Macallan 1926 ‘holy grail’ of whisky fetches £1m at auction… for just ONE bottle 


I’ll drink to that! The ‘holy grail’ of whisky fetches £1m at auction… for just ONE bottle

  • The Macallan 1926 Fine And Rare 60-year-old Scotch whisky sold for £1million
  • Bottle was one of only 14 of its kind from the Moray distillery’s legendary cask
  • It was the leading lot in a 1,958-bottle collection sale by late-American businessman Richard Gooding

A bottle of whisky dubbed the ‘holy grail of single malts’ has sold for £1million.

The Macallan 1926 Fine And Rare 60-year-old is the first bottle to hit the landmark figure in an online-only sale.

The bottle was one of only 14 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 ever produced including a dozen with labels designed by the renowned pop artist Sir Peter Blake, best known as the co-creator of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover.

The Macallan 1926 Fine And Rare 60-year-old is the first bottle to hit the landmark figure of £1million in an online-only sale by Perth-based Whisky Auctioneer

The world record for a bottle of whisky at auction stands at £1.2million (nearly £1.5million with premiums) for a bottle from the same batch, sold at Sotheby’s in October 2019.

It was the leading lot in ‘The Perfect Collection Part 2’, sold by Perth-based Whisky Auctioneer.

The collection comprised 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 distillery, open or closed. 

Mr Gooding, who died in 2014, was the former owner of soft drink distributor the Pepsi Cola Bottling Company.

During his life, he amassed 3,890 bottles at his home in Denver, Colorado.

The first 1,932 bottles were sold by Whisky Auctioneer in February last year for a total of £3.2million.

The highlight was a Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 60-year-old, which sold for a hammer price of £825,000 – the first bottle of Scotch to break the $1million (£700,000) mark in an online sale.

Part two of the sale was initially launched in April last year but postponed after the auction site was targeted in a cyber attack.

Speaking ahead of the rearranged sale, Whisky Auctioneer founder Iain McClune said: ‘Undoubtedly the entire collection is crowned by the incomparable Macallan 1926 Fine and Rare, a whisky that has in recent years become the pinnacle of whisky collecting, and for good reason.’

He added: ‘This auction was solely dedicated to one collector’s magnificent library of whisky – a man who was dedicated to building the perfect collection.

‘As enthusiasts of whisky ourselves, we knew that this collection deserved its own spotlight to allow us to truly convey the rarity and sheer scale of something so historic.’

He said Mr Gooding’s entire collection had sold for more than $9million (£6.3million), adding: ‘It has been a privilege for us to share Mr Gooding’s legacy with the world.’

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