The ‘Holy Grail’ of whisky will go under the hammer – estimated to fetch close to £1million

A bottle dubbed the ‘Holy Grail’ of whisky will go under the hammer in Edinburgh this Autumn — estimated to fetch close to £1million.

The 60-year-old Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 will be up for auction at Bonhams Whisky Sale in Edinburgh on 3 October, with offers expected from £700,000 to £900,000.

The whisky was bottled in 1986 and makers Macallan commissioned two world-famous Pop Artists Valerio Adami and Peter Blake to design labels for 24 limited edition bottle.

Born in 1935, Valerio Adami is an Italian artist famous for painting bold, flat forms outlined in thick, black lines, in a style reminiscent of comic art.

He is among the most highly acclaimed of 20th Century Pop Artists.

The bottle is elegantly presented in a specially commissioned cabinet, based on the traditional ‘Brass and Glass’ distillery spirit safe.

It was bought by the vendor direct from the Macallan distillery for an undisclosed sum in 1994.

Although 12 bottles of The Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 were produced, it is not known how many of them still exist.

One is said to have been destroyed in an earthquake in Japan in 2011, and it is believed that at least one of them has been opened and consumed.

Martin Green, Bonhams Whisky specialist in Edinburgh, said: “The Macallan 1926 60-year-old has been described as the Holy Grail of whisky.

“Its exceptional rarity and quality puts it in a league of its own, and the world’s most serious whisky collectors will wait patiently for many years for a bottle to come onto the market.

“It is a great honour to be offering this amazingly rare whisky at our Edinburgh sale.”

Another bottle of The Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 was sold at Bonhams Hong Kong in May this year for a world-record breaking price of £814,081 (HK$8,636,250).

This is the most ever paid for a bottle of Scotch whisky at public auction.

At the same sale, Bonhams also sold a bottle of The Macallan Peter Blake 1926 60 year old for £751,703 (HK$7,962,500).

The previous auction record of £491,091 (HK$4,900,000) was set in 2014 in Hong Kong for a six-liter bottle of 60-year-old Macallan in a Lalique decanter.

The renowned international whisky consultant Charles MacLean, who writes about The Macallan Adami 1926 in the latest edition of Bonhams Magazine, added: “Macallan single malt is the darling of whisky collectors.

“The Macallan Adami 1926 – with its Peter Blake stablemate – sits at the very pinnacle of the distillery’s distinguished output.

“All the appeal of Scotch whisky – the myth, the tradition and the romance – find its ultimate expression in this bottle.”

 

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