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Gordon & MacPhail 80YO sets auction record

An 80-year-old Gordon & MacPhail whisky has established a new record for the world’s oldest single malt sold at auction after a bottle fetched US$193,000.

Gordon & MacPhail
Just 250 bottles of Gordon & MacPhail Generations 80 Year Old have been made

Whisky specialist Gordon & MacPhail unveiled Generations 80 Years Old last month, which is the world’s oldest single malt Scotch.

The rare whisky hails from The Glenlivet Distillery, drawn from a single cask that was laid down in 1940 under the watch of George and John Urquhart, members of the family that founded Gordon & MacPhail.

Only 250 bottles have been produced, presented in a decanter and oak case designed by architect Sir David Adjaye OBE.

Decanter #1 went under the hammer at Sotheby’s Hong Kong on 7 October, complete with a framed cask end from the original barrel and a lithograph of Adjaye’s design. The bottle had been estimated to sell for between US$100,000-US$200,000.

The bottle attracted auction-goers from across Asia and Europe before a European private collector, new to Sotheby’s, snapped up the whisky.

The winning bidder will also receive a whisky tasting experience for four in London, to be led by Gordon & MacPhail’s director of prestige, Stephen Rankin, and attended by Adjaye.

Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s spirits specialist, said: “From the moment news broke of the existence of a whisky matured in oak for 80 years, it generated a huge buzz of excitement.

“For those lucky enough to taste it, myself included, this is an exceptional whisky that not only lingers on the palate but also long after in the mind.

“As we have seen, exceedingly rare single malts are highly coveted, and when collectors are presented with something truly special, they are prepared to go the extra mile.”

Proceeds from the auction will be donated to Scottish charity Trees for Life, which aims to rewild the Caledonian forest.

The remaining 249 decanters will be sold in the off-trade.

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