World’s Most Expensive Whisky Collection Heading To Auction

Most Expensive Whisky collection auction

The second half of one devoted Whisky lover’s “Perfect Collection” heads to auction next month in a sale that is expected to go down as the most expensive in Whisky history. The set going under the hammer is officially known as The Perfect Collection by Mr. Richard Gooding: Part Two.

From February 12 through 21, over 1,900 bottles of the rarest, most coveted and expensive single malts in existence, including many from Scotland’s long lost distilleries, will feature in the sale hosted by online whisky auction specialists, Whisky Auctioneer.

Leading the auction is the world’s most expensive bottle of whisky – The Macallan 1926 Fine and Rare 60 Year Old. Drawn from hallowed Cask #263, containing liquid distilled nearly a century ago in the height of America’s Prohibition, this is one of no more than 14 in the world adorned with the iconic Fine and Rare label. Considered the most coveted bottle of Whisky in existence and the pinnacle in rare Whisky collecting, the headline bottling is expected to fetch a hammer price of over £1m (over $1.36 million USD).

This is not the only collector’s item available in the auction, with whiskies such as The Balvenie 1937 50 Year Old also featured and icons of the Whisky world hailing from Bowmore’s legendary 1964 vintage. Elusive Whiskies from a bygone era in Scotland’s distilling landscape also appear, including a 1921 private cask bottling of Dallas Dhu which has not been seen on the secondary market for over 25 years.

The Perfect Collection Part Two, which initially launched last April, was postponed following a major cyber attack. Part one of the auction took place in February 2020, fetching a total hammer price of £3.2million ($4.37 million USD) and Whisky Auctioneer became the first online auction house to sell a million-dollar bottle.

“Mr Gooding’s Collection is nothing short of extraordinary and we are honoured and delighted to bring it to auction,” said Iain McClune, Founder of Whisky Auctioneer. “Collectors, investors and whisky lovers alike will have their interest sparked by the truly astonishing array of whiskies on offer. 

“Undoubtedly the entire collection is crowned by the incomparable The Macallan 1926 Fine and Rare, a whisky that has in recent years become the pinnacle of whisky collecting and for good reason. With no more than 14 bottles in existence the rarity of this opportunity cannot be overstated and we anticipate that the battle for this icon of whisky will be a mighty one.” 

Old and rare whisky expert, Angus MacRaild, commented: “The Macallan 1926 Fine & Rare is one of those handful of iconic whisky releases which has accrued such a lofty status that it exists more in relation to fine art these days than other whisky bottlings. Its performance at auction will no doubt be a powerful, bellwether statement about just how iconic and culturally relevant Scotch Whisky remains in the 21st century. Irrespective of where you sit in the whisky world, the chance to see such a bottling come to auction and potentially break price records is undeniably fascinating and exciting. 

“The most notable aspects about The Perfect Collection, for me, are that it offers enthusiasts and drinkers of old style whiskies a treasure trove of opportunities to obtain obscure and very rarely seen independently bottled single malts done solely for the USA market – bottlings which are now all but impossible to otherwise obtain. But overall, the collection represents who Mr. Gooding was as a person, his preferences as a drinker, his quirks and historical fascinations. It’s clearly a collection put together by someone who genuinely loved whisky and who loved to open, enjoy and share it with friends, as all great collections should be.”

Those who used to look to the markets for investment may, at this time, be looking for alternative investments in assets. Not only is Whisky seeing a rise in demand with value tied to liquid rarity, recent reports have shown that over the last decade rare whisky has seen a huge increase in value, overtaking more traditional alternative investment assets such as cars and fine art.

The Collection was amassed by late American businessman and philanthropist, Mr. Richard Gooding, who dedicated over two decades to collecting Whiskies from almost every Scottish distillery. Guided by his passion for Scotch, its provenance, and the iconic distilleries that craft it, Mr. Gooding travelled regularly to Scotland to search for special bottles in pursuit of creating the “perfect collection” – a representation of every Scottish distillery, open or closed.

His collection would grow to become an eclectic library of 3,900 bottles of primarily single malt whisky – one of the largest and most significant whisky collections ever to go to public auction. Part two of Gooding’s Perfect Collection is es expected to break the previous auction record, gaining it the title of the World’s Most Expensive Whisky collection.