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Most valuable whisky collection breaks world record

A Vietnamese collector has been officially recognised by the Guinness World Records as the owner of the most valuable whisky collection, which includes three bottles of the coveted 1926 Macallan Fine and Rare.

World record holder Viet Nguyen Dinh Tuan: “I have no intention of selling any of it”

Businessman Viet Nguyen Dinh Tuan of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam owns a collection comprising 535 of the world’s oldest and rarest Scotch and Japanese whiskies. The bottles, which have been collected for more than 20 years, are locked in a whisky lounge at home.

Rare whisky valuation company Rare Whisky 101 has valued the collection at a “hammer price” of £10,770,635 (£13,032,468 with the addition of a 21% buyers premium if it was sold through a UK auctioneer).

Each bottle was determined by its expected open market price if sold at auction in the UK. The valuation was then submitted to the Guinness World Records, which certified the accomplishment this month.

“My first reaction was one of surprise,” said Tuan. “However, I’m really happy and feel honoured to be recognised by Guinness World Records as the owner of the world’s most valuable whisky collection. It feels like an acknowledgment of all my hard work and dedication over the past 20 years.”

Highlights of his collection include one of the world’s only complete Macallan Fine and Rare collections, including the three bottles of the 1926 Fine and Rare. Only 40 bottles of the Macallan 1926 were ever released.

Last month saw a bottle of the 1926 Macallan Fine and Rare whisky break the world record for most expensive whisky sold at auction. The bottle sold for £1.5 million (US$1.9m) at a Sotheby’s sale in London as part of the world’s most valuable whisky collection to ever be sold at suction.

“Mr Viet is, what we believe to be, one of possibly three collectors in the world to own all three variants of the legendary Macallan 1926 bottling (the Fine & Rare label, the Peter Blake label and the Valerio Adami label), which recently broke the world record,” said Andy Simpson, co-founder of Rare Whisky 101. “That said, it may well be the case that Mr Viet is the only collector in the world to have three bottles.”

Viet also holds one of only 12 bottles of the oldest Bowmore ever released, which is also both the most expensive Bowmore and the most expensive Islay malt in the world, with a similar bottle fetching £300,000 (US$386,500) at auction recently.

’20-year passion’

“For me, whisky collecting has been my life’s passion,” added Tuan. “Every spare I moment I get, I’m searching auction sites and trading websites to find famous and rare whiskies from around the world.

“Clearly this requires a lot of patience and no shortage of tenacity, but I’m proud of my efforts. As for my collection, I have no intention of selling any of it. Not one bottle. In fact, I’ll continue to hunt for more old and rare bottles and add to and enrich it.”

Simpson said: “We were somewhat gobsmacked, not to mention a little envious, when we realised the breadth and depth of Mr Viet’s collection.

“It’s a truly stunning example of one person’s 20-year passion and desire to seek out the finest, rarest bottles of whisky in the world. There are certainly reasonably well-known whisky collections around the world, which contain far more bottles from a volume perspective.

“However, from a pure value perspective, we’re confident this collection is head and shoulders above the rest.”

The collection includes 535 bottles of the world’s oldest and rarest whiskies

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