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article imageWorld's most expensive whisky sold at auction

By Tim Sandle     Mar 27, 2015 in Food
Hong Kong - Recently the world's most expensive whisky was sold at auction. Sotheby’s, in Hong Kong, sold a bottle of The Macallan whisky for HK$4.9 million ($631,850). This set a world record, ratified by the Guinness Book of Records.
The Macallan whisky was contained within a 6-liter “M” Decanter, designed by the glass specialists at Lalique. Only four decanters were manufactured. The proceeds of the Macallan sale, where the whisky and decanter was donated by the Macallan distillery, were passed onto several Hong Kong charities.
The Macallan distillery is a single malt Scotch whisky distillery in Craigellachie, Moray. Based on the four-way classification of Scottish whisky, the range produced by the distillery are classified as "Speyside" whiskies. Speyside single malts are single malt Scotch whiskies, distilled in Strathspey, the area around the River Spey in Moray and Badenoch and Strathspey, in northeastern Scotland. Such whiskies are generally light and grassy or rich and sweet (a typical Macallan falls into the latter category.)
The whisky was a rare single malt called The Macallan Imperiale "M". The Macallan distillery, according to CNN, spent two years choosing seven casks out of nearly 200,000 that would be blended to create the limited edition "M" range. The whisky is also available in standard bottles, although they are very rare. Only 1,750 were produced and they are on the market for around $5,000 each.
The whisky was held in a specially made and very limited edition decanter. The faceted crystal decanter was 28 inches tall and held 6 liters of whisky. the decanter was named Constantine, after the Roman Emperor.
The company was founded by René Jules Lalique, a French glass designer, who was famed for his creations in the Art Deco style. Today Lalique is a major manufacturer of "high art" glassware.
With the combined rarity of the "M" whisky and the special decanter hitting the record sale price, David Cox of The Macallan told The Drinks Business: “To achieve this record for a second time is an outstanding achievement for The Macallan and is testament to the appetite for such exceptional and special creations with our long standing partner, Lalique. M Imperiale is the largest decanter Lalique has ever made and the largest The Macallan has ever filled. It truly showcases the combined talents of one of the world’s great designers (Fabien Baron), the finest of crystal makers and makers of one the world’s great spirits, The Macallan.”
The previous record for a whisky sale was also held by Macallan (at around $400,000). This was a 64 year-old expression of Macallan called Cire Perdue.
As to what the "M" will be like to sample, given that few readers will be in a position to try a drop, the view of one expert who works for Master of Malt, is:
Nose: "Dried fruits ripen, then soften showing off velvet sateen. Vanilla accompanies green apple hand in hand, neither taking the lead. Ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon create an ensemble in the background, with polished oak offering to overstate, yet never does, but plays with a depth of resinous, juicy oranges."
Palate: "The palate opens rich in wood spices, slowly showing all their viscosity. Wood smoke flits in and out."
Finish: "The heavier raisin and sultana flavours take over, meandering to a long full finish."
The world's most expensive dram.
More about Whisky, Auction, macallan, lalique
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