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  1. Luxury
August 31, 2023

Mystery buyer of world’s largest bottle of whisky revealed

Standing over 1.8m tall, the record-breaking bottle containing 311 litres of 32-year-old Macallan single malt was sold at auction for £1.1 million in 2022

By Suzanne Elliott

The anonymous buyer who bought a bottle of whisky containing 311 litres of 32-year-old Macallan single malt for £1.1 million ($1.4m) – the largest bottle of whisky ever created – at auction last year has been revealed as a private spirits collector from Vietnam.

Ho Chi Minh City-based businessman Viet Nguyen Dinh Tuan added the 1.8m tall (5ft 11in) Intrepid to his £158.3m ($200m)-whisky and cognac collection after placing the winning bid at Scottish auctioneers Lyon & Turnbull in 2022.

[See also: Best whisky advisers]

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Created by Daniel Monk, of Cask World and Rosewin Holdings, and son of late explorer Captain Stanley Monk, the whisky’s name is inspired by Monk and other famous explorers who are depicted on the bottle.

Intrepid handover - Mr Viet receiving his whisky from Daniel Monk
Viet Nguyen Dinh Tuan Viet receiving his whisky from Daniel Monk / Image: Rosewin Holdings

The Intrepid is filled with Macallan single malt Scotch from two American hogshead casks that were each matured for 32 years and bottled on behalf of Monk at Duncan Taylor’s in Huntly. 

The bottle, which surpasses the previous record set by The Famous Grouse Experience in 1989 by 83 litres, contains the equivalent of 444 standard bottles.

Who is the anonymous buyer?

Viet is a celebrated collector of rare spirits, amassing a collection of the world’s rarest, oldest cognac and whisky bottles.  

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Among Viet’s treasures are the world’s only complete Macallan Fine & Rare series, the world’s largest bottle of cognac and the oldest bottle of whisky believed to be almost 150 years old – Glenavon Special Liqueur Whisky from the mid-Victorian era.

Among Viet’s world-record-breaking collection is a complete set of 12 50 cl bottles, including one replica and 11 featuring each of the explorers on The Intrepid, including Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Dr Geoff Wilson, Karen Darke MBE, Olly Hicks, Sarah Outen MBE, Dwayne Fields FRGS, Levison Wood FRGS HonD, Felicity Aston MBE and former Scottish adventurers of the year, Jamie Ramsay and Will Copestake.

[See also: Whisky pros reveal how to avoid investment scams]

Over the past decade, Viet has spent much of his spare time building his collection, which had an initial total purchase value of £14 million. He said he was drawn to The Intrepid because of its size, its contents and the record-breaking achievements of the explorers featured on the bottle’s label.

Viet was also presented with the Guinness World Records certificate acknowledging The Intrepid‘s status as well as a piece of artwork by Cornish artist Susan Hasemany commissioned to commemorate the moment.

Rare whisky bottles have been the strongest performer over the past 10 years in the Knight Frank index but were the only luxury asset class to see a fall in the latest report, with Macallan, the market leader, seeing particularly punishing losses. The results were compiled for Knight Frank by Rare Whisky 101, an intelligence and insight firm that tracks interest in fine whiskies.

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