Two Bottles of 1926 Scotch Break World Auction Records

Each of the Macallan whiskies sold for over a million dollars.

By Ethan L. Johns
May 22, 2018

Image: Bonhams

When the layman thinks of luxury whisky, odds are they’re thinking of Johnnie Walker Blue Label. Clocking in at $180, the 750-milliliter bottle costs more than most would spend on booze in a month. Well, friends, there’s nothing like a casual international auction to make us all feel like peasants.

On Friday, Bonhams Hong Kong hosted an auction for a variety of rare wines and whiskeys—an auction that was expected to break world records. The event, which included two notable bottles of 1926 Macallan 60-Year-Old Scotch whisky, met expectations. Each bottle sold for over a million dollars.

According to the Drinks Business, the first bottle—a 1926 Macallan Peter Blake 60-Year-Old—broke a new record established earlier that day, selling for $1,014,422. Three hours later, that world record was bested by the 1926 Macallan Valerio Adami 60-Year-Old, which brought in $1,100,197.

A similar pair of the 1924 Scotches sold at Le Clos in the Dubai International Airport in April for a whopping $1.2 million total, or $600,000 per bottle.

So what makes these bottles so valuable?

Foremost for their rarity. Only 40 bottles of the 1924 were produced—12 of which were sold with the Peter Blake label and 12 of which were with the Valerio Adami label. The whisky inside was distilled in 1924, then aged in sherry barrels for 60 years before being released in 1984. They were never available for purchase; the bottles were given as gifts to important clients of the distillery.

The bottles also feature limited-edition artwork. Sir Peter Blake is best known for his work on the cover art of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Valerio Adami is known for his expressionist and cloisonnist art.

So if you love really expensive pours (like, $44,000-per-ounce expensive), keep your eye out for these ones in the future. They’ll likely show up again (as early as this fall), because at this point—with a monetary value like that—it’s unlikely that anybody will ever open them.

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About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns