The ‘perfect whisky collection’ is to go under the hammer — and it’s expected to fetch £8 million

Almost 4,000 rare or unusual bottles, accumulated over the course of two decades by American businessman Richard Gooding, will go on sale next years and could fetch £8 million.

An exceptional collection of Scotch whisky could be worth £8 million. Counting more than 3,900 bottles, it is the largest ever to go under the hammer, according to specialists Whisky Auctioneers, with the company’s founder, Iain McClune, calling it ‘one of the most exciting discoveries of the whisky world’.

Among others, it features some incredibly rare whiskies, including a 1926 Fine and Rare 60-Year-Old Macallan, which is considered the world’s most expensive after a single bottle sold for £1.5 million in October. Also in the mix are bottles from long-vanished distilleries, such as  Stromness and Dallas Dhu, some of which have not been previously sold at auction.

A bottle of 1926 Fine & Rare 60-year-old Macallan whisky

Among the bottles is a 1926 Fine & Rare 60-year-old Macallan, which is considered the world’s most expensive whisky. Credit:Peter Dibdin/

‘While there are a number of high profile bottles like the 1926 Macallans and Black Bowmores, he also amassed a treasure of enchanting gems from such a wide range of distilleries, including many that are long lost,’ says expert Becky Paskin.

The collection was the labour of love of the late Richard Gooding, an American businessman, who spent two decades amassing it, often flying to Scotland to source the perfect bottle.

Recommended videos for you

‘Collecting Scotch was one of Richard’s greatest passions,’ says his widow, Nancy Gooding. ‘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. Richard truly loved and was proud of his collection.’

Gooding whisky collection

This 3,900-bottle-strong collection of whiskies could sell for £8 million. Credit: Peter Dibdin/

The ‘sheer breadth and diversity of bottles’ is what most impressed whisky consultant Angus MacRaild. ‘Looking through it, you can tell it was put together by someone who loved whisky — and loved to drink it. So many of the bottles in this collection are special because they represent such outstanding quality; from wonderful independent rarities, to ancient bottlings of legendary single malts from before the Second World War, to some classic official bottlings. There are so many wonderful facets of Scotch Whisky represented here.’

Mr Gooding’s collection will be sold through two separate auctions on February 7-17 and April 10-20, 2020, through Whisky Auctioneers.