A bottle of whiskey described as "the most sought-after" in the world has sold for a record £2.1m at auction.

The Macallan Adami 1926 sold during a bidding war at Sotheby's in London on Saturday, marking the most that has ever been paid for a bottle of wine or spirits in an auction house.

Only 40 bottles of the whiskey were ever produced in 1986, and had been aged in sherry casks for 60 years.

Twelve of the bottles, including the one sold on Saturday, had labels designed by Italian artist Valerio Adami.

The previous auction record was held by a bottle of Macallan Adami 1926 from the same cask, changing hands for £1.5m.

Head of spirits at Sotheby's, Jonny Fowle, said the sale was "nothing short of momentous for the whisky industry".

The bottle sold on Saturday is the first to have been reconditioned by the distillery before it went to auction, which included replacing the cork and applying fresh glue to the corner of the labels.

In total, £2,187,500 was paid for the bottle, which included the buyer's premium on top of the £1.75m sale price.

It was an increase on the estimate of between £750,000 and £1.2m.

For people wanting to know what a whiskey worth more than £2m tastes like, Macallan's master whisky maker Kirsteen Campbell said it had notes of "rich dark fruits, black cherry compote alongside sticky dates, followed by intense sweet antique oak".

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She added: "Dark chocolate, treacle, ginger… the notes go on and on.

"It was a very special moment to experience the opening of this iconic 60-years-old single malt, first bottled 37 years ago, and I hope the new custodian will enjoy the same privilege."

2023-11-19T11:05:35Z dg43tfdfdgfd