A single malt, scotch whisky cask dating back to November 1975 has set a new world record after being purchased for £16m by a private collector in Asia.
Known only as Cask No 3, it has smashed the previous record of £1m, set in April this year, the Financial Times reports.
The whisky was produced at the 207-year-old Ardbeg distillery, on the Scottish island of Islay. It sold for more than twice the amount the distillery and its entire stock were bought for in 1997.
Thomas Moradpour, the president and chief executive of Ardbeg’s owner, Glenmorangie, a subsidiary of the LVMH luxury goods group, said the record-breaking cask was a source of pride for the local community.
He said the people of Islay had seen the distillery come back from the brink of extinction to become “one of the most sought-after whiskies in the world”.
The distillery will draw around 88 bottles of whisky from the cask in each of the next five years and deliver them to the buyer. That’s about £36,000 per bottle.
The whisky writer and expert Charles MacLean described the £16m cask as “a remarkable piece of liquid history”, adding:
“The factors which make a particular whisky investable are threefold: rarity, flavour and variety. And collectors do love scotch, because of the provenance and history.”
Bill Lumsden, the head of distilling and whisky creation at Ardbeg, said:
“I’ve really only tasted a whisky like this two or three times in my career. It has an emotional, comforting quality to it I find hard to put into words.”
He said 1970s casks left in the distillery’s warehouses could be counted “on just a few hands”, adding that most whiskies from that era were put into blends, meaning single malts are rare.