A bottle of whisky dubbed the “holy grail of single malts” has fetched £1 million in a Scottish auction.
The Macallan 1926 Fine and Rare 60 Year Old, sold by Perth-based Whisky Auctioneer, is the first bottle ever to fetch a seven-figure sum at a Scottish auction and the first anywhere to hit the landmark sum in an online-only sale.
The highly sought-after bottle was the leading lot in “The Perfect Collection Part 2”, comprising 1,958 bottles of rare whiskies collected by the late American businessman Richard Gooding.
The whisky lover spent 35 years travelling to Scotland seeking whisky from every Scottish distillery open or closed.
The Macallan 1926 Fine and Rare 60 Year Old was one of only a few of its kind from the Moray distillery’s legendary cask number 263, the world’s most celebrated whisky cask.
The Spanish oak sherry hogshead was filled in 1926, and the drink was allowed to mature for 60 years before it was bottled in 1986.
Only 40 bottles were produced from the cask, including a dozen with labels designed by the renowned pop artist Sir Peter Blake, best known as co-creator of the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover, and a further 12 by famed Italian painter Valerio Adami.
Two bottles from the cask were left without labels although one was later hand-painted by Irish artist Michael Dillon and became the first whisky to make £1m when it was sold at Christie’s in November 2018, leaving only a maximum of 14 bottles with the Fine and Rare Collection label.
The current world record for a bottle of whisky at auction stands at £1.2m (£1,452,000 including premiums) for a bottle from the same release, sold at Sotheby’s in October 2019.
Mr Gooding, who died in 2014, was the former owner of soft drink distributor the Pepsi Bottling Co of Denver, Colorado. During his life, he amassed 3,890 bottles at his home in Denver.
Whisky Auctioneer founder Iain McClune said: “Undoubtedly the entire collection is crowned by the incomparable The Macallan 1926 Fine and Rare, a whisky that has in recent years become the pinnacle of whisky collecting and for good reason.”