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Highland Fling

  • Jared Paul Stern


Would you pay $30,000 for a bottle of Scotch? The folks at Christie's are hoping somebody will at what is certainly an auspicious occasion: the first auction of rare spirits in New York since Prohibition began in 1920, taking place this Saturday at their Rockefeller Center HQ.

Along with a flock of rare wine, Christie's is offering some killer Cognac, Armagnac and Scotch dating from the 1800s. On the brandy front, the big gets are two magnums of Napoléon Cognac, vintage 1811 and 1812, estimated at $7,000-$10,000 each. The Armagnac (which we happen to prefer) is a much better deal, with most estimates starting at $500. But the star of the auction is lone bottle of Macallan vintage 1926 single malt Highland Scotch carrying an estimate of $20,000-$30,000. A bottle of vintage 1856 Macallan is expected to set you back $16,000-$24,000 meanwhile.

Also on offer is a collection of various malts—729 bottles in all, some from distilleries no longer extant—being sold as a single lot with an estimate of $70,000-$100,000. Think of it this way—you'll never have to go to the liquor store again.