A 54-year-old Scottish single malt whisky will go under the hammer on Wednesday and is expected to sell for £150,000, setting a new record for the pricey tipple.
The oldest whisky ever to come from the Isle of Islay, the bottle of Bowmore 1957 is one of only 12 bottles in existence. The exceptionally rare bottle will be the main lot at Bonhams' Whisky Sale in Edinburgh. A second bottle will be auctioned at Bonhams in New York on 28 October.
Distilled in 1957 and bottled in 2011, the Bowmore has been lying in oak for over half a century in Bowmore's legendary No. 1 Vaults, the oldest maturation warehouse in Scotland.
Bonhams has set a minimum reserve of £100,000, the highest ever set for a single malt whisky.
A year ago a bottle of Dalmore 62 scotch set a new world record
when it was bought by a Chinese businessman for £125,000. The last of 12 Dalmore 62 bottles, it had sat in a glass case at Singapore's Changi airport for six months before becoming the most expensive bottle ever sold.
Along with wine, whisky is becoming increasingly popular as an investment amid volatile stock markets. As well as being a fine drink, a good bottle of single malt – especially if it is rare – tends to go up in value as it ages.
But whisky lovers will find themselves in a dilemma - do you keep it or do you drink it? An earlier bottle of the Dalmore scotch was snapped up for £32,000 by a businessman who went on to down it with his mates at a hotel in Surrey.
A spokesman for Bonhams said about the Bowmore whisky: "It is, of course, also the rarest and is expected to become a highly sought after collectors' item.
"The whisky itself is said to carry initial flavours of blueberries, cassis, figs, sea salt and eucalyptus followed by dark chocolate and grapefruit leaving the drinker with an aftertaste of bergamot and star anise."
The auction proceeds will go towards five Scottish charities - Alzheimer Scotland; The Beatson (West of Scotland Cancer Centre); CHAS (children's hospice services); Erskine (medical care for Armed Forces); and Marie Curie (cancer care and research).
If you are tempted to start collecting whisky yourself, the Scotch Malt Whisky website
has a list of specialist whisky shops for the UK, US and Europe. Scroll down to the bottom of the page.
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