How much? 'Holy grail of whisky' sold for record £848,750

Update: 2018-10-05 15:20 GMT

HighlightThe rare bottle of 1926 Macallan Valerio Adami was bought for 848,750 and is part of a very limited edition

"The holy grail of whisky", which dates back almost a century, has been sold for a record-breaking sum at auction.

The bottle of 1926 Macallan Valerio Adami was bought for £848,750, including a hammer price of £700,000 and a buyer's premium of £148,750.

The whisky, which fetched the vast sum due to its rarity, vintage and unique artwork, had been expected to go for between £700,000 and £900,000.

Its label was designed by well-known Italian pop artist Valerio Adami.

Macallan had commissioned Adami and Briton Peter Blake to come up with labels for a very limited edition of 24 bottles.

Twelve carried the Adami label and 12 had the Blake design. It is not known how many of them still exist.

The whisky, sold at Bonhams in Edinburgh to an unknown buyer, is officially described as a 60 years old, having been created in 1926 and bottled in 1986.

Martin Green, from the auction house, said: "I am delighted at this exceptional result. It is a great honour to have established a new world record, and particularly exciting to have done so here in Scotland, the home of whisky.

"The Macallan 1926 60-year-old has been described as the Holy Grail of whisky.

"Its exceptional rarity and quality puts it in a league of its own, and the world's most serious whisky collectors will wait patiently for many years for a bottle to come on to the market."

Bonhams said the previous world record was set by the auction house this May when another bottle of the Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 was sold for £814,081.

One of the limited edition bottles is said to have been destroyed in an earthquake in Japan in 2011, and it is believed at least one of them was opened and drunk.

The bottle sold on Wednesday was bought by the seller direct from the Macallan distillery for an undisclosed sum in 1994.

Bonhams Hong Kong sold a bottle of the Macallan Peter Blake 1926 60-year-old for £751,703 in May.

Valerio Adami, now aged 83, is famous for painting bold, flat forms outlined in thick, black lines, in a style reminiscent of comic art.

He is among the most highly acclaimed of 20th century pop artist, alongside Sir Peter Blake.

The 86-year-old is best known for co-creating the sleeve design for the Beatles' album Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

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