We’re often astounded by how much people are willing to spend when buying things at auction; maybe they just really want certain items, or maybe they like a little healthy competition. Either way, these rich folk spend more in 5 minutes than we have in our entire lives. We’re not into buying old paintings or antique furniture, but recently, someone coughed up some major bucks for a purchase we can get behind: whisky.
Two weekends ago, a Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong featured a large crystal decanter filled with rare Macallan “M” whisky and it ended up setting a world record for the most expensive single-malt whisky sold at auction. The former world record was held by another Macallan whisky that sold for $460,000 in New York in 2010.
What’s so great about this whisky? It took two years for the resident whisky maker at Macallan’s Scotland distillery to choose seven casks that he wanted to blend to create “M.” That may seem like a long time, but it’s pretty darn quick considering the whisky maker had to go through 200,000 casks to find the elite seven. They casks all range in age from 25 to about 75 years old, but “M” is more about the rarity than the actual age. Charlie Whitfield, Macallan’s brand ambassador, said the winning bidder was buying “a unique opportunity to own a collaboration between best-respected luxury brands.”
One of the coolest things about this whisky is not just the alcohol itself, but also the bottle it comes in. This thing holds 6 liters of whisky, it’s 28 inches tall and it’s a hand-blown faceted crystal decanter. Before this final bottle was approved, the glass crafter created and destroyed 40 different decanters because they weren’t perfect. The “Constantine” decanter ultimately took 17 craftsmen over 50 hours to make. Hmm, we don’t think we’ve spent that long or put that much effort into making anything.
The winning bidder chose to remain anonymous (we’re guessing they don’t want to have to share their whisky with their friends, we respect that), but all proceeds of the sale went to various Hong Kong charities. Way to go guys.