A rare bottle of Scottish single malt whisky has gone up for auction with a price tag of at least £110,000.
The one-of-a-kind special edition bottle made by distillers at Macallan is the oldest whisky ever to come to auction, according to Sotheby’s.
Named The Reach, the 81-year-old whisky could sell for up to £200,000.
Bidding opened this week and closes on October 5.
Proceeds will raise funds for The Macallan’s recently established Artisan Collective forum, to benefit The Macallan Artisan Apprenticeship Fund, helping businesses to attract and recruit new apprentices, as well as providing existing artisan apprentices with the opportunity to take part in specialist training and development.
Crafted from a single, sherry seasoned oak cask, The Reach is encased in a decanter created from mouth-blown, hot glass, cradled on a bronze sculpture of three hands representing characters in The Macallan’s history.
Unveiled in February 2022, this release from the distillery reflects an extraordinary moment in time, the liquid laid down during a period of increasing hardship during the Second World War, just before The Macallan was compelled to close its doors for the first time in its history.
The cabinet housing the decanter has been crafted using wood from a fallen elm tree which is thought to have been on The Macallan Estate in 1940, the year the spirit was distilled.
The auction record for a bottle of the world’s oldest whisky was established at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong in October 2021, when Decanter #1 of the Gordon & Macphail Generations 80-Years-Old, sold for £142,000.
Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s head of whisky and spirits, North America and EMEA, said: “Age, rarity and provenance combine to spectacular effect in this one of one version of the oldest single malt whisky ever to be released by The Macallan.
“This is Sotheby’s third auction partnership with The Macallan in three years, and it is always a special event when we collaborate to launch a unique and exclusive bottle. It is particularly special when that bottle happens to contain the oldest whisky in the world.”
Elizabeth McMillan, head of insight and sustainability at The Macallan, said: “Through The Macallan Artisan Collective, our aim is to support and celebrate artisans. Future-proofing generational skills is of great importance, and The Macallan holds a deep affinity with artisans and master makers.
“As contemporary creators, designers, and craftspeople, what unites us all is the value that we place on provenance and our infinite passion for finding innovative ways to keep traditional crafts and generational skills alive.
“Through our work, we are fortunate to collaborate with an incredible network of artisans who support us each year in realising our vision of creating beautifully distinctive products and experiences and compelling, creative storytelling.