A SINGLE bottle of the “holy grail” of whisky has sold at auction for a record £1.5 million, Sotheby’s has said.

The bottle of The Macallan 60 Year Old 1926 had been estimated to sell for between £350,000 and £450,000 ahead of its auction in London yesterday.

It is part of a collection of Scotch whisky described as the most valuable to be offered at auction, and expected to sell for around

£4 million in total.

The Ultimate Whisky Collection comprises 394 lots, 467 bottles and nine casks.

The company claims it is the most comprehensive collection of Scotch whisky to come to the market from a private seller – a wine collector who spent his youth in the UK but is now living in America, who turned to Scotland’s national drink.

Sotheby’s described the original label 60-year-old The Macallan 1926 from cask number 263 as the holy grail of whisky. The cask produced only 40 bottles.

The previous auction record for a single bottle was £1.2m, set by another bottle of The Macallan 60 Year Old 1926 drawn from the same cask but presented last year in a unique bottle painted by the Irish artist Michael Dillon.

Sotheby’s Wine chairman Jamie Ritchie said: “This groundbreaking sale reminds me of the first wine sales that Sotheby’s held in New York in 1994 and Hong Kong in 2009. We believe it will come to be viewed as a similarly historic moment in the spirits market.”