A bottle of The Macallan 1926, described by Sotheby's auction house as the "most valuable whisky in the world", went under the hammer for a record £2.1m (€2.5m).

The rare bottle had been expected to raise between £750,000 and £1.2m but outstripped estimates to fetch £2,187,500.

The sale set a "new record for any bottle of spirit or wine sold at auction", Sotheby's told AFP.

One of the Macallan 1926 bottles had set a previous record for the most expensive bottle ever sold in 2019, when it fetched £1.5m at the same London auction house.

Sotheby's head of whisky Jonny Fowle told AFP ahead of the sale that he had been allowed to sample the prized whisky.

"I tasted a tiny drop -- a tiny drop -- of this. It's very rich, it's got a lot of dried fruit as you would expect, a lot of spice, a lot of wood," he said.

He said it had spent 60 years in dark European oak, which was reflected in the colour.

"It's not a whisky to take lightly. It's a rich, rich dram, but it is incredible," he said.

The bottles are among only 40 that Macallan, based in Moray, northern Scotland, has confirmed were bottled from Cask 263 in 1986.