A nearly 6-foot tall whisky bottle sold for USD$1.4 million (AU$1.95 million) at an online auction last week. Filled in 2021, Guinness World Records recognised the incredible feat as the largest bottle of whisky in the world, containing 444 standard bottles (86 gallons). Titled the Intrepid, the single malt whisky was distilled at The Macallan in Speyside, Scotland, in 1989, according to auction house Lyon and Turnball.
Related: To learn more about Scotland’s iconic whisky regions, check out our comprehensive guide.
Daniel Monk of Fah Mai and Rosewin Holdings decided to launch the project in memory of his father, Captain Stanley Monk. With the auction day landing on what would have been his 80th birthday, the idea was “inspired by his passion for adventure, exploration and a desire to help raise money for several charities,” Lyon and Turnbull noted.
Further explaining its significance, the auction house said the Intrepid was named for “11 of the world’s most pioneering explorers who are featured on the bottle,” including Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Dr Geoff Wilson and Karen Darke MBE. Adding, “the project is supporting the explorers’ chosen environmental, physical and mental well-being charities.”
The record-breaking bottle was bought by a private international collector who wishes to remain anonymous. According to Lyon and Turnball, several “exclusive bottle sets and miniatures” of the same whisky used in the Intrepid were also sold. “We are all delighted with this result,” said Jon Land, Rosewin Holdings’ director of operations. “Over the past two and a half years, this giant bottle and everything it stands for has allowed us to gain exposure for exploration, following dreams, and general positivity in a challenging global climate. Thanks especially go to the 11 explorers, and we hope they have benefitted from being part of this bonkers project.”
The Macallan is no stranger to historic and headline-grabbing sales. In 2019, a bottle distilled at Macallan in 1926 fetched USD$1.9 million, making it the most expensive bottle of whisky ever sold at auction. Last month, a cask of Macallan 1988 sold for a record USD$1.3 million after its owner forgot the cask at the Speyside distillery’s warehouse after purchase. In February, Macallan released a series of decanters full of rare 81-year-old single malt, its oldest to date, with a suggested retail price of USD$125,000.
We wait to see what the Scottish distillery has in store for the back half of 2022.
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