Exceptional whiskey barrel sells for almost 1.2 million euros at auction

A new world record has been set in Scotland after a rare “forgotten” whiskey barrel, bought for £5,000 (€5,931) more than 30 years ago, sold for more than £1 million at auction.

Whiskey enthusiasts from around the world bid on the 374-litre cask, distilled at The Macallan in Scotland in 1988, in the online auction that closed last night.

It was sold to a US-based private individual for US$1,295,500 (€1,206,126) at the online auction on the Whiskey Hammer site, breaking the record set in 2021 by Bonhams for Sherry sales. Macallan’s hogshead, which sold for $574,000.

The barrel, which was originally filled on May 5, 1988, had been in storage at the Macallan Distillery in Moray for nearly 34 years.

It was bought on a whim by an expat, who then forgot about it for more than three decades until Macallan reminded them that it was still maturing in storage.

Daniel Milne, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Whiskey Hammer Auction, said: “When this cask was included in our auction, we knew it had the potential to make history.

“To come across a cask of this age, quality and size is extraordinary in itself, enhanced by the fact that the liquid was distilled at The Macallan, which is reflected in the global attention the cask has attracted.

“It has been incredibly exciting for everyone at Whiskey Hammer to have represented what has become the most expensive barrel ever sold at auction.”

If bottled today it would produce a total of 534 70cl bottles of single malt whisky.

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