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Last October the US$1.9 million sale of a bottle of The Macallan single malt Scotch distilled in 1926 — the highest price ever paid at auction for a bottle of spirit — made even those who never touch the stuff sit up and take notice. At 700ml, it contains about 45 pours, making each dram worth around US$42,000. Martin Green, Whisky Specialist for the storied Bonhams auction house in Edinburgh, Scotland, and one of the world’s foremost experts, was, however, hardly surprised.

“For the past two years, Scotch whisky has been making headlines around the world as never before,” Green tells us. “Records have tumbled at such a pace that, at one point, Bonhams broke the world record for a bottle of whisky at auction twice in the same sale,” in Hong Kong in May 2018 — both of them also Macallans from 1926. Partly in response to these very high prices, “the recently published 2020 Wealth Report by Knight Frank Luxury

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