sweet antique oak. Campbell also noted the presence of dark chocolate, treacle, and ginger, among other notes. She expressed her hope that the new owner of the whisky will enjoy it as much as she did.
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