International interest as world's rarest whisky goes under the hammer

Whisky expert Charles MacLean with the world's rarest and most valuable whisky
Whisky expert Charles MacLean with the world's rarest and most valuable whisky
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A bottle of whisky, thought to be the world's most valuable, is going under the hammer.

The bottle of The Macallan Valerio Adami is estimated to fetch between £700,000 and £900,000 when it comes up for auction at Bonhams in Edinburgh on Wednesday.

Described by experts as "the Holy Grail of whisky", it is attracting attention from some of the world's most serious collectors.

Since the auction was announced earlier this year, Bonhams have been receiving inquiries from across the world, particularly China.

Bids are set to be taken from those in the room, as well as over the phone.

"Following the world record for the Macallan Adami set at Bonhams Hong Kong in May we've had interest from all over the world in this auction, especially - but by no means only - from China and other parts of Asia," said Martin Green, Bonhams whisky specialist in Edinburgh.

"Whisky collecting is a truly international phenomenon these days and this is an exceptional opportunity to acquire one of the rarest and most desirable bottles ever produced."

The whisky is officially described as a 60-year-old, having been created in 1926 and bottled in 1986.

Mr Green added: "The Macallan 1926 60-year-old has been described as the Holy Grail of whisky.

"Its exceptional rarity and quality puts it in a league of its own, and the world's most serious whisky collectors will wait patiently for many years for a bottle to come on to the market."

Bonhams said the bottle being offered is presented in a specially commissioned cabinet, or tantalus, based on a traditional brass and glass distillery spirit safe.

It was bought by the seller direct from the Macallan distillery for an undisclosed sum in 1994.

Another bottle of The Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 was sold at Bonhams Hong Kong in May for a world record-breaking price of £814,081, the most paid for a bottle of Scotch whisky at public auction.

At the same sale, Bonhams also sold a bottle of The Macallan Peter Blake 1926 60-year-old for £751,703.

A number of other important bottles are also being offered for sale at the Edinburgh auction.

They include three bottles of Black Bowmore 1964, estimated to fetch £42,000-£51,000; a Macallan 62-year-old from 1950, valued at up to £35,000; and a Dalmore 50-year-old from 1926, with an estimated hammer price of £20,000-£25,000.