Only 12 bottles of Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 were produced. Picture by Nic Hutchings

If you had a spare R16 million you could have bought the world’s most expensive bottle of whisky.

Last week, a bottle of the extremely rare The Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 60 year old sold at Bonhams Whisky Sale in Edinburgh for a new world record of £848.750. 

It had been estimated at £700.000 - £900.000 ( R13.5 million - R17.4 million), and was sold to a private collector who chose to remain anonymous.

Earlier this year, in May, another bottle of Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 was sold for £814.081 (R15.8 million) which was also the previous world record.

What makes it so special

In a press release, the auction house Bonhams says this is a very rare whisky.

The whisky was bottled in 1986. Macallan commissioned two world-famous Pop Artists – Valerio Adami and Peter Blake – to design labels for a very limited edition of 24 bottles –12 of the Adami and 12 of the Blake labels. 

The bottle is elegantly presented in a specially commissioned cabinet or Tantalus, based on the traditional 'Brass and Glass' distillery spirit safe. 

It was bought by the vendor direct from the Macallan distillery for an undisclosed sum in 1994 and was part of a wider collection from the same owner offered in the sale.

Bonhams Whisky specialist in Edinburgh Martin Green commented: “I am delighted at this exceptional result. It is a great honor to have established a new world record, and particularly exciting to have done so here in Scotland, the home of whisky.”

It might be worth remembering the name and vintage if one day you ever come across a bottle

Twelve bottles of The Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 were produced, it is not known how many of them still exist. 

One is said to have been destroyed in an earthquake in Japan in 2011, and it is believed that at least one of them has been opened and drunk.