LONDON (AFP) – A 157-year-old whisky was sold for more than 29,000 pounds (41,500 euros/59,200 dollars) Friday, setting what is thought to be a world record auction price for a bottle of Scotch.
The Bowmore single malt, which was bottled in 1850, was sold at McTear’s auctioneers in Glasgow for 29,400 pounds to an anonymous telephone bidder, beating the distillery itself.
The price, which included buyer’s premium, comfortably beat the pre-sale estimate of between 15,000 and 20,000 pounds.
The whisky, which was was sold on behalf of a private owner, is the oldest known bottle of Bowmore in existence.
An auction spokesman said the sale came despite the bottle’s cork dropping into the whisky itself.
Bowmore’s brand director Glen Moore said they had planned to bring the bottle back to the distillery to take pride of place in its new visitor centre on the island of Islay, off Scotland’s west coast.
“We bid beyond the value limit we had set ourselves, but unfortunately, the winning bidder went beyond that,” he said.
“There are some serious whisky collectors around the world, and we know Bowmore is incredibly popular amongst them.”
Twin brothers William and James Mutter operated the distillery from the 1850s until the early 1890s when Bowmore Distillery Company Limited was formed.
The bottle was presented to William Mutter in 1851 at the time of him giving up his share of the distillery and has remained in the family for generations.
In 2005, a businessman paid 32,000 pounds for a 1942 bottle of Dalmore 62 Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky.
A bottle of Glenavon Special Liqueur Whisky from the 1850s sold at auction in London for 14,850 pounds last year.