Macallan sets new record for 1989 cask sale

13th February, 2018 by Amy Hopkins

A single cask of The Macallan Scotch whisky distilled in 1989 has fetched £242,200 (US$336,512) at auction, setting what is believed to be a new world record for a cask of this age.

The cask sale represents growing interest in the maturing whisky investment market

The bidding battle was hosted by Whisky-Online Auctions in Blackpool, UK, and exceeded its scheduled finish time by more than four hours.

Matured in a refill Sherry hogshead in The Macallan’s own bonded warehouses, the 29-year-old cask is the oldest in a series of Macallan barrels recently sold through Whisky-Online Auctions.

Cask 1248 was bought for just £2,700 in 1994, when it was five years old, representing an “astonishing return on investment” for the previous owner.

It holds approximately 257 standard 70cl bottles of whisky at a cask strength of 52.75%. The price paid for the cask equates to more than £942 per bottle before commission, duty and bottling costs.

“This was a superb sale,” commented Wayne Ormerod, founder of Whisky-Online Auctions. “Macallan is a blue chip distillery known for its Sherry casks, so it’s ideal for auctions like ours that specialise in the best quality older whiskies.

“It is great to see this level of demand for bonded casks of single malt from serious auction buyers. There were multiple bidders who were determined to secure Cask 1248, which is why the auction kept extending and the cask ended up going for such a fantastic price.”

Whisky-Online Auctions began to sell bonded whisky casks at its regular auctions last July. The company said it has received “plenty of interest” in casks from Jura, Tullibardine, Arran and a 1990 cask from closed distillery Littlemill.

Ormerod added: “This is a new and rapidly-growing part of our business and we expect these extraordinary prices will attract many other cask-owners keen to find out how much their own liquid gold could achieve at auction.”

In October last year, a cask of 30-year-old Macallan claimed to have broken the world record for the most expensive whisky cask ever sold at auction after fetching HK$2,928,000 (US$375,000) in Hong Kong.

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