$28,928: Now that's whisky!

A bottle of Glenavon, widely acclaimed as the world's oldest bottle of whisky, sold for £14,000 -- or $28,928.72 in U.S. currency -- at auction in London yesterday.

The green glass bottle went to an anonymous telephone bidder from Scotland bidding on behalf of a private Russian collector, at the end of a frenetic auction at Bonham's in London.

The Glenavon is believed to have been bottled between 1851 and 1858. The Speyside distillery, which produced it, closed in 1858.

Is it still drinkable? Charles MacLean, a consultant to the auctioneers, said that whisky once bottled in glass should not spoil.

“I can tell this bottle is well sealed because the whisky goes right up to the neck," he told media reporters. "It is safe to assume that it will taste as good as the day it was bottled.”

The bottle was put up for sale by a woman living in Northern Ireland, who said that it had been in her family for generations.

Little is known about the Glenavon distillery, thought to have been located near the present-day Glenlivet distillery whose 19th-century owners are thought to have taken it over.

A spokesman for the Scotch Whisky Association said last night that any buyer of such a bottle would be well advised to check its provenance thoroughly. “What is not known is the actual age of the whisky; the years of maturing in the barrel are as important as the date of the bottling.”

The auction price did not exceed the record for a bottle of Scotch. That mark is held by a bottle of Dalmore that was aged for 62 years before being bottled. It went for £26,000, or $50,663.08 in U.S. currency.

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