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Everything you need to know about Macallan Private Eye

Macallan Private Eye History 

 1996 represented a special year for Private Eye magazine as it was their 35th anniversary. To commemorate the occasion they commissioned a special bottling by Macallan to be made widely available to its readers. The bottles contain whisky that was distilled in the year of Private Eye’s founding, 1961, that was vatted together with a number of other Macallan casks. The Private Eye was put on general release at £36 per bottle. There was even a nationwide advertising campaign in the Daily Telegraph. It was released in an edition of 5,000 bottles.  Each bottle was individually numbered. Today, bottles of Macallan Private Eye are selling at auction for £3,000-£4,000.

The Macallan Private Eye has previously sold at auction for between £5,000-£6,000. The secondary market value has decreased in recent months as the whisky market has entered a dip. However, market fluctuations do happen, and we would expect the Macallan Private Eye to recover in time, along with the rest of the market. 

If you own a bottle of Macallan Private Eye, you have two options. One is to sell now and cash in on your investment. The second is to hold out and wait for the recovery of the market.

What is your bottle of Macallan Private Eye old worth?

Are you looking for a valuation of your bottle of Macallan Private Eye?  If so then you are in the right place.  Use the guide below to get all the information you need. Please use the contact form to send us the details of your bottle. We are an expert whisky broker with other 300 five-star reviews of our service. You can also read our guide to selling your whisky online. We can help you sell your bottle either through a brokered private sale, through a specialist online auction, or through our new shop.

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Free Specialist Whisky Valuations

Please use the form below to submit images of your bottle and receive a free, no-obligation valuation from a specialist auctioneer. We will also actively seek the highest offer from our network of private collectors to help you sell your whisky.

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    Whisky Valuation Tips

    Are you looking to sell your whisky for the highest possible price? It might surprise you to learn that one of the most important actions you can take is to capture high-quality images of your bottles. This ensures we can offer you the best prices and accurately appraise your bottles. Here are our top tips for submitting images of your bottles:

    1. Stand the bottle upright so that we can clearly see the level of the whisky in the bottle.
    2. Do you have the original box? If so, place it next to the bottle in the photo.
    3. Capture the images in a well-lit room, ideally against a neutral background.
    The perfect image - note the bottle is stood upright, against a neutral background with the original box in display
    The perfect image – note the bottle is stood upright, against a neutral background with the original box in display

    How We Can Help You Sell Your Whisky

    Is bottled whisky a good investment?

    Our brokerage service is a simple, stress-free way to sell your bottles of whisky. We will broker the sale between you and one of our buyers. For this service, we charge a 10% commission (inc. VAT) of the final sale price of the item. This avenue is fast and simple. We will take care of everything for you.

    1350 - Sell Your Bottle - Home

    Alternatively we can help you sell your bottles through auction.  With close to 30,000 bottles being sold at auction every month you have to be sure that your bottles are being sold in the right auction to achieve the highest price.  There is no charge for our assistance selling at auction

    What Our Customers Say

    Excellent5.0 Based on 367 reviews fromSee all reviewsb M.b M. ★★★★★ The service from the Littler team is exceptional. Many businesses make big promises and very very few deliver. Littler actually deliver. In addition. all the team that i dealt with were courteous and efficient and the service from start to finish was flawless. I cannot recommend them highly enoughkaren mc V.karen mc V. ★★★★★ Excellent service from initial email to sale completion. Highly recommend Mark and his team. Everything dealt with efficiently. Thank youJose V.Jose V. ★★★★★ I recently had the pleasure of working with Mark Littler to sell my collection of 14 high-end whisky bottles, which included my precious Karuizawa collection and a 40-year-old Port Ellen, and I couldn't be more pleased with the experience. From the initial consultation through to the final sale, Mark and his team demonstrated unparalleled professionalism and deep market knowledge. They provided expert advice on pricing and marketing strategies, ensuring that my collection reached the right buyers and secured the best possible price. It's clear that Mark Littler is exceptionally skilled in handling luxury collections, and I would highly recommend his services to anyone looking to sell high-value items with confidence and ease. Thank you, Mark, for making what could have been a daunting process, smooth and rewarding!Brian P.Brian P. ★★★★★ A very efficient sales service from quote through delivery to payment. All done with care and a smile. Thanks.Brian S.Brian S. ★★★★★ I had a bottle of 25 year Anniversary McAllan and was looking at the options available.Direct selling / via broker / go to auction?To be honest, I wasn't looking forward to this. I'd convinced myself that this whole process was going to be a bit of a pain.I'd envisioned bargaining back and forth with various entities, paying through the nose for commissions / insurance / postage etc...So, did some investigation, looked at number of these possibilities and decided to contact Mark Littler.No regrets.Quite simply: Great service from ML teamSo, what was good?Prompt communicationClear defined processesVery fair price offeredBottle Return process : Fully insured, solid packing materials provided.Contract clear & simple (client copy provided)Payment was completed within two days of them receiving my bottleSo thanks Matt & Rachel.Your professionalism and friendly service has been greatly appreciated.Kind regards,BrianEddie F.Eddie F. ★★★★★ I am so pleased with the service I have received from Mark and his team. He has guided me through the whole process of selling my Dad’s whisky collection, Including sending the less valuable stuff to auction. I’d highly recommend him without a doubt.Charles S.Charles S. ★★★★★ Excellent professional service - prompt, uncomplicated, efficientscott M.scott M. ★★★★★ I can’t recommend Mark and Katy enough. My whisky casks were sold for more than I expected. This was done with minimum fuss. Their communication was great and I shall be using them again.SusanSusan ★★★★★ Can you tell me the hallmark for this medalResponse from the ownerHi Susan. Please can you email images to [email protected] and we'll be happy to help. Tom H.Tom H. ★★★★★ Matt Tweats at Mark Littler has been super helpful and gone above and beyond to help me sell my whisky collection. Thank you very muchCharles L.Charles L. ★★★★★ It was a pleasure to deal with Mark and his team in the sale of my whisky cask. Excellent customer service, communication, professional, helpful, knowledgeable, and friendly.Overall, I would have no hesitation in endorsing Mark Littler Ltd in achieving the best price if you are looking to sell your cask.Geoffrey B.Geoffrey B. ★★★★★ I wanted to sell a couple of whisky casks and used Mark Littler Ltd as my whisky broker. Apparently it is a slow process but Mark Littler managed to push the sale through quickly and at a good price. I have no hesitation in leaving this 5* review for the company.js_loader

    What affects the value of Macallan Private Eye?

    Macallan Whisky Sell Online

    The label

    The label of the Macallan Private Eye is brightly coloured and distinctive, having been designed specially by Ralph Steadman, who drew for Private Eye and was known for his political caricatures and cartoons. 

    The label is made of plastic and, therefore, there is zero tolerance on scuffs, marks, and scratches. Any damage to the label will reduce what investors and collectors are willing to pay for any specific bottle. 


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    The bottle

    Macallan Private Eye bottles are a standard shape and size, clear glass bottle and are a standard 70cl volume.

    Most Private Eye bottles feature a screw cap that is protected by a black capsule. The condition of the capsule should be considered; scratches and nicks in the foil (from getting them in and out of the box) will lower the value to a collector.

    The back of the bottle features a clear plastic label that describes the dark whisky inside in a black font. This bottle is quite unlike any other bottle of Macallan. 

    History of Macallan Private Eye

    The level

    The level in your bottle of Macallan Private Eye is important because it can drastically affect what collectors and buyers are willing to pay. 

    Ideally, the whisky should sit in the wide part of the neck of the bottle. Any lower and the value begins to drop. This is because lower levels suggest that the capsule is damaged and that evaporation has occurred. 

    You can reduce evaporation by keeping you bottle in a cool but humid place, standing upright, and out of direct sunlight. 

    Sell Macallan Private Eye

    Gold capsule cover?

    As stated above, most of the Private Eye bottlings feature a black capsule cover. However, a very small number of bottles feature a gold capsule cover. These bottles were sold exclusively by Fortnum & Mason in London. The gold capsules are very rare, and so they command a small premium. 

    Macallan Whisky VAlue

    The bottle number

    The bottle number is printed on the bottom of the bottle in gold lettering, XXX/5000. There may be a small premium for good bottle numbers.

    Those with a bottle number less than ten, or with numbers such as 1111, 2222, 3333, and 4444 are something of a novelty to collectors. Otherwise, the bottle number will make no difference to the value of your bottle. 

    Macallan Private Eye Valuations

    About Ralph Steadman

    Ralph Steadman was born in Cheshire in 1936. He attended the London College of Printing during the 1960s, and was approached by Private Eye during this time. He freelanced for many high-profile publications such as The New York Times, and Rolling Stone before going on to win awards for his illustrations. Steadman was commissioned by Macallan to design the Private Eye label in 1996.

    How we can help you sell your bottle

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    Private Sale

    Selling your bottle through our audience of private buyers can get a high price for you bottle and the convenience of a quick turn around on your sale. All we need is a good picture of your bottle stood up, ideally with the box if you have it and we can collect no obligation offers from our buyers for your consideration.

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    Auction can be the most suitable route for some bottles offering a wide audience of buyers. There is more element of risk in selling at auction as you have less control over the original price and usually takes longer to complete than a private sale. It is also important to choose the right specialist auction for you bottle, and we can advise you on this. 

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    Our online store launched in 2020 with an aim to bridge the gap between selling at auction and the prices you see at retail, helping you get more for your bottle. Selling via our online shop can achieve more than at auction or private sale but can take longer to complete, so requires the time to get your ideal price realised.

    Do You Remember This Story?

    In 2020 we sold a vertical of Macallan 18 year old for Matthew Robson for £44,000!

    The story went viral being covered from the BBC, to India, to the USA.  

    Matthew had been given a bottle every year from his father as a birthday gift and at the time of sale amounted to 28 bottles, all with their original boxes.

    Now We Can Help You

    It was a pleasure to work with Matthew, assisting him in obtaining the highest possible amount for his collection. Now, let us use our experience and connections to assist you.

    “I was looking to sell my whisky collection of 28 bottles of Macallan 18 year old to fund the purchase of my first house, so I got in touch with Mark.

    My father gave me 1 bottle each year for a birthday present so that by the time that I was 18 I would have 18 bottles of 18 year old Macallan. (Yes I’m that guy who was plastered over the media)

    Mark did a great job of getting professional photos taken of them and creating a PR buzz around the collection and I even ended up on BBC breakfast news, lad bible, and various radio stations around the world.

    At one point my story was the second most viewed story on BBC world wide news app for the whole weekend with over 2 million views.

    Needless to say within a day or two of this PR Campaign there was numerous offers.

    I would like to thank Mark for all his work and helping me with everything.”

    Macallan Whisky Collection

    What Is Your Whisky Worth

    Do you want to know what your whisky is worth but don’t know where to start?
    Use these guides to help you.

    What Is Your Whisky Worth? – An in-depth look at the factors affecting your bottle’s value.

    A Beginner’s Guide To Selling Whisky – Everything you need to get started selling your whisky.

    How To Sell Whisky Online – A rundown of all the online selling options available.

    Sell Your Whisky Today – A simple way to sell your whisky fast.

    Macallan Specific Guides

    The Complete Guide To Valuing Macallan Whisky – Selling Macallan? This is your starting point.

    What Is Macallan Whisky Worth? – Unsure of your Macallan’s value? Begin here


    How To Sell Your Bottle Of Macallan Private Eye

    Sell your bottle of whisky in 5 simple steps

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