13th May 2019
Sotheby's has recently sold a very expensive bottle of whisky at auction, and while we have all heard of rare vintage wines selling for eye-watering amounts at auction, not often the same is said of whisky. Some wine is so sought after that people spend decades tracking down a single bottle. It's not often that you hear about whisky selling for quite the same amount, and you rarely hear of wealthy individuals having whisky cellars (although they do exist) and whisky collections.
But a bottle of whisky did just that, sold for a considerable amount of money and opened the doors for more sought-after whiskies to command higher trade values.
The Sotheby's Whisky
The bottle of whisky in question was an extremely rare blended whisky that was blended using specialist equipment. Named L'Anima which translates from Italian to English as the Soul, the whisky is not only a blend of whiskies but also a collaboration of sorts between The Dalmore distillery and Massimo Bottura. Bottura is a world-renowned chef who is currently the patron of the Osteria Francescana, widely considered one of the best restaurants in the world.
The blend itself is a closely guarded secret, but what we do know is that they are three expressions of the same type of whisky. The whisky was matured in forty-year-old Pedro-Ximenez (Gonzalez Byass) casks as well as using port pipes (vintage from Graham's). It is also worth noting that the barrels were Bourbon casks which is commonplace in blending most scotch whiskies.
The Dalmore master distiller Richard Paterson spoke of the process after the auction, "This is a one of a kind bottling from The Dalmore – a product of a fantastic collaboration between Massimo and myself." He went on to say, "...it was clear we shared a passion for celebrating life by creating incredible food and drink. That passion is captured within this carefully composed one of a kind bottle."
The Sotheby's Sale
The whisky went to auction and exceeded everyone's expectations with the bottle commanding a price of £108,900, which also gave the buyer an exclusive invite to dine at the Osteri Francescana restaurant in Modena. The proceeds of the sale have been donated to a not-for-profit organisation called "Food for Soul" which aims to reduce the amount of food wastage that occurs globally.
The auctioneer Sotheby's has a long and distinguished history of providing the finest products at auction and this whisky sale adds to a growing pot of money accumulated from the sale of spirits already this year. That total is now approaching £2 million, and Sotheby's anticipate that as more distilleries collaborate on exclusive whisky products, this number will grow over the coming years.
Food for Soul
The money raised by l'Anima is being earmarked for special projects by Food for Soul with communities all over the world in order to ensure that food doesn't go to waste and cultural and cuisine diversity is celebrated.