A NEW world-record price for a single bottle of whisky may be set at an auction in Edinburgh in six weeks’ time, with some experts speculation that it could even fetch seven figures.

The bottle of the extremely rare The Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 60 year old will be offered at Bonhams Whisky Sale in Edinburgh on October 3, with the auctioneers estimating its price to be between £700,000 and £900,000.

The whisky was bottled in 1986, when Macallan commissioned two world-famous Pop Artists – Valerio Adami and Peter Blake – to design unique handmade labels for a very limited edition of 24 bottles, with 12 of the Adami and 12 of the Blake labels. In effect, the sale is of bottles with paintings on them.

Bonham’s say: “The bottle is elegantly presented in a specially commissioned cabinet or Tantalus, based on the traditional ‘Brass and Glass’ distillery spirit safe. It was bought by the vendor direct from the Macallan distillery for an undisclosed sum in 1994.”

In May this year, another bottle of The Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 was sold at Bonhams Hong Kong for a world-record breaking price of £814,081 (HK$8,636,250) – the most ever paid for a bottle of Scotch whisky at public auction.

At the same sale, Bonhams also sold a bottle of The Macallan Peter Blake 1926 60 year old for £751,703 (HK$7,962,500).

Although only 12 bottles of The Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 were produced, it is not known how many of them still exist. One is said to have been destroyed in an earthquake in Japan in 2011, and it is believed that at least one of them has been opened and consumed.

Bonhams Whisky specialist in Edinburgh Martin Green said: “The Macallan 1926 60 year old has been described as the Holy Grail of whisky. Its exceptional rarity and quality puts it in a league of its own, and the world’s most serious whisky collectors will wait patiently for many years for a bottle to come on to the market. It is a great honour to be offering this amazingly rare whisky at our Edinburgh sale.”

Valerio Adami (born 1935) is an Italian artist famous for painting bold, flat forms outlined in thick, black lines, in a style reminiscent of comic art. He is among the most highly acclaimed of 20th Century Pop Artists and at the age of 83 is alive and working in Bologna, Italy.

The renowned international whisky consultant Charles MacLean, who writes about The Macallan Adami 1926 in the latest edition of Bonhams Magazine, added: “Macallan single malt is the darling of whisky collectors and The Macallan Adami 1926 – with its Peter Blake stablemate – sits at the very pinnacle of the distillery’s distinguished output.

“All the appeal of Scotch whisky – the myth, the tradition and the romance – find its ultimate expression in this bottle.”