The arbitrary nature of ‘value’ comes under scrutiny this week as a 60-year-old bottle of The Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 whisky was put up for auction in Edinburgh. The expectation was that it would make between £700,000 and £900,000.
Bonhams Whisky Sale, which took place on 3rd October, was aiming for a world record for the most expensive bottle of Scotch sold at auction.
The whisky, which was bottled in 1986, features label design by artists Peter Blake and Valerio Adami. Only 12 of each were ever offered.
One of The Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 bottles sold earlier in the year at Bonhams in Hong Kong for £814,081, creating a new record for a bottle of Scotch whisky at auction.
A Bonhams whisky specialist commented that The Macallan 1926 60-year-old “has been described as the Holy Grail of whisky”, its “exceptional rarity and quality” putting it “in a league of its own.”
The single bottle eventually set a new world-record, fetching £848,000.
The number of bottles of The Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 still in existence is unknown. One is reported to have been destroyed in an earthquake in Japan in 2011. At least one has been consumed.
Presumably this latest sale will never be opened so it’s quality will never be known. But then it’s not really about that is it?