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May 23, 2018

A bottle of single malt whisky has been sold for a record $1.1m (£815,760) at an auction in Hong Kong.

The very rare 1926 Macallan scotch whisky was sold an hour after a bottle of the same vintage also changed hands for a slightly smaller seven-figure sum.
The whisky bottles, which had not been seen in public since they were last auctioned three decades ago, are described as the “holy grail of Macallan” because only 24 bottles were produced as gifts for the distillery’s most-valued customers. The bottles feature specially commissioned labels by the pop artists Valerio Adami, which sold for $1.1m (£814,000), and Sir Peter Blake, which sold for just over $1m.

The Blake-designed bottle sold to a telephone bidder and the Adami-designed bottle was sold to a bidder in the room at Bonhams auction house in Hong Kong. The record sale price works out at £1,080 per millilitre of whisky. Both bidders were undisclosed.
The previous whisky sale price record was set in 2017 with the £730,000 sale of a six-bottle lot of Macallan. The previous record for a single bottle was the £466,000 paid for a Macallan M Imperiale in 2014, although an Imperiale contains eight and a half 70cl bottles worth of whisky.
Daniel Lam, Bonhams’ head of fine wine and whisky in Hong Kong, said: “These two bottles are the most significant whiskies ever produced in 20th century and truly presented a once-in-a-generation opportunity for collectors to acquire the holy grail of Macallan.

“Active bidding came in from around the world but we saw new bidders from South-east Asia, including Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia, reflecting the growing appetite and appreciation for whisky among Asian collectors.”
The whisky, which was bottled in 1986, is presented in specially commissioned cabinets or Tantaluses, based on the traditional ‘brass and glass’ distillery spirit safe.
Blake is best known for co-creating the Beatles’ album cover of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club band in 1967, which was voted by Rolling Stone magazine as the No 1 album of all time. Adami is an Italian artist famous for painting bold, flat forms outlined in thick, black lines, in a style reminiscent of comic art.

Source:  The Guardian