A young Chinese man paid 9,999 Swiss francs (USD10,000 / RM44,025) last week at a Swiss hotel for a glass of whisky made in 1878 by the revered Scotch maker Macallan, as reported by 20Minuten (a Swiss free daily newspaper).
The report was confirmed by an employee of the luxury Waldhaus Hotel in St. Moritz, northeast Switzerland.
The hotel's Devil's Place Whisky Bar has been honoured for its 2,500 bottle collection, including by the Guinness Book of World Records.
But proprietor Sandro Bernasconi told 20Minuten he never expected to open this particular treasure.
The unnamed whisky drinker and bar manager Sandro Bernasconi. / Photo: Sandro Bernasconi for Business Insider UK
After entering the bar with a group of people, the client expressed particular interest in the Macallans – the hotel has 47 options, ranging from seven Swiss francs to ten grand. "I told the customer that the most expensive Macallan was not for sale", Bernasconi was quoted as saying by the website. The client persisted, so Bernasconi called his father, who had run the hotel for 20 years and never had a client order the 1878. The elder Bernasconi told his son to go for it, even if the customer was not going to pay in advance.
"I was nervous," Bernasconi was quoted as saying, explaining that he was concerned the ancient cork would disintegrate. But everything went down smoothly, including the two-centilitre measure, Bernasconi said.
Now that the bottle is open, the hotel hopes to sell the remaining shots and may consider dropping the price. Before it was uncorked, the bottle had been valued at 50,000 Swiss francs (RM 220,002), a relatively modest price compared to recent record sets by whisky bottles at auction.
The identity of the young – but presumably well-heeled – connoisseur was not immediately available. A special collector's blend of Macallan's sold at auction in Hong Kong for nearly USD630,000 (RM 2,698,290) in 2014.