Again the headline sale at a Bonhams auction in Hong Kong last week was Whisky from legendary distillery The Macallan. An entire group of The Macallan Lalique in Six Pillars Collection sold for HK$3,797,500 (US$485,244). Featuring six decanters created by French crystal house Lalique, the Macallan Whisky was aged for a variety of 50, 55, 57, 60, 62 and 65 years.
An initial forecast had suggested that the collection would be set to fetch between HK$3.6-4.6 million.
Daniel Lam, Bonhams Whisky specialist, said: “I am not surprised that this complete set of The Macallan in Lalique Six Pillars Collection sold so well.”
“The individual bottles are, of course, highly sought after, but the opportunity to acquire all six bottles at once like this very rarely comes along.”
Macallan’s The Ghost Series was also featured in the auction, with six bottles having been sold for HK$882,000, a more than 100% increase on the pre-auction estimate of HK$270,000-350,000. Some of the bottles featured in the series included stunning illustrations from 19th-century Japanese printer Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, who worked exclusively with the woodblock medium.
A vertical series of the Macallan, which included 40 bottles from 1958-2006, fetched an auction sale price of HK$735,000. A single Macallan Millennium Decanter was purchased by an unknown buyer for HK$257,250.
The Macallan has for many years been the benchmark by which all single malt Scotch Whiskies are judged. Speaking upon just what makes them a cut above the rest, the distillery says that: “We carefully select the finest quality spirit from our stills to ensure we create the best single malt Whisky. This finest cut ensures we produce our signature viscous mouth-feel and fruity aroma and flavor. This small portion or ‘cut’ is incredibly selective and one of the finest in the industry. It is primarily responsible for the full-bodied richness of The Macallan new make spirit. This clear colorless spirit is selected at just under 70% alcohol by volume. Distinctly robust and characterful this ‘new make’ spirit is the starting point for all Macallan.”
Furthermore, a collection of Whiskies bottled for the famous Conti Brothers grocery store in Sacramento, CA, fetched a bid of HK$269,500. This particular range included 15 single malts selected especially by the brothers themselves back in the 1970s and 1980s.
Earlier this month, a Chinese tourist caused a stir when he paid over $10,000 for a single shot of 1878 The Macallan Scotch at a Swiss hotel. Upon further investigation, a number of experts called into question the legitimacy of the bottle, calling it a fake.
In the wake of the scandal, which is under ongoing scrutiny, a number of Whisky collectors have become more prudent than ever in their assessment of a bottle’s authenticity.
“On Thursday, I got some information from a Whisky expert that this bottle could be a fake,” wrote the hotel’s manager Sandro Bernasconi in a statement.
“I called the Chinese guest to tell him that it could be a fake and said we would give the money back. We’re open to finding out the truth. If we had known it before, we would never have sold it.”