Case Of Rare Kweichow Moutai Sells For Record $1.4M At Auction

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A case of Kweichow Moutai – a rare Chinese liquor - has sold for a record $1.4 million at a Sotheby’s London auction.

Sotheby’s said the lot included 24 bottles of 1974 “Sun Flower” Kweichow Moutai that was housed within the original wooden case.

In its description, Sotheby’s billed the lot as holding a “unique place not just in Moutai distillery’s history, but also in that of China’s.”

“Sun Flower” Moutai was first introduced 1969 with the last batch leaving the market around 1983. It is a highly sought-after liquor as only 36.2 tons of Moutai was produced in 1974, compared to a overall total production of 664.5 tons, according to official records as reported by Sotheby’s.

The state-owned Kweichow Moutai also calls the liquor a “mysterious drink.” Moutai has been dubbed “firewater” as it is 53% alcohol.

The company's Belgium website says, “ It has become the ultimate gift for special people and various celebrations. It is the only alcoholic beverage presented as an official gift by Chinese embassies in foreign countries and is used on many official occasions with foreign heads of state. ”

Experts predicted that the lot of Moutai would fetch £ 200,000 to £ 450,000 at auction but ended up selling for £ 1 million – five times the estimate and the highest prices at an auction for a single lot of the liquor outside of China, CNN reported.

A total of 14 bidders tried for the lot, pushing the price of the Kweichow Moutai up past the $1 million mark. The news outlet said the winning bid came from an Asian collector but the identity of the bidder was not revealed.

“We have seen some spectacular results for Moutai sold in Hong Kong, but this momentous price takes the baijiu spirit's standing amongst collectors to new heights,” Paul Wong, Sotheby's Moutai specialist, said in a statement obtained by CNN.

“Whilst current travel restrictions may prevent our clients from moving around, this has proved no impediment to the growing momentum of Moutai's popularity outside Asia,” he added.

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Photo: Daderot/Wikimedia Commons

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