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Intrepid World Record Whisky Auction Success

27th May 2022

Intrepid World Record Whisky Auction Success

On May 25th, a significant chapter in our company's story came to a dramatic conclusion with the successful sale of our Guinness World Records largest bottle of whisky in the world for £1.1m. The project had combined two years' hard work, 11 titans of exploration, and 32 years of peaceful maturation at The Macallan distillery to give us what the world now knows as The Intrepid. This blog post will give you a little insight into the work leading up to the sale, the auction itself, and what's next for The Intrepid.

The Build Up

Since April, the Cask World and Rosewin Holdings team has been in all-systems-go mode with the countdown to The Intrepid Sale at leading auctioneers Lyon & Turnbull on May 25th. Here is a timeline of events building up to the auction:

  • April 14th - One of our Intrepid Replica Edition 50cl bottles had been flown across the pond to feature in the Freeman’s charity auction at the National Trust Scotland USA annual Gala event - A Celebration of Scotland’s Treasures - in New York City. The bottle achieved a hammer price of $5,500 towards the total of $350,000 raised for The NTS on the evening.
  • April 19th - an intimate tasting of The Intrepid with none other than Charles MacLean MBE, possibly the best known whisky personality on the planet. The tasting took place in the comfort of Charlie’s home in Edinburgh. Charlie has written numerous books on whisky, and what he doesn’t know about the water of life aint worth knowing! You can see the full tasting notes video here: Charles MacLean Intrepid Tasting
  • Late April - The first press release went out and was rapidly snapped up all over the globe. Around 400 outlets ran the story, one example of which can be read here: ITV News 28/4/22
  • The turn of the month saw The Intrepid project in attendance at The Speyside Whisky Festival, with more promotional work for the sale.
  • May 13th - A special dinner event was held in the Grand Hall at Lyon & Turnbull’s headquarters in Edinburgh. Three of our Intrepid Explorers - Karen Darke, Dwayne Fields, and Olly Hicks - were in attendance and shared some of their adventures with the high net worth whisky collectors and their representatives around the table. Food and whisky pairings were thoughtfully laid on, and Charlie MacLean guided the group through a tasting of our 32-year-old Intrepid Macallan.
  • The following week saw more press going out in far flung places: The Peak Magazine Singapore

All of the above ensured that the world was teed up for the big event on the 25th.

The Sale

And what an event it was! The star of the show, our beloved big bottle and its contents, achieved £1.1m, ensuring its inclusion on the very short list of whisky bottles that have broken through the million pound mark (OK, admittedly ours is slightly larger than the others, but it’s still a single bottle!). A full review of the auction and results can be found here: Lyon & Turnbull Intrepid Auction Report

Several full sets of the 50cl bottles dedicated to the explorers associated with the project also went under the hammer, along with individual bottles and some 5cl miniatures. We do have an extremely limited number of these exclusive bottlings left in the vault and will share more information on them in the coming weeks.

The project and resulting auction were about much more than numbers for us though, as our Founder Daniel Monk explained to the media:

For us The Intrepid project has always been about more than money. It has been an adventure from the start. We wanted to do something positive over lockdown and the whole team has worked extremely hard to make it happen. We started reaching out to leading explorers during lockdown, and managed to get the bottle made at the most difficult of times, and together we have now achieved the dream. I’d like to thank everyone involved in The Intrepid project, which is dedicated to the spirit and experience of exploration and adventure.

Key for us was gaining exposure for the explorers, the charities and causes they support, their upcoming expeditions and adventures, and the inspiration that they can to the rest of us. We are extremely happy that they are all immortalised on the bottle labels, and hope that they will remain on display wherever the record-breaking bottle or collectible sets go next. Jon Land, our Director of Operations, reflected on this:

We are all delighted with this result. Over the past two and a half years, this giant bottle and everything it stands for has allowed us to gain exposure for exploration, following dreams, and general positivity in a challenging global climate. Thanks especially go to the 11 explorers, and we hope they have benefitted from being part of this bonkers project.

Now, thanks to the sterling work of Lyon & Turnbull, the big bottle gets to start its next Intrepid chapter in a new place with a new guardian who hopefully has plans to put it on display where it belongs. the story continues…

We can't wait to see where she makes her home next!

If you would like to register your interest in the remaining Intrepid 12-bottle sets, individual 50cl bottles, or 5cl miniatures, drop us a line at info@caskworld.com or get in touch on +44 (0)203 813 4480.  

Images for this blog post courtesy of Lyon & Turnbull