Collector pays nearly $20 million for a cask of Scotch whiskey made in 1975, or $43,000 a bottle

A collector paid nearly $20 million for a rare cask of single malt whiskey from a Scottish distillery, The Financial Times reported.

“Cask No.3” was sold by Ardberg, a distillery in Ardbeg on the south coast of the Isle of Islay in the Argyll and Bute region of Scotland.

An anonymous collector bought the cask for $19.2 million ($16 million) at a private sale, setting a new record after a cask sold earlier this year for $18 million. The cast can fill 440 bottles, which would value a single bottle at $43,000.

Ardberg, established in 1815, was revived by Glenmorangie in 1997 after suffering from the downturn in the whiskey industry in the 1970s and 1980s, the FT reported.

According to the report, single casks tend to be bottled all at once for cost and convenience reasons. However, the new cask owner will take delivery of 88 bottles each year for five years.

This cask was distilled in 1975 – the oldest Ardberg has ever released – meaning that by the time the collector receives her final batch of bottles, the whiskey will have aged between 46 and 50 years.

Ardberg CEO Thomas Moradpour told the newspaper: “This sale is a source of pride for all members of the Ardbeg community who have made our journey possible. Just 25 years ago, Ardbeg was at the edge of extinction, but today it is one of the most sought after whiskeys in the world.”

According to the FT, time has given the spirit “a patina of lightly smoky, aromatic woods, balsamic notes, dried fruit and sun-faded potpourri. It’s ripe, but not old, harmonious and supple, with a long nutty finish like a creamy praline.”

The company told the newspaper it would donate more than $1 million from the sale to local community causes.

Insider reached out to Ardberg for comment.

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