Earlier this year it was announced that Gordon & Macphail would break Macallan’s record for the oldest single malt Scotch whisky ever bottled with the release of the Glenlivet 1940 80 Year Old Gordon & Macphail Generations. Last night, this bottling broke yet another record and became the most expensive independently bottled single malt Scotch whisky to ever be sold at auction. On October 6th 2021 the Glenlivet 1940 80 Year Old Gordon & Macphail sold for a staggering £140,000 (1,500,000 HKD).
The lot included decanter #1 of the Glenlivet 1940 80 Year Old Gordon & Macphail, a whisky tasting experience for four in London hosted by Stephen Rankin and attended by Sir David Adjaye (the designer of the decanter), as well as the original cask head from cask 340, and a signed lithograph of the original concept drawings for the decanter.
Bidding was open only to bidders based in Hong Kong. This may have skewed the pricing somewhat as there is a 100% import duty on alcohol coming into Hong Kong. As such, any Hong Kong-based bidder would have wanted to seize the opportunity to bid on a bottle that was already present on the island and, therefore, had no import duty to pay.
The decanter was sold to a private bidder for £140,000, the largest sum ever paid for an independently bottled single malt Scotch whisky in history. To our knowledge, the previous record-holder was a Bowmore 1966 Bouquet Samaroli which sold for £72,600 at Sotheby’s in 2019.
The previous record-holder for the oldest bottle of single malt Scotch ever bottled was Macallan’s 78 Year Old Red Collection. Upon release, this bottle was priced at £65,500. Since then, auction prices have stayed around the £65,000 mark. However, one eager buyer paid £92,500 for the bottle in October 2020.
Before Macallan took the title, Gordon & Macphail again held the record for the oldest single malt Scotch whisky ever bottled with a Mortlach 75 Year Old Generations. This bottling was released in 2016, with a retail price of £16,275. To our knowledge, the record for this bottling at auction is £25,790. The Mortlach 75 Year Old was way ahead of its time, with Scotch whisky not becoming recognised as a luxury asset until 2018 when whisky bottles first appeared on the Knight Frank Index. Fast forward 5 years and an 80 year old Gordon & Macphail bottling has sold for over £100,000 more than its younger counterpart.
This historic bottling has sent shockwaves through the whisky world both in terms of its astonishing age statement, and its record-breaking price. However, there are many in the industry that believe that this bottle may not hold its title for long…
The Macallan Red Collection is toted to be an ongoing high-age statement collection by Macallan. With a 40, 50, 60, 71, 74, and 78 year old under their belt, many wonder if Macallan will release an 82 year old as the next instalment in the collection, knocking Gordon & Macphail off their podium not long after they reclaimed it. We will be keeping a close eye on Macallan in the nearer future to see if they attempt to retake the record.
Tell Us What You Think
Do you think Macallan will reclaim the record in the near future? Do you think that £140,000 is too much money to pay for the oldest whisky in the world, or was the Mortlach 75 Year Old severely undervalued?
Additionally, if you know of any higher auction prices for the Mortlach 75 Year Old, do let us know.
We would love to know your thoughts. Get in touch via [email protected] and tell us what you think about the Glenlivet 1940 80 Year Old Gordon & Macphail.