World’s largest private whisky collection revealed ahead of auction

The world’s largest private collection of whisky to go to under the hammer has been revealed.

The haul, expected to fetch up to £8 million, comprises more than 3,900 bottles.

It includes a bottle of 1926 Fine and Rare Macallan, one of which recently became the most expensive in the world when it sold for £1.5 million.

Richard Gooding
Late American business magnate Richard Gooding built the collection (Gooding family/PA)

Richard Gooding, a former PepsiCo bottling magnate, built the collection over decades, regularly travelling to Scotland with his pilot from his US home to source special bottles at auctions and distilleries before his death in 2014.

He kept the thousands of bottles in his own “pub” – a room in his family home in Colorado specially designed to display the collection.

After being contacted by his family, Perthshire business Whisky Auctioneer will sell the collection over two online auctions next year.

Mr Gooding’s widow Nancy said: “It was clear to us as a family that collecting Scotch was one of Richard’s greatest passions – an endeavour that spanned over two decades.

“He loved every aspect of it, from researching the many single malt distilleries to visiting them and tasting their whiskies.

“He was always so pleased to acquire the bottles that he was searching for
over the years – his mission was to collect a bottle that represented every single distillery but his favourite was always Bowmore, with his preferred whisky being Black Bowmore.

“Richard truly loved and was proud of his collection and enjoyed sharing it with friends and fellow Scotch lovers in his ‘pub’ at home.”

Whisky Auctioneer founder Iain McClune
Whisky Auctioneer founder Iain McClune with one of the most valuable bottles in the collection (Peter Dibdin/Spey/PA)

Iain McClune, Whisky Auctioneer founder, said the collection coming to auction is “unprecedented”.

He said: “There’s never been a private sale of a collection like this ever before at auction – more than 3,900 bottles from one private collector.

“It’s the largest collection by value, by volume as well, and it’s very exciting to be part of that, to bring this to Whisky Auctioneer and to the wider public.

“What’s exciting about this collection is Mr Gooding really developed and built an extensive range of whiskies across the whole Scotch Whisky industry and from other countries as well.”

He added: “It really comprises everything from independent bottlings from closed distilleries, from the big brand names like Macallan and Bowmore and so on. It’s a wonderful opportunity.

“There’s 1926 Fine and Rare Macallan which recently became the most expensive bottle of whisky sold in the world.

“There’s also the 1926 Valerio Adami. These are two of the most legendary, most expensive whiskies ever produced.

“Over several decades, Mr Gooding spent his time really putting together what was considered the perfect collection of whisky in his eyes and it really does show.”

The collection will go on sale over two auctions, from February 7-17 and April 10-20 2020, via the Whisky Auctioneer website.

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