Home Whiskey How a rare Macallan Scotch Whiskey became the world’s most expensive spirit

How a rare Macallan Scotch Whiskey became the world’s most expensive spirit

26 Jan, 2024 Whiskey

At House of Assets, we have done a lot of talking about how a collectible car can change your world and accumulate vast investment potential. Vintage and classic cars can be linked to pop icons, movies, and sports memorabilia, pushing their desirability, as we’ve previously explored. But would you be surprised to hear that something as seemingly small as a rare bottle of whisky can still hold a tough investment competition against a collectible car? For example, at the end of 2023, a rare scotch whiskey broke the news for becoming the world’s most expensive spirit. 

In the year of its 60th birthday, a rare 1926 Macallan bottle sold at an auction for an astonishing £2.1million. This single malt Macallan whiskey has been one of the most sought-after bottles of scotch whiskey and no surprise! On the day of the auction, the bottle was expected to range between £700,000 and instead doubled its estimated price. 

What makes the bottle so rare isn’t just its 60 years spent maturing in a sherry and dark oak casks; it’s more for being just 1 of 40 bottles made in 1986. These bottles were never made for purchase and instead were held onto to supply only to Macallan’s top clientele. Each of these bottles had its own slight difference, with 2/40 bottles having no labels, 14/40 decorated with Fine and Rare labels and another 12 labelled by pop artist Sir Peter Blake. Another 12 were designed by an Italian painter, Valerio Adami, including the record-breaking one sold at auction! To this day, it is not known how many of these bottles still remain, with some having been opened and consumed and another one destroyed in a Japan earthquake. 

On the day of the auction, it was said that the auction house’s head of whiskey was allowed to taste the smallest drop of the now most expensive whiskey in the world, stating that it was very rich. As you could expect for the most expensive whiskey, it has a lot of spice and wood flavouring combined with a variety of dried fruit. 

This Macallan whiskey outshone the previous most expensive whisky bottle, a different design of the same 1926 Macallan, which was sold for £1.5 million in 2019. So, there is definitely money to be made in vintage whiskey collecting! It’s important to never overlook anything as seemingly insignificant as a bottle of whiskey or fine wine, for example, as you may be sitting on a gold mine! 

If you think you have a vintage bottle of whiskey that may be of value, then don’t hesitate to get in contact with House of Assets. Whether you’re looking for a valuation or advice or to buy or sell a bottle, House of Assets services can help. With our online auction house, who knows the limit to the eventual return on investment? We can only imagine how much more the Macallan whiskey could’ve gone for if it was sold online! At House of Assets, we have always seen the power of whiskey investment, so we would be glad to host any rare whisky on our marketplace and inspire buyers to add it to their investment portfolios.

Beth Macdonald

Bethany is a seasoned expert in tangible asset investment, renowned for her astute insights in the realms of art, fine wines, whiskey and classic cars. With over two decades of experience in the financial and luxury asset management sectors, and working for other auction houses/marketplaces, she has a deep understanding of the market sector and investment trading. Her passion for tangible asset investments started early in her career and she has keen eye for value and art.

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