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A rare bottle of Scotch whisky hit the headlines this week after it was sold for a world record £1.45m at auction in London.

The Macallan 1926 60-year-old single malt from cask number 263 had been described by Sotheby’s as the “holy grail” of whisky.

At more than £50,000 a dram, you might expect it to taste spectacular.

We tracked down one of the few people in the world to have tried the whisky to give us his verdict.

David Robertson tasted it a number of times between 1994 and 2000 when he was distillery manager and then master distiller at The Macallan.

Facts about cask number 263

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The Spanish oak sherry cask was distilled in 1926 and bottled in 1986.

Only 40 bottles were produced.

Macallan commissioned pop artists Peter Blake and Valerio Adami to design labels for a limited edition of 24 bottles – 12 Adami and 12 Blake.

One bottle was hand-painted by Irish artist Michael Dillon.

The rest of the bottles form part of The Macallan Fine and Rare Collection, which includes the Macallan 1926.

Experts believe at least one of the bottles has been consumed.

The new owner of the Macallan 1926, who has not been identified, may never get round to tasting this particular bottle.

RW101 co-director Andy Simpson says purchasers of rare whisky fall into three categories – the drinker, the investor and the collector.

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The 60-year-old Macallan sold for a record £1.45m at auction

Mr Simpson thinks it unlikely that the bottle was bought to be consumed, given its value.

Nor does he think an investor is behind the purchase.

He explains: “The investor is looking to leverage value in a bottle by buying low and selling high, which is clearly not the case here.

“In my opinion – and I could be wrong – this bottle was bought by a collector who simply didn’t care about the price because they needed it to complete a collection.”



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