The ‘Holy Grail’ Of Whiskey Is Up For Auction This Month

Sotheby's will auction off one of the most valuable collections of whiskey ever on October 24.

The ‘Holy Grail’ Of Whiskey Is Up For Auction This Month

There are whiskey collections, and then there are whiskey collections; those of unprecedented scale, much like the one going on auction at Sotheby’s later this month. The breadth of the £4 million collection certainly warrants the gratuitous title: With 467 bottles and nine casks on offer, including what’s said to be the ‘Holy Grail’ of whiskies, it’s probably the most comprehensive (and valuable) whiskey auction to date.

The Macallan 1926 is undoubtedly the star of the show. As one of only 40 bottles from Cask 263, its sibling bottles have all broken records at separate auctions; Last November, a bottle from the same cask sold for £1,200,000, setting a world auction record at the time.

The titular Holy Grail is bolstered by a genealogy of Macallans, with 178 bottles totalling an estimated value of £2.2 million.

Sotheby’s even commisioned bespoke cabinets for each of the two complete Macallan in Lalique Six Pillars Collections that are on sale. The floor-standing cabinets are beauties in themselves, featuring a fitted mirror interiors and etched glass bases that are illuminated by hidden lights. 

The Macallan 50 Year, Lalique Edition Six Pillars Collection, in its bespoke cabinet. (Image: Sotheby’s)

Their Spirits Specialist Jonny Fowle says: “The Ultimate Whisky Collection comprises what is undoubtedly the most comprehensive catalogue of whisky ever to be offered by a single owner in a single auction.”

“It is clear that this collector is a true fan of the liquid within the bottles as well as the bottles themselves. Ultimately it is the enjoyment and appreciation of whisky that has made this collection what it is.”

The entire collection belongs to a mysterious owner who only goes by the pointed moniker of ‘The Ultimate Whiskey Collector’.

“Having cherished these bottles, I am now ready to share them with collectors around the world,” he says. “I hope they find good homes in the hands of whisky lovers who will enjoy the experience as much as I did, both the drinking of them and the sense of history that each of these bottles brings.”

20 lots from the legendary independent bottler Silvano Samaroli are also going under the hammer. (Image: Sotheby’s)

Aside from the legion of Macallans, the Speyside region is also well-represented by some of Glenfiddich and Balvenie’s oldest bottlings, such as the Balvenie 50 year old 1937, and Glenfiddich 64 year old 1937.

Other notable bottles include rare expressions from Gordon & Macphail. The upcoming sale will feature  the Mortlach and Glenlivet 70 year old Generations series, The Macallan Queen’s Mother’s 80th Birthday, as well as a range of  vintages from Glen Grant, Linkwood and Macallan Speymalt.

And in case mere bottles aren’t enough, there are also 9 casks up for auction from Laphroaig, Highland Park and Bowmore.The live auction will take place on October 24 at the Olympia London, so if you’ve been thinking about starting an ultimate whiskey collection of your own, that should be a good place to begin building it up.

The live auction will take place on October 24 at the Olympia London, so if you’ve been thinking about starting an ultimate whiskey collection of your own, that should be a good place to begin building it up.

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