Why The Sale Of The World's Biggest Bottle Of Whiskey Was A Letdown

Whiskey is a versatile alcohol. You can sip the good stuff or put it in an old fashioned; you can buy a cheap bottle for $10; or you can try one of the most expensive bourbons in the world, some of which cost tens of thousands of dollars per bottle. Recently, one maker of Scotch whiskey was hoping that they had made a bottle that could break not one but two world records: that for being the world's largest bottle of whiskey — a victory they were able to claim, along with the official Guinness World Records certification — and another for being the most expensive bottle of whiskey ever sold (via Food & Wine).

The bottle in question was a group project of sorts between three companies that work in the whiskey world, and it really was gigantic. It even earned the nickname "The Intrepid." The bottle was 5 feet, 11 inches tall and was filled with 311 liters of The Macallan's Scotch, which had been aged for 32 years (via CBS). The trio estimated that they could potentially sell it for more than £1.3 million, based on the cost of the Scotch they used to fill the bottle and because of the size of the bottle itself. That would have put The Intrepid in sight of breaking the previous record of £1.452 million. 

However, when it came time for the auction, something surprising happened.

A weak economy could be to blame

Though the creators of The Intrepid estimated the value of whiskey in their bottle alone to be worth about £1.3, when the Scotch hit the auction block, it failed to capture a world record-breaking price. According to auction house Lyon & Turnbull, the bottle did end up selling, but only for £1.105 million. Per Food & Wine, that's more than £3 million short of the world record. They also speculated on the reason why the sale might have failed to live up to its hype.

It could be because the economy is weaker now than it was in 2018 when the current record-holder, a bottle of The Macallan's 60-year-old Scotch bottled in 1926, was sold (via Food & Wine). It also might be that The Intrepid wasn't actually bottled by The Macallan, but by an independent group, which could have lowered the prestige of the whiskey. Still, the founder of The Intrepid Project didn't seem too upset about not breaking the record price. 

"For me and the whole team The Intrepid Project has always been about more than money," Daniel Monk said in a statement after the auction (via Lyon & Turnbull). "This is a passion project to celebrate the life of my late father, Captain Stanley Monk, who was himself an explorer and achieved many amazing things during his life. Today would have been his birthday, so it was a perfect date to put The Intrepid up for auction."