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Expectations were exceeded at New York’s first spirits auction since Prohibition, held on Saturday at Christie’s. Total sales topped $300,000, a third of that going towards the superlot of 729 bottles of Scotch (on the wall…729 bottles of Scotch…).
The top-grossing single bottle was, duh, the 1926 Macallan, which sold for $54,000—about double its expected fetch.
Neither you nor I will ever pay five figures for a bottle of old whiskey, so why am I wasting our time with this? Because now that you see how much collectors are willing to pay for it, it’s time again to go raid Dad’s (or, better yet, Grandpa’s) liquor cabinet (reach way, way back and grab the dustiest bottle you can find). And start trawling antiques stores and flea markets for old, unopened bottles (they’re out there). Because unlike old, delicate bottles of wine—which will spoil if you look at them wrong—even ancient spirits can handle years of abuse in someone’s attic. And we've now seen that old booze can be turned into new money.