Rare 50-year-old Macallan whisky heads to auction

24th May, 2017 by Nicola Carruthers

Two rare bottles of The Macallan Millennium and The Macallan 42 Year Old could fetch up to £15,000 (US$19.4k) and £17,000 (US$22k) respectively at a Bonhams whisky auction next month.

The Macallan Millennium comes in a Caithness glass decanter

The Macallan Millennium was distilled in 1949 and aged for 50 years in Spanish oak Sherry casks, and bottled in 1999.

It comes in a Caithness glass decanter accompanied by a stopper, and its own fitted oak presentation case.

Limited to 900 bottles and with a taste described as “Christmas cake-style fruit”, The Macallan Millennium is thought to be greatest aged Macallan whisky, according to Bonhams.

In 1949, the Speyside distillery used its own traditional malting floors, heating the air to dry the fermented barley and turn it into malt. Facing a post-war shortage of coal, the distillery added more peat than usual into the mix.

The Macallan Private Eye

The sale also features a crystal decanter of The Macallan 42 Year Old, estimated at £12,000-£15,000. Distilled at the Macallan Distillery in 1969, it was bottled by Duncan Taylor and is part of the company’s The Rarest Collection. The decanter is housed in a presentation case made from the oak cask in which the whisky matured.

“These two Macallans are among the finest whiskies to come to auction in recent times,” said Bonhams whisky specialist Martin Green. “The reputation of both is justifiably very high among collectors. This is reflected in the high estimates and the decanters will, I am sure, be keenly sought after.”

The Bonhams Whisky Sale takes place in Edinburgh on 7 June.

A bottle of The Macallan was also recently snapped up by a collector for £2,200 at auction in Glasgow.

The rare Private Eye Macallan, which originally sold for £35 in 1996, was one of the highlights in McTear’s Rare and Collectable Whisky Auction. Limited to 5,000 bottles, the 1961 bonded bottle features a screen-printed label by artist Ralph Steadman.

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