A price record was to be broken with a giant bottle of Macallan whisky, but the plan flopped. Is the whiskey hype over?

The most expensive whiskey in the world, it bears the name Macallan, comes from Scotland and is 60 years old. In 2019, a bottle of The Macallan 1926 fetched a staggering £1.5million (around €1.7million) bid. Since then, extremely high prices have been achieved for products from the distillery, but the record sum has not yet been broken. At an auction last week, the top price should finally be topped again. After all, this time it wasn’t a boring 700 milliliter bottle that was offered, but the largest whiskey bottle in the world. A bottle big enough to hold 444 such 700-milliliter bottles. 444 bottles full of Macallan whiskey mind you. But the huge coup did not materialize.

If a single bottle sells for 1.7 million euros, how much does the giant bottle have to fetch? 444 times? The bottle with the sonorous name The Intrepid, which roughly translates to: the intrepid, was at least made to climb to the top. Behind the project are alternative investment firm Rosewin Holdings, investment firm Fah Mai Holdings Group and independent bottler Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky. But the whiskey lovers could not really get excited about the jumbo bottle with a capacity of no less than 311 liters.

Giant bottle: More gag than collector’s value

The whiskey from the Macallan distillery has experienced enormous hype in recent years. Macallan has a long history and is one of the first legal whiskey distilleries in Scotland. Since 1824, whiskey has been distilled on the banks of the Spey, in the very heart of the whiskey region. The distillery has always been more about quality than quantity, and productions that are strictly limited keep coming onto the market. This makes the Macallan a coveted collector’s item. Exclusivity plays a big role when it comes to opening the wallet.

The fact that the giant bottle brought in “only” just under 1.3 million euros in the end is largely due to the idea generators themselves. The bottle is a funny gag, after all it is 1.80 meters high, but it is not really collector’s value. Firstly, because it is an independent bottling and not one from Macallan itself. Secondly, the chosen whiskey in the bottle was a 32-year-old Macallan, which is less sought after than others in the house.

Although the attempt to win the world record price failed, Daniel Monk explained afterwards that it was always about more than just money anyway. “It is a passionate project to celebrate the life of my late father, Captain Stanley Monk, who was an explorer himself and achieved many amazing things in his life,” he is quoted as saying by Food and Wine. It was an adventure from the start. It is not known who will now put The Intrepid in the basement. It was an international buyer who wanted to remain anonymous.