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A bottle with a label designed by Italian painter Valerio Adami took the record for the most expensive single bottle of whisky sold at auction. The Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 60-year-old whisky sold to a bidder in the room for $1.1m (HK$8.6m or £814,081).

The Macallan Peter Blake 1926 60-year-old sold to a phone bidder for $1.014m (HK$7.96m or £751,703) at the May 18 auction.

Macallan commissioned Blake and Adami to design labels for very limited editions in 1986. Only 24 bottles – 12 of the Blake label and 12 of the Adami label – were produced. 

Daniel Lam, head of fine wine and whisky at Bonhams Asia, said: “Active bidding came in from around the world but we saw new bidders from south east Asia including Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia reflecting the growing appetite and appreciation for whisky among Asian collectors.”

Two similar bottles were sold by the Dubai airport retailer Le Clos for $600,000 each in April. The last known sale taking place at auction was in 2007 where a bottle of the Macallan Adami sold for $75,000.

The previous auction record for any single malt whisky was the HK$4.9m sale of the Macallan six litre ‘M’ Decanter by Lalique in 2014 in Hong Kong.