‘Forgotten’ Whisky Cask Sells for Over £1m at Auction

A rare cask of whisky, purchased 34 years ago for £5,000, has sold at auction for a record-breaking £1m.

The 374-litre cask distilled at The Macallan in Craigellachie, Moray on 5th May 1988 had been forgotten about for more than three decades after it was bought on a whim by an expat. However, the distillery reminded him that it was still maturing in the warehouse.

Whisky enthusiasts from across the world were battling it out on the Whiskey Hammer website on Sunday 24th April, but it was a private buyer from the United States who secured the cask for $1,295,000 (£1,017,000). This smashes the previous record set in 2021 by Bonhams for the sale of a 30-year-old, re-racked, Sherry hogshead from Macallan, which sold for $574,000 (£439,000).

Daniel Milnes, managing director of Whiskey Hammer, a family-run auction service, 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.”

If bottled today, the cask would yield 534 70cl bottles of single malt whisky.

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