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‘Largest’ private whisky collection breaks records

The first part of the “world’s largest” private whisky collection to be offered at auction sold for US$4.2 million – with a Macallan 1926 Valerio Adami bottle setting a new record.

The highly coveted Macallan 1926 Valerio Adami 60 Year Old was sold for US$1 million

‘The Perfect Collection’, which contains more than 3,900 bottles of mostly single malt Scotch, has been built up by the late American private collector Richard Gooding.

Perth-based Whisky Auctioneer split the collection between two separate auctions, with the first part closing on Monday (17 February).

The auction, which saw 1,642 bidders from 56 countries take part, achieved US$4,277,000 and featured more than 1,932 bottles.

A bottle of the highly coveted Macallan 1926 Valerio Adami 60 Year Old was sold for US$1,072,000, breaking the current world record for the bottle at US$912,000, set in October 2018. The bottle attracted bids from 11 countries, with the winning offer hailing from Europe.

In October 2019, a bottle of the 1926 Macallan Fine and Rare whisky broke the world record for most expensive whisky sold at auction. The bottle sold for £1.5m (US$1.9m) at a Sotheby’s sale in London.

Whisky Auctioneer said the sale of The Macallan 1926 was a “landmark moment for the secondary whisky market” with the auctioneer becoming the first online whisky auction to sell a million-dollar bottle.

Iain McClune, founder of Whisky Auctioneer, said: 
“We always knew that The Perfect Collection by Mr Gooding could make whisky history, but with auctions anything can happen.

“Not only was the highest ever sale price for Macallan 1926 Valerio Adami achieved at over a million dollars, Whisky Auctioneer became the first online whisky auction to sell a million-dollar bottle, with multiple other lots achieving hammer price world records.”

A bottle of The Macallan 1928 Anniversary Malt 50 Year Old achieved a hammer price of US$119,863, overtaking a previous record hammer price of US$93,819 in October 2019.

Highlights from part one of the auction was a large offering of 201 bottles from The Macallan, reaching a total hammer price of US$2,559,218.

Bottles from ‘silent’ distilleries in Scotland also took the spotlight during the auction. A bottle of the Old Orkney Real Liqueur Whisky from the Stromness Distillery in Orkney during the 1930s was sold for US$33,891.

A 750ml bottle of the Ardbeg 1974 Double Barrel 2 secured a hammer price of US$27,705, beating the previous record set by a 700ml bottle for US$22,164.

‘Accessible for all’

“For me it is the diversity within The Perfect Collection that is perhaps the most exciting aspect,” added McClune. “The breadth makes it an opportunity accessible for all. The final part of the sale starts on 10th April and contains incredibly desirable and rare bottles such as The Macallan 1926 Fine & Rare and a 1937 Glenfiddich 64 Year Old.

“I would encourage those looking to bid to register to take part in the most exciting online whisky in the world to date.”

The remaining bottles in The Perfect Collection will be sold during the second part of the auction, which will run from 10 April until 20 April. Rare bottles include The Macallan 1926 Fine & Rare, a Glenfiddich 1937 Rare Collection 64 Year Old and The Balvenie 1937 Pure Malt 50 Year Old.

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