11 May 2018: Auchentoshan® is on a mission to find creative bartenders to join its international bartender collective as it announces the launch of its New Malt Order 2018 competition. Launched in 2016, the New Malt Order is a growing community of like-minded bartenders who share a passion for shaking up the world of single malts.The urban malt from the city of Glasgow, is challenging entrants to create a cocktail that captures the essence of its triple distilled malt whisky and takes inspiration from the bartender’s home city. Successful bartenders will be given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit the home of Auchentoshan® in Glasgow and become immersed in the city’s culture and create an exclusive liquid with Master Blender, Ron Welsh (pictured below). The winners will go behind the scenes at the distillery and select from casks, blend, bottle and even have their say on the final packaging of this rare and unique single malt.
THE ORIGINAL CITY MALT
This year Auchentoshan® will celebrate its urban heritage and challenge bartenders to capture their city’s unique character in an Auchentoshan cocktail. The competition is now open and bartenders from the UK, Canada, Russia, Australia and Germany are being encouraged to enter via Instagram for a chance to become part of the New Malt Order global collective.
Judged by the best in the business, winners of this once in a lifetime experience will be announced in September.
THE NEW MALT ORDER
Launched in 2016, The New Malt Order is not only a competition but a growing global community of passionate bartenders who are pushing boundaries, breaking rules and taking single malt whisky to new places and new faces.
TWO LIMITED EDITIONS
Bartenders’ Malt 01 | Released July 2017
In 2016, the inaugural 12 bartenders from some of the world’s best bars designed a 47% ABV malt to blend in cocktails such as Bobby Burns, Vieux Carré, and the classic Old Fashioned.
Colour: Gold- copper with subtle grassy reflections
Nose: Dried apricots, milk, chocolate, honey and green tobacco leaf
Palate: Delicate floral cherry blossom and buttery brioche undercut by zesty notes of ginger
Bartenders’ Malt 02 | Released later in 2018
Bartenders’ Malt 02, created by 2017’s cohort of international bartenders, will be released exclusively to the on-trade later this year.
Speaking about the upcoming release, Master Blender Ron Welsh, said: “We’ve created a blend that matches bartenders tastes for mixing cocktails. It’s one of the best Auchentoshan®’s I’ve ever tasted.”
Charles Roche from Scout in London, a member of The New Malt Order: “Being a member of the New Malt Order is amazing. We’ve blended a whisky using our bartending expertise specifically for bartenders. It’s the perfect mix for any whisky based cocktail.”
Marco Di Ciacca, Senior Brand Manager, Edrington-Beam Suntory said: “We are excited and proud to announce Auchentoshan®’s New Malt Order competition for the third consecutive year. We are passionate about seeking the best advocates to represent single malt and champion creative bartending on a global scale. We’re looking forward to witnessing how the entrants capture the essence of their city this year and welcome the winners to the home of Auchentoshan®.”
BECOME PART OF THE NEW MALT ORDER 2018
The competition is now open, all entries need to be submitted by Saturday 30 June.
HOW TO ENTER
Enter on Instagram by posting:
To find out more and to enter, visit
For those who appreciate the intricacies of flavour, purchase a bottle of The Macallan Sherry Oak 12-Year-Old.
Founded in 1824, The Macallan is one of the worlds most admired and awarded single malt whiskies. This particular liquid has been aged in exclusively sherry seasoned American & European oak casks. This gives it a deliciously smooth taste, punctuated with rich dried fruits and sherry but balanced with wood smoke and spices.
Available to buy from Waitrose
Bowmore 15 was voted Whisky of the Year 2018 by The Whisky Exchange and is the perfect dram to toast World Whisky Day.
Matured in an incredible combination of both bourbon and sherry casks, it spends its final three years in Oloroso sherry casks, which give Bowmore 15 the rich, deep colour and warming finish.
Notes of toffee, treacle and chocolate make this delicious liquid great for someone looking to taste the best of the legendary Islay distillery’s millennial output.
Available to buy from The Whisky Exchange
If you like tradition and heritage, look no further than the Laphroaig 10 Year Old. It is the only single malt Scotch whisky to be awarded the Royal Warrant by HRH The Prince Of Wales, the ultimate seal of approval.
Notable for its high levels of peat, Laphroaig 10 has a very distinct and unique flavour profile, with an earthy, tangy taste detailed with elements of sweetness. Unforgettable.
Wonderful neat or with a drop of water, but it’s also perfect in The Penicillin cocktail with lemon, ginger and honey.
Available to buy from Waitrose and Sainsbury’s
Highland Park was founded by the descendants of Vikings, whose influence can be seen on the bottle’s incredible design. Pick this bottle for its sweetness and warmth – a whisky that never lets you down.
The 12-Year-Old, also called the Orkney after their historic island north of Scotland, has notes of honey with a gentle peaty smokiness. It is fantastic neat or over ice, but it can also be great in an Orcadian Cooler, which includes lemon, elderflower and soda water.
Available to buy from Tesco and Sainsbury’s
Maker’s Mark is a small-batch Bourbon handmade in Loretto, Kentucky using the same principles Bill Samuels Sr., first used in 1954.
Made from red winter wheat it has a sweeter taste than most traditional Bourbons giving it a distinctive taste. With notes of oak, caramel, vanilla and spice it is best served on its own, or as part of an Old Fashioned, Moscow Mule or hot Apple Cider.
Maker’s is distilled for six years before being bottled and sealed with red wax to give it a distinctive look, and is a great pick for a fan of bourbon.
Available to buy from Tesco and Waitrose.
Hibiki Japanese Harmony is a blend of Japanese malt and grain whiskies from three different regions: Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita. The whiskies are drawn from five different types of cask, and the bottle is presented in the brand’s trademark 24-faceted bottle representing the Japanese seasons.
The blend of select handcrafted whiskies pays tribute to the original Hibiki, which was launched in 1989. The finish is elegant and subtle, with a hint of Mizunara (Japanese oak). Perfect for those looking to celebrate World Whisky Day with a refined tipple.
Available to buy from Waitrose.
Dubai Airport based retailer Le Clos sets world record for most expensive whisky bottles ever sold at US$1.2m
Two extremely rare bottles of The Macallan 1926, with labels commissioned by artists Sir Peter Blake and Valerio Adami, bought by private collector
Bottles originally retailed for £20k, and the last known individual bottle sold in 2007 for US$75,000
(Dubai, UAE) 25 April 2018: Two extremely rare bottles of The Macallan 1926 have today set the world record for the most expensive whisky bottles ever sold after they changed hands for US$1.2m. The pair are labelled with original artworks by renowned artists Sir Peter Blake and Valerio Adami. The bottles were sold by Le Clos, the Dubai-Airport based luxury spirits retailer, to an international businessman for his private collection. Each bottle was sold for US$600,000.
These two bottles are two of the most unique bottles of whisky ever produced. The whisky itself is The Macallan 1926, which was distilled in 1926 then aged 60 years in sherry-seasoned oak barrels before being bottled and released in 1986. Of the 40 bottles produced, just 12 were given to British artist Sir Peter Blake, famed for co-creating the Beatles’ album cover for Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and 12 were given to the Italian artist Valerio Adami, (released in 1993) one of the most acclaimed pop artists of the 21st century. Each artist created a bespoke label for the bottles, making them highly sought after by art-lovers and whisky collectors alike. The rare bottles are presented in cabinets, or tantaluses, and are based on the ‘brass and glass’ distillery spirit safe designs.
Each bottle originally retailed at £20k, and the last known individual bottle sold in 2007 at Christie’s for US$75,000.
The sale at Le Clos sets a new benchmark for private sales and completes another chapter in The Macallan’s history as a collector’s whisky – the distillery also currently holds the record for most expensive whisky bottle sold at auction with The Macallan M Imperiale achieving US$628,000 at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in 2014.
Le Clos’ relationships and expertise within the luxury spirits market to source such rare and highly collectible products enabled the record-breaking sale to take place, building on several previous world-record sales in travel retail. Dubai Airport is the world’s new travel crossroads, and the partnership has made Macallan accessible to collectors around the globe.
Iain Delaney, Managing Director Le Clos, commented: “Le Clos has built a long-standing relationship with both The Macallan and Dubai Airports and we are thrilled to be able to celebrate our 10year anniversary with another world-record sale. This success is testament to the commitment of our partners who have supported the vision of Le Clos in becoming one of the world’s leading luxury retailers, not just in Dubai Airport but globally.
The desire to deliver world-class retailing excellence is engrained in our DNA as is our reputation for exploring the world to source unique fine wines and luxury spirits that are both accessible as they are different and bring them to the one of the world’s great cross roads.
It’s these attributes; the passion and ability to source some of the rarest bottles in the world, coupled with our world-class retailing credentials that have created the trust in the global market for private retail sales of this magnitude to take place.”
Geoff Kirk, Director of Prestige, The Macallan, said: “These represent some of the most exclusive bottles ever produced making this an iconic sale that will be remembered worldwide for years to come. It is incredibly rare for The Macallan 1926 to be made available for purchase, and the sale offers whisky connoisseurs the chance to secure historic bottles emblematic of 20th century pop culture. The Macallan is renowned for its outstanding quality and this sale demonstrates the brand standing as a leading figure in the whisky industry worldwide.”
“At Dubai International, we are focused on working with great partners who are committed to elevating the travel experience. One element of that experience is Le Clos’ unique product range, combined with the personal knowledge and service their team members offer. We are delighted that this industry record-breaking sale has taken place at our airport,” said Eugene Barry, Dubai Airports’ EVP Commercial.
Le Clos is owned and operated by Maritime and Mercantile International (MMI), headquartered in Dubai with a vision to becoming one of the world’s leading independent beverage distributors in emerging markets.
Back in the glory days not many distilleries had the facilities to bottle their own liquid and the likes of Macallan in particular would appoint independent companies such as Gordon & MacPhail with a licence to undertake what occasionally would be a laborious task. The perfect example can be seen with these two handwritten labels which were bottled in the early 1980s. These whiskies may appear the same but they tell two totally different stories. We have one example distilled before the War and another distilled some years after the War. However, what they do have in common is that they were both distilled when the distillery was still running with just two stills. The 1938 is considered one of the finest expressions from this time for its often unique peat flavours. Where the 1950 is equally impressive with more delicately oily and softer fruit complexities and metallic notes in place of the earlier phenolic styles. These older Macallan are not been produced anymore and as the years go by they seem to be getting thinner and thinner in auction.
Fast forward several decades and not only are Gordon & MacPhail still bottling Macallan, they’re also maturing their own stock. Over the years G&M have bottled some mind-blowing whiskies including examples under their Speymalt series which is solely dedicated for Macallan. This series has seriously been underestimated over the years. If you dig deep you will realise the majority of these whiskies are from single casks and are bottled at a significant age. In this sale you will find example from 1950 to 1991.
This months auction features two beautiful and remarkably crisp Bowmore’s. Both of them were distilled on 16th June 1973. The casks selected between both bottles are a run of continuous sherry casks (5173 & 5174 – 5175 & 5176) which are said to be the last remaining butts of the 1973 vintage. 1973 was the very start of a historical change in the style of Bowmore. Whisky produced was still of a high standard but was characterised by a noticeable taming of its previous qualities. As with all distilleries modernisation played a part but, crucially at Bowmore, it was the dramatic increase in production levels that would contribute to what some might argue was a compromise between quality and quantity. If you desire that pure immense tropical fruit character 1960s Bowmore has to offer, we have a rather tasty Sherriff’s.
A Highland Park that certainly doesn’t appear in auction regularly. A 1968 single caskbottled at 35 years of age. This is an official bottling produced for World Duty Free in 2003. Only 546 bottles were bottled at 51.2%. And a 1973 Dalmore finished in what they call the ”King of Grapes” Cabernet Sauvignon from the Chateau Haut-Marbuzet of Saint Estephe. This is a limited release of 1000 bottles.
The 1972 Brora has become a bit of a phenomena in the world of whisky and these examples under the Rare Malt’s label seem to rule them all. Like most whiskies today these are slowly drying up for two reasons. One is down to the fact many of these were consumed in the early days due to their crazy low retail prices and secondly both drinkers and collectors are becoming much more educated. This calibre of whisky deserves the status it has attained over the last 20+ years whereas the same can’t be said about many of the new hyped up releases we see being produced today.
We don’t generally mention modern releases such as this Glenmorangie, however, we’re partial to a bit of golf. And what’s more fitting than Glenmorangie & Dornoch. The whisky is a 16 year old from an ex Oloroso cask that has been specially commissioned by the distillery to celebrate 400 years of golf in Dornoch. Glenmorangie rarely produce single casks anymore so regardless of the occasion this is a great release.
After an epic bidding battle that lasted over four hours past the scheduled finish, a cask of Macallan single malt whisky distilled in 1989 sold for an astounding £242,200 ($336,512) in our February auction. We reckon this is a world record for a cask of 1989 whisky!
As you’ll know if you’ve been following our previous blogposts, Cask 1248 is a refill sherry hogshead that has been maturing in one of the distillery’s official bonded warehouses since being filled in January 1989. It’s the ninth Macallan cask we’ve auctioned and the oldest one we’ve had so far.
The regauging done in December on this cask showed that it now holds approximately 257 standard 70cl bottles of whisky at a strength of 52.75% abv, with the hammer price equating to over £942 per bottle before commission, duty and bottling costs are added. The incredible price comfortably beats our previous records from last month when a 1990 Macallan of the same cask type fetched £135,100 at an equivalent bottle price of around £560. A larger cask of Macallan 1996 sold in the same auction for £168,300 (around £320 per bottle).
The price achieved by the Macallan 1989 represents a remarkable surge in value for casks from the distillery. A similar hogshead cask from the 1995 vintage sold for £52,100 only three months ago in November 2017. The sale is an astonishing return on investment for the previous owner of Cask 1248, who paid £2,700 for the cask in 1994 when the whisky was just five years old.
Our own Wayne Ormerod, founder of Whisky-Online Auctions, commented: “This was a superb sale. Macallan is a blue chip distillery known for its sherry casks, so it’s ideal for auctions like ours that specialise in the best quality older whiskies. It is great to see this level of demand for bonded casks of single malt from serious auction buyers. There were multiple bidders who were determined to secure Cask 1248, which is why the auction kept extending and the cask ended up going for such a fantastic price.
“We’ve been auctioning rare bottles of whisky for several years, so when the opportunity to start auctioning casks came along it seemed like a natural progression. It’s fair to say we’ve been very pleasantly surprised by just how successful it’s been.”
It’s amazing how quickly the prices of these casks has escalated – we only began selling bonded casks last July but the opportunity to own and bottle a ‘private’ cask has clearly been a big hit with our buyers. As well as the high-profile Macallan casks, we’ve also seen plenty of interest in casks of maturing whisky from distilleries including Isle of Jura, Tullibardine, Arran and even a 1990 vintage cask from Littlemill, a distillery which was closed and dismantled over twenty years ago.
“A cask of aged Macallan is an increasingly historic and valuable asset and will always fetch high prices, particularly as the old Macallan distillery will be closing later this year after production is switched to the new facility. That makes these casks representing the distillery’s golden era even more special,” said Wayne.
“The whisky is a great example of 1980s Macallan and the good news is that although it’s drinking very well now, it’ll definitely keep until its thirtieth birthday next year – if the buyer can wait that long to bottle it.
“This is a new and rapidly-growing part of our business and we expect these extraordinary prices will attract many other cask-owners keen to find out how much their own liquid gold could achieve at auction.”
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