2020 has been a difficult year across the board, yet the whisky market has offered a ray of hope for investors and collectors with some impressive auction results even at the height of the pandemic. New auction records were set even during this strangest of years for the most expensive Japanese whisky and for the first million dollar whisky sold via an online whisky auction. Here are the top 10 whisky auction results for 2020 as compiled by Whisky Advocate.
10. Macallan in Lalique Aged 72 Years
This covetable whisky went under the hammer in September with a sale price of $77,250. Created to commemorate the opening of Macallan’s brand-new distillery, this rare bottle is one of just 600 released in collaboration with Lalique who designed the unique Genesis decanter. The oldest ever official bottling of The Macallan at the time of release, this remarkable whisky generated huge interest when it was unveiled in 2018 and is tipped to be a future record setter in the coming years.
9. Macallan in Lalique Aged 72 Years
Just a couple of months later in November a second bottle of Macallan in Lalique went under the hammer for $77,366.
8. Macallan 78 Year Old: The Red Collection
Stealing the title for the oldest Macallan whisky ever officially bottled, this 2020 release is the pinnacle of the distillery’s venerable Red Collection. In December a bottle sold by online auctioneers Just Whisky went under the hammer for an impressive $92,581.
7. 1928 Macallan 50 Year Old
At number seven is yet another extremely rare Macallan bottled from three precious casks dated between 1926 and 1928. It was quickly snapped up in September for $108,930 on the UK’s largest online whisky auction site, Scotch Whisky Auctions.
6. Macallan 78 Year Old: The Red Collection
A second bottle of this 2020 release achieved an impressive hammer price of $120,661 in October at an online auction held by Whisky Hammer.
5. Macallan in Lalique 60 Year Old Linley Edition
One of the rarest whiskies to come onto the market this year, just three of these Linley Edition Macallans were ever made. The 60 year old single malt is encased in a special Lalique decanter and packaged in a bespoke lacquer box made by Viscount Linley, the Queen’s nephew and Royal furniture-maker. Back in March this stunning bottle sold at online auction for $160,535.
4. Yamazaki 50 Year Old Third Edition
Japanese whiskies also performed well this year, with this rare Yamazaki fetching $232,206 in December by the Hong Kong-based Poly Auction. The Yamazaki 50 Year Old Third Edition was previously the most expensive whisky ever sold at auction up until February 2020.
3. 1960 Karuizawa 52 year old Zodiac Rat
Sotheby’s took third place this year with a $352,860 result for this precious Japanese whisky sold in March. It’s also the most expensive Japanese whisky from a closed distillery.
2. Yamazaki 55 Year Old
Setting a new record for the most expensive Japanese whisky ever sold at auction, this recent release netted $645,125 at Bonhams in August.
1. 1926 Macallan 60 Year Old Valerio Adami
This year’s top spot goes to the very first million-dollar whisky to be sold via an online whisky auction, a rare Macallan that went under the hammer in February for $1,073,366. The highlight of “The Perfect Collection: Part One” which included nearly 4,000 bottles, this exceptional result is proof that online whisky auctions are a viable and lucrative alternative to live sales even for big ticket sales.