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The Macallan Red Collection Sells for Almost $1m at Auction

The incredibly rare set of six Macallan whiskies was sold for $975,000 at a Sotheby's auction in London.

By Alex Martin

A complete set of The Macallan Red Collection has achieved a sale price of $975,000 at Sotheby’s London. Against a low estimate of £200,000 ($259,000), bids came from all over the world as collectors competed to own the only set of its kind to be made available for sale. It was eventually won by an unnamed collector in Asia.

The Macallan Red Collection is comprised of six highly-aged whiskies from Scotland’s most collectible distillery. It includes two of the oldest Macallan whiskies ever released, a 74 Year Old and a 78 Year Old. They are the crown jewels in a collection that also includes a 40 Year Old, 50 Year Old, 60 Year Old and 71 Year Old.

Although The Macallan Red Collection will be made available in extremely limited numbers, this particular series differs from the standard release due to its exclusive labels. These have been illustrated and signed by Spanish artist Javi Anarez with only two sets in existence. The first will remain in The Macallan archives and the second was sold to one determined bidder.

The incredibly rare set was gifted by The Macallan to City Harvest London to raise funds for the food charity which redistributes surplus from the food industry to vulnerable people across the capital. Proceeds from the sale will provide almost two and a half million meals for those in need.

The labels have been illustrated and signed by Spanish artist Javi Anarez / ©Sotheby’s

Igor Boyadjian, managing director of The Macallan, said: “Global communities are key to The Macallan and as part of our commitment to giving back, we are pleased to have collaborated with Sotheby’s to auction this extremely rare, complete set of The Red Collection. This bespoke auction lot has raised an incredible amount of funds for food charity, City Harvest London. This will allow the charity to continue to make a real difference to people’s lives, and we are very supportive of their sustainable vision and efforts to support those most in need.”

The auction brought a close to Sotheby’s Ultimate Whisky Collection Part II, which generated a total of $1,366,431. That total will be combined with Part I, held in October 2019, to cement its position as the most valuable whisky collection ever sold. Last year’s auction set a new record for a single bottle of wine or spirit with The Macallan Fine & Rare 60 Year Old 1926 selling for $1.9m. There were also distillery records set for Bowmore, Brora, Glenfiddich and Springbank. The total for Part I and Part II is $11.2m.

Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s Spirits Specialist, said: “This exceptional result for The Red Collection is testament not only to the strength of the whisky market but also to the esteem with which The Macallan is held. Equally, the result of The Ultimate Whisky Collection Part II cements its position as the most valuable whisky collection ever sold at auction. The overall total for The Ultimate Whisky Collection speaks volumes of the diversity in today’s premium whisky market and the importance of provenance to collectors.”

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