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Incredibly rare whisky smashes $1m auction record

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20/02/2020
A single bottle of whisky fetched over $1m (£800,000) – the most ever paid for Scotch.

The incredibly rare Macallan 1926 Valerio Adami 60 Year Old was sold at $1,072,000 (£825,000) breaking the former world record hammer price of $912,000 set only in October 2018. It attracted bids from collectors across 11 countries, including the UK.

It formed part of the largest ever private collection of whisky, consisting of over 3,900 bottles of primarily single malt Scotch whisky from distilleries including The Macallan, Bowmore and Springbank.

It also included bottles from some of Scotland’s lost distilleries, including Old Orkney from Stromness Distillery and Dallas Dhu. Some of the bottles had never been seen at auction, or by whisky experts.

The ‘perfect collection’ was built up over two decades by American private collector, Richard Gooding, who died in 2014.

Until recently, it had been housed in Mr. Gooding’s ‘pub’ – a dedicated room located in his Colorado family home.

His wife, Nancy Gooding, said: “It was clear to us as a family that collecting Scotch was one of Richard’s greatest passions. He loved every aspect of it; from researching the many single malt distilleries to visiting them and tasting their whiskies.

“Richard truly loved and was proud of his collection and enjoyed sharing it with friends and fellow Scotch lovers in his ‘pub’ at home.”

The collection was expected to fetch between £7-£8m, split between two auctions (February and April).

Sold online by Whisky Auctioneer from Perthshire in Scotland, the first part of the auction this month saw 1,642 bidders from 56 countries around the world.

Another record-breaking sale was the Macallan 1928 Anniversary Malt 50 Year Old which had a final hammer price of $119,863 (£92,000), beating the previous record of $93,819 in October 2019.

A 201 bottle collection from The Macallan distillery reached a total hammer price of $2,559,218 (£1,997,000).

‘With auctions, anything can happen’

Iain McClune, founder of Whisky Auctioneer, said: “We always knew The Perfect Collection by Mr. Gooding could make whisky history, but with auctions anything can happen.

“Not only was the highest ever sale price for Macallan 1926 Valerio Adami achieved at over a million dollars, Whisky Auctioneer became the first online whisky auction to sell a million dollar bottle, with multiple other lots achieving hammer price world records.

“All in all the first part of the collection sale achieved $4,277,000 (£3,290,000) of sales over 1,932 bottles.”

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