In May 2018 a rare 60-year-old Macallan whisky fetched HK$7.96 million (R14.6 million) at Bonhams Hong Kong.
The new record works out to $14,466 per centilitre for the standard 75-centilitre bottle – one of only 12 ever made when the limited edition was released in 1986 after ageing for 60 years in a cask by the Scottish distillery.
After being aged in sherry casks for six decades, just 40 bottles of The Macallan 1926 were bottled, representing the oldest Macallan vintage ever produced.
Of the 40 bottles, twelve were labelled and signed with an exclusive design by British artist Peter Blake, with an additional twelve signed by Italian artist Valerio Adami.
According to a report by Time, prices for whiskies have soared in recent years as more buyers seek out rare single malts from Scotland, including Dalmore and Port Ellen, as well as Japanese distilleries Karuizawa and Yamazaki.
Bonhams noted that Scottish whiskies are the focus of each auction, but sales will also include whiskies from Ireland and America.
“Old and rare blended whiskies dating from the 1950s and earlier as well as commemorative bottlings of both blended and single malt are always of interest as are quality pieces of whisky-related memorabilia,” it said.
“Other whiskies in which we are interested include limited edition and rare releases of single malts from distilleries such as Ardbeg, Bowmore, Balvenie, Dallas Dhu, Dalmore, Glen Grant, Glen Moray, Glenmorangie, Glenfarclas, Glenfiddich, Glenlivet, Glenturret, Highland Park, Knockando, Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Linkwood, Longrow, The Macallan, Mortlach, Port Ellen, Rosebank, Springbank and Talisker.”
In 2017, the top three prices at Sotheby’s Wine across both auction and retail were for whiskies, with the spirit taking four spots on last year’s top ten and Macallan coming first and second on the list, with both selling for prices in excess of $450,000 (R6.5 million).
While the most expensive whiskies are traditionally reserved for high-end auctions, South Africans can still purchase a number of options online from well-known retailers.
Below BusinessTech looked at seven of the most expensive whiskies you can buy in South Africa right now.
Balvenie 50-year-old Speyside single-malt whisky – R730,000
Glenlivet 50-year-old Winchester Collection Speyside single malt Scotch whisky – R549,000
Glenfiddich 50-year-old single malt whisky – R549,000
Glenlivet 1940 70-year-old whisky – R449,999
Glenfarclas 60-year-old whisky – R360,000
Balvenie 40-year-old Speyside single malt whisky – R109,000
Glenfiddich 40-year-old Rare Collection single malt Scotch whisky – R69,000