Whisky drinkers have always been willing to pay a premium for quality, but a pair of sales in Hong Kong late last week have set the bar exceptionally high.
Bidders on a rare 60-year-old bottle of Macallan ran the price up to a record-setting $1.01 million, more than twice the expected amount. Later that night, another bottle from that same batch went for $1.1 million—a little more than $14,666 per centiliter.
For perspective, that means a standard shot of the whisky (1.5 oz) from this bottle would cost you $65,062. (A “wee dram”—1/8th of an ounce—would run $5,422.)
Released in 1986, only 12 bottles of this particular Macallan were ever made. The whisky spent 60 years aging in a cask.
Whisky prices have soared since 2011, outperforming rare wines by a wide margin. And top shelf whisky makers have certainly been taking advantage of that. The Dalmore released a $12,500 bottle of Scotch earlier this year. And Macallan unveiled a $9,000 bottle.
But nothing has come close to Friday’s auction. The previous record was set in 2014, when a buyer paid over $624,000 for a six-liter bottle of 60-year-old Macallan, a bottle that was eight times larger than the bottle sold this year.
The buyer might want to have the purchase verified, though. Last year, a Chinese writer paid $10,500 for a dram of “vintage” whisky that turned out to be a fake.