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‘Forgotten’ Macallan cask expected to start global bidding war and secure record bid at auction

Macallan distillery exterior at dusk
The new Macallan distillery opened on Speyside in 2018. Photo: Jason Hedges/DCT Media

A cask of Macallan whisky from 1988, which was forgotten about by its owner for almost 34 years, is expected to start a global bidding war at auction.

The ex-pat owner of the “extremely rare” cask even had to be reminded by the Speyside distillery that their whisky was still maturing in a bond at the distillery.

Now up for auction, bids for the 374-litre refill butt have already surpassed £130,000 and are expected to go much higher before the Whisky Hammer auction closes on Sunday at 7pm.

Daniel Milne, co-founder and managing director of the specialist auction service, said: “Casks of this age and size are extremely rare, especially from The Macallan.

“This is, without doubt, one of the most exciting casks we’ve seen come to auction in recent years and we expect it to set a new world record by the time the auction closes on Sunday.”

David Milne of Whisky Hammer.

The Macallan 1988 cask is expected to beat the record set by Bonham’s for the sale of a 30-year-old re-racked sherry hogshead from Macallan, which fetched nearly £340,000.

It was originally bought for £5,000, meaning it will bring the owner at least 26 times what they paid for it. If bottled today it would yield 534 70cl bottles of 33-year-old whisky.

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