Nov. 18 (UPI) -- A vintage bottle of Scotch whisky aged for 60 years was sold at auction Saturday for $2.7 million.
The Macallan Adami 1926, hyped by Sotheby's in London as "the most sought-after" brand of Scotch in the world, fetched the biggest payout in history for a bottle of wine or spirits.
The nearly 100-year-old booze sold after an intense bidding war between potential buyers in the room and brokers who called in stakes by phone.
Only 40 bottles of the brand were sealed in 1986 after the whisky aged in sherry casks for six decades. A dozen of those bottles featured labels designed by Italian painter Valerio Adami, including the one that sold on Saturday.
A different bottle from the same cask sold at a Sotheby's auction in 2019 for nearly $2 million, a record that stood for four years until the Macallan sold Saturday for $2,714,250.
Another bottle of the rare Scotch sold in 2018 was the first bottle of booze to ever sell for $1 million.
The total cost for the bottle included a buyer's premium, which is a surcharge applied to the final sales price.
Jonny Fowle, Sotheby's global chief of spirits, described Saturday's sale as "nothing short of momentous for the whisky industry as a whole."
"The Macallan 1926 is the one whisky that every auctioneer wants to sell and every collector wants to own," he added.
The brand, whose whisky was sealed in casks in Scotland during the U.S. Prohibition era, carries an aura of mystique and legend as one of the Adami-labeled bottles was lost in a Japanese earthquake in 2011.
Adding to the intrigue, there was a mystery involving the whereabouts of an unlabeled bottle that went missing from one unlucky owner, and photographic evidence that suggests at least one of the 40 original bottles had been opened and savored in Japan in recent years, Sotheby's said.
Before Saturday's auction, the newly sold bottle was reconditioned by the distillery to ensure its optimal quality and preservation -- a process that included the replacement of the cork, and the application of fresh glue to the label.