Rare 'forgotten' cask of whisky sells for more than £1million

Rare ‘forgotten’ cask of whisky bought for £5,000 more than 30 years ago sets new world record as it sells for more than £1million at auction

  • The 374-litre cask was distilled at The Macallan in 1988 and auctioned this week
  • On Sunday it sold for £1,017,000 in an online auction hosted by Whisky Hammer
  • It broke the 2021 record for sale of Sherry hogshead which fetched £439,000 
  • The cask, filled on May 5, 1988, was held at the Macallan Distillery for 34 years 

A rare ‘forgotten’ cask of whisky, bought for £5,000 more than 30 years ago, has sold for more than £1 million at auction in what is said to be a new world record.

Whisky enthusiasts from around the world placed bids on the 374-litre cask, distilled at The Macallan in 1988, in the online auction which ended on Sunday evening.

It sold for $1,295,500 (£1,017,000) in the online auction on the Whisky Hammer site, breaking the record set in 2021 by Bonhams for the sale of a 30-year-old, re-racked, Sherry hogshead from Macallan, which fetched $574,000 (£439,000).

Whisky enthusiasts from around the world placed bids on the 374-litre cask, distilled at The Macallan in 1988, in the online auction hosted by Whisky Hammer which ended on Sunday evening. Pictured: Daniel Milne, co-founder and managing director of Whisky Hammer

The cask, originally filled on May 5 1988, had been held in bond at the Macallan Distillery in Moray for almost 34 years.

It was bought on a whim by an expat who then forgot about it for more than three decades until they were reminded by Macallan that it was still maturing in the warehouse.

Daniel Milne, co-founder and managing director of Whisky Hammer, said: ‘When this cask was listed 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 the liquid was distilled at The Macallan which is reflected in the global attention the cask has attracted.

‘It’s been incredibly exciting for everyone at Whisky Hammer to have represented what has become the most expensive cask ever to be sold at auction.’

The cask was bought by a private individual based in the US.

A glass of whisky from the 374-litre cask which was distilled at The Macallan in 1988 and sold for more than £1million this week

If bottled today, it would yield 534 x 70cl bottles of single malt whisky, distilled at The Macallan.

Whisky Hammer is a family-run auction service founded by brothers Daniel and Craig Milne.

The sale price included buyer’s premium.

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