The world’s most expensive bottle of whisky has sold for £1.2 million (US$1.53 million) at Christie’s in London.
The vintage spirit, which came in a unique bottle painted by Irish artist Michael Dillon, smashed a record set last month when a bottle of the same 1926 vintage sold at Bonhams in Edinburgh for more than £848,000 ($1.1 million).
And that sale exceeded another record, set just a few months earlier at Bonhams in Hong Kong, by more than £30,000.
The Macallan 1926 60-Year-Old was bottled in 1986, having spent six decades maturing in ex-sherry casks at The Macallan distillery near the River Spey in north-east Scotland.
Three artists were asked to design a label for the vintage: Peter Blake — best known for designing the cover of the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” — Italian painter Valerio Adami and Dillon.
But while Blake and Adami each produced labels for 12 individually numbered bottles, Dillon hand-painted a single bottle, depicting Easter Elchies House at The Macallan distillery, against the backdrop of the Scottish Highlands.
Tim Triptree, Christie’s international director of wine, said on the auction house’s website: “The Macallan were unsure that this bottle still existed — it was last seen at Fortnum & Mason in London in 1999.”
He added: “This whisky is basically the finest and most collectable single malt produced in the 20th century.”