There are 25 drams in a bottle of whisky, a dram being a one-ounce shot, and the price of a dram at current rates of the 1926 Macallan coming to auction is round £60,000. No, that’s not a misprint, it’s the most expensive bottle of whisky ever sold at £1.5 million.
It belonged to the late Richard Gooding, who ironically made his fortune from bottling Pepsi Cola and who built the most enviable collection of whisky in the world.
Gooding housed his 3900 bottle collection a specially built bar in his Colorado home, travelling to Scotland on a regular basis to top it up.
That collection is now estimated at £8 million, and while I find the prices fairly staggering, it is the passion that whisky instils in collectors that is the really captivating aspect. It may be distilled alcohol, but its real value is in the romance of the history and landscape of Scotland, as well as the science of the process itself.
Japanese whiskies and single malts from Australia to Wales attract avid fans too, but it is the Scotch version in its many varieties – Highland, Islands, Lowlands and Speyside – that remains king. And the modern, hi-tech way it is marketed and sold these days has attracted a whole new collector base among the young. It’s an auctioneer’s dream really.