An 80-year-old single malt scotch, described as the world’s oldest whisky,
is set to be sold at one of the world’s finest auction houses.
The ,*80-Year-Old Glenlivet Distillery Whisky* was distilled in 1940, sat
in a cask for nearly a century and has finally been bottled by Gordon &
McPhail in collaboration with designer Sir David Adjaye OBE.
Sir David was the designer of the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, and ,*in 2021
won the Royal Gold Medal prize for architecture*, the biggest price the
Institute of British Architects bestows on architects and designers.
Sir David’s design, entitled “Artistry in Oak” consists of a specially
designed decanter and oak case which are also part of the sale, as is a
whisky tasting experience for four, and a framed cask head of the famed
Cask 340 that held the whisky for eight decades, as well as a lithograph of
Sir David’s concept art.
The auction for *a rather unique whisky investment* is set to begin on 7th
October in Hong Kong, with an estimate of between £80,000 and £140,000,
although there is a chance that the price will rise far higher than this.
For example, the most expensive bottle of whisky ever sold, the ,*Macallan
Fine & Rare 60 Year Old* distilled in 1926 and bottled in 1986, was
estimated to sell for £350,000 and sold for £1.45m.
Whilst this record was technically broken earlier this year by the Faberge
Emerald Isle Collection, the latter’s sale included a rare Fabergé egg and
an Altruist watch.
The proceeds of the sale of Decanter #1 of 250 will be donated to Trees for
Life, which grows 100,000 trees per year in a bid to rewild the Caledonian
Sir David’s oak frame design was inspired by this, describing the wood in
almost alchemical terms for how it turns liquid into an “almost magical”
elixir, and publicity photographs show how the enclosure recreates the
split beams of sunlight shining through a natural oak forest.
The origins of the eight-decade-old whisky start with distiller George
Urquhart, who had the belief that each whisky cask bottled should be left
for as long as was necessary for it to be at its absolute best.
As a first-fill cask, matured for longer than any Scotch whisky in history,
there is a particular fascination behind this history-making bottle, even
if the context of its production was not taken into account.
Cask 340, which housed the whisky until February 2020, was made from
century-old oak initially planted around the time of Queen Victoria’s
wedding, and reached the shores of Scotland in 1940, just as the Ministry
of Food rationed barley for the war effort.
This means that during wartime, Glenlivet’s production fell by two-thirds,
making this cask even rarer than it perhaps would have been during
peacetime, accentuating the intrigue.
After four generations of the Urquhart family taking care of the Gordon &
MacPhail oak cask that belonged to Scotland’s first-ever distillery, it is
set for auction as part of a Various Owner spirits auction in Hong Kong,
providing the auction’s winner with a chance to taste history.