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Exclusive whisky sells for world record 1.5 million

If you’re like me and consider anything above an $8 merlot expensive, it’s going to shock you to hear that a bottle of Macallan Valerio Adami just sold at an auction in Edinburgh for a jaw-dropping $AUD 1,545,794.66. 

An unknown buyer bought the whisky at Bonhams, an art auction house that has been operating since 1793.

Let’s put that into perspective, shall we? For that sum, you could buy 50,025 bottles of Jim Bean White Label Bourbon, or 386,448 bottles of the $4 Bin Ends Cab Sav that my dad downs after work.

While no human needs that much whisky or wine, it seems like a smarter investment than one single bottle.

But by all accounts, its the most special bottle of whisky in existence. It’s been dubbed the holy grail of whisky by leading experts (how do I get that job?).

The whisky’s heft price was due to its rarity, vintage and unique artwork — the label was designed by the famous Italian pop artist Valerio Adami.

The bottle of Macallan Valerio Adami was put in a vat way back in 1926, before being bottled 60 years later. Only twelve bottles from the vintage were ever produced, and it is not known how many of the others still exist.

One is rumoured to have been destroyed in an earthquake in Japan in 2011, another is believed to have been opened and drunk. The horror!

A close-up of the stylish bottle.

The bottle artwork was designed by Italian artist Valerio Adami. Getty Images.

The latest bottle sold yesterday came in a unique cabinet, or tantalus that was specifically commissioned and designed to hold the rare liquor.

The name of its housing is quite apt. Tantalus was a Greek mythological figure who was eternally punished by standing in a pool of water beneath a low-hanging fruit tree that always eluded his grasp.

Considering that most of these absurdly expensive bottles are purchased for display rather than consumption, it’s a fitting metaphor.

Bonhams Hong Kong sold the previous most-expensive whisky — a bottle of the Macallan Peter Blake 1926 — for $1,371,038 in May of this year.

MacallanValerioAdami1926CLOSEUP

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Contact me at jackndelaney@gmail.com.

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