Historic Sotheby's Auction: World’s Most Sought-After Macallan 1926 Whisky Fetches Record $2.7 Million
The rare vintage, aged for 60 years in sherry casks, is one of only 40 bottles ever produced, marking it as the oldest Macallan vintage in existence.
Originally expected to fetch between £750,000 and £1.2 million ($934,274 and $1.4 million), the Macallan 1926 surpassed all predictions, commanding an astounding £2,187,500 ($2,724,967). This sale establishes a new record for any bottle of spirit or wine sold at auction, as confirmed by the auction house to the AFP news agency.
Ahead of the auction, Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s head of whisky, shared his experience tasting a small sample of this exceptional whisky. Describing it as "very rich" with notes of dried fruit, spice, and wood, he emphasized the incredible quality of this unique spirit.
The exclusivity of the Macallan 1926 adds to its allure, with only 40 bottles filled in 1986. None were made available for purchase, instead offered to The Macallan's elite clients. This exclusivity has been evident in previous sales, further enhancing its appeal to collectors.
Notably, in 2019, Sotheby's auctioned a Macallan 1926 bottle adorned with one of 14 Fine and Rare labels for £1.5 million ($1.9 million), setting a record at the time for the most expensive bottle of wine or spirit ever auctioned.
The Macallan 1926 sold at the recent auction was one of the 12 bottles featuring a label designed by Italian painter Valerio Adami. This specific bottle underwent reconditioning by The Macallan Distillery in Scotland before the auction, marking the first time a Macallan 1926 bottle has undergone such a process.
Other bottles from the same batch included 12 labelled by pop artist Sir Peter Blake and two released unlabelled. One of the unlabelled bottles, hand-painted by Irish artist Michael Dillon, made history in 2018 by becoming the first whiskey bottle to surpass £1 million ($1.2 million) when it sold for £1.2 million ($1.5 million).
The remarkable sale of the Macallan 1926 highlights the enduring allure of rare and vintage spirits among collectors, cementing its status as a symbol of luxury and exclusivity in the world of whisky connoisseurship.
What is wine?
Wine is an alcoholic beverage that is made from fermented grape juice. It is one of the oldest and most popular beverages in the world, and it has been enjoyed by people for centuries. Wine is made in a variety of styles, from dry to sweet, from red to white, and from still to sparkling. It is often served with food, and it can also be enjoyed on its own.
What are the benefits of wine?
Wine has been shown to have a number of health benefits. It is a good source of antioxidants, which can help to protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. Wine can also help to lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer. Additionally, wine can help to improve cognitive function and memory.
How is wine made?
The process of making wine is called vinification. It involves a number of steps, including harvesting the grapes, crushing them, fermenting the juice, and aging the wine.
Fermenting the juice: The grape juice is then fermented. This is a process in which yeast converts the sugar in the juice into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The fermentation process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
Crushing the grapes: The grapes are then crushed to release the juice. This can be done using a variety of methods, including foot treading, mechanical crushing, and destemming.
Harvesting the grapes: The first step in making wine is to harvest the grapes. The grapes are typically harvested by hand, and they are then transported to the winery.
What are the different types of wine?
There are many different types of wine, but they can be broadly classified into two categories: red wine and white wine.
What are the different styles of wine?
There are many different styles of wine, but they can be broadly classified into three categories: dry, sweet, and sparkling.
What are the different regions of wine production?
Wine is produced in all corners of the globe, but some of the most famous wine regions include:
How to choose the right wine
There are many factors to consider when choosing a wine, including your personal preferences, the occasion, and the food you are pairing it with.
How to store wine
Wine should be stored in a cool, dark place. The ideal temperature for storing wine is between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Wine should also be stored away from direct sunlight and vibration.
Food pairing: The food you are pairing the wine with is also important to consider. Red wine typically pairs well with red meat, while white wine typically pairs well with seafood and poultry.
Occasion: The occasion is also important to consider when choosing a wine. If you are celebrating a special occasion, you may want to choose a more expensive wine. If you are simply having a casual dinner, you may want to choose a more affordable wine.
Personal preferences: The most important factor in choosing a wine is your own personal preferences. Do you prefer red wine or white wine? Do you like dry wine or sweet wine? Do you like light-bodied wine or full-bodied wine?
Australia: Australia is a major producer of wine, and it is known for its Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon wines.
California: California is the leading producer of wine in the United States, and it is home to Napa Valley and Sonoma County.
Spain: Spain is known for its Rioja and Ribera del Duero wines.
Italy: Italy is another major wine producer, and it is home to regions such as Tuscany, Piemonte, and Barolo.
France: France is home to some of the most famous wine regions in the world, including Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champagne.
Sparkling wine: Sparkling wine is made with added carbon dioxide. It is typically fizzy and celebratory.
Sweet wine: Sweet wine has a high level of residual sugar. It is typically sweet and fruity.
Dry wine: Dry wine has little or no residual sugar. It is typically crisp and refreshing.
White wine: White wine is made from white grapes. It is typically light and refreshing, with flavors of apples, citrus, and flowers.
Red wine: Red wine is made from red grapes. It is typically dry and full-bodied, with flavors of berries, cherries, and spices.
Aging the wine: After fermentation, the wine is aged. This can be done in a variety of ways, including in oak barrels, stainless steel tanks, or glass bottles. The aging process helps to develop the flavor and complexity of the wine.