Forgotten macallan

‘Forgotten’ Macallan Whisky Barrel Smashes $1.5 Million Auction Record

One lucky individual just hit the whisky lottery. A rare cask recently sold at auction for £1 million (AUD$1.5 million) after being purchased in 1988 for just £5,000 (AUD$7,500). While an incredible return on investment, the story gets even better – The Macallan cask bought by an ex-pat over three decades ago was completely forgotten about. That was until the distillery recently notified the original owner it had been maturing in the warehouse, patiently climbing in value.

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The Macallan Distillery

Image: Getty

Sold via The Whisky Hammer, the online auction was finalised on Sunday, with a private buyer from the United States winning the 374-litre refill butt. The official price including a buyer’s premium came the £1,007,050.00,  hurdling the existing auction record for a cask, set at £444,000 in 2019.

“When this cask was listed in our auction, we knew it had the potential to make history,” Daniel Milne, Whisky Hammer managing director said. “To come across a cask of this age, quality and size is extraordinary in itself, enhanced by the fact the liquid was distilled at The Macallan, which is reflected in the global attention the cask has attracted.”

Inside the cask, you’ll find a rich amber-gold liquid complete with a yellow halo. Remarkably, The Whisky Hammer even released some tasting notes for this million dollar marvel. According to the auction house, The Macallan – 1988 Refill Butt #4180 arrives with an “exciting, yet reassuring” nose of salted caramel drizzled chocolate brownie. With notes of sweet yeasted rolls drenched in honey, barley sugar florals and chocolate ice cream, the whisky also has a background of fresh orange marmalade described simply as “mesmerising”.

On the palate, the whisky is said to deliver waves of sweetness, a regal spice mix of nutmeg, ginger and ground coriander, over a wash of ginger perkin biscuits. The long finish of honeycomb, sweet orchard fruits is also contrasted by the influence of dry oak.

The Macallan Cask Room

Image: Getty

The cask has the potential to provide 534 70cl bottles of single malt. This “per bottle” price of 1,907 from a cask also sets a new record. Known for purchasing some of the world’s most valuable whiskies, the previous record-holder was also a cask of The Macallan.  In November 2019, the Bonhams purchased the 30-year old reracked sherry hogshead, which contained 261 bottles.

Featured frequently in the history books, The Macallan recently unveiled the world’s oldest whisky – an 81-year-old expression called The ReachLimited to just 288 decanters, they fetch a whopping AUD$174,000 each.

Check it out

You’ll also love:
World’s Oldest Whisky: The Macallan Unveils 81-Year-Old Expression Worth $174,000
The Macallan Unveils Mouth-Watering Double-Cask 30 Year Old Whisky for $5,500
The Macallan Double Cask Whisky: Everything You Need to Know

STAFF WRITER

Sam Mangioni

Sam Mangioni is an experienced Staff Writer with an extensive background in digital content production and news. Prior to working for Man of Many, Sam spent three years at Southern Cross Austereo where he served as a Content Producer and News Reporter for the flagship Triple M Breakfast Program. The Sydney-based reporter completed a Bachelor of Commerce from Macquarie University Majoring in Marketing in 2014. A specialist in sport, lifestyle and gear coverage, Sam's work has also featured in Fight News Australia.