Danny Lawson/PA Wire


A rare bottle of 55-year-old single malt has been sold at auction for £46,850, setting a new world record.

The bottle of Glenfiddich 'Janet Sheed Roberts' Reserve was auctioned at Bonhams in Edinburgh yesterday, topping the previous record of just under £30,000 for a bottle of single malt whisky.

It is the first of 11 bottles of the 1955 whisky to be released to the public in honour of Janet Sheed Roberts, the granddaughter of William Grant who founded the Glenfiddich distillery.

Mrs Roberts, who celebrated her 110th birthday in August, is the oldest living person in Scotland, distillery bosses said. All proceeds from the auction are being donated to the charity WaterAid.

Last year a 64-year-old Macallan malt and Lalique crystal decanter fetched 460,000 US dollars - about £298,000 - at an auction in New York, prompting distillers to say they had smashed the world record for the most expensive whisky ever sold.

But Bonhams said they too have broken a world record for a single malt whisky in a standard bottle with their £46,850 auction total, which includes the buyer's premium, for the Glenfiddich.

Bonhams' head of whisky, Martin Green, said: "This is the most valuable whisky we have ever auctioned here in Edinburgh and we're thrilled to have helped raise such a significant amount of money for WaterAid."

He described the whisky as being of the "highest standard" saying that it was "worth every penny". Bonhams said the whisky sale attracted interest from around the world, raising in total £215,000.

Mr Green added: "It's certainly a collector's item, which should only grow in value over the years. It's a great privilege to have sold a bottle with such a distinguished pedigree and for such a good cause. We are all delighted."

Glenfiddich is made in Dufftown, Banffshire, using a single source of water: the Robbie Dhu spring.
Peter Gordon, Glenfiddich chairman and great-nephew of Mrs Roberts, said: "The Glenfiddich Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve is one of the rarest and most precious whiskies we have ever made.

"It's a truly remarkable liquid which would be impossible to make without the purity of Robbie Dhu spring water. It seems fitting to use our most special whisky to raise money for such a special charity."