Recently, Ardbeg grabbed numerous headlines with a record setting sale of a single cask for £16 million. The whisky in question was distilled in 1975 before being stored in two different casks, which were then emptied into a single refill Oloroso cask in 2014. As part of the sale, the whisky will be bottled over five years, meaning that the owner will end up with a unique vertical of whiskies ranging from 46 to 50 years old from 1975. Truly a heart racing and mouthwatering prospect for even the most casual whisky fan.

Many questions are always raised when sales like this are made public. My first is always ‘I wonder what this tastes like?’. Dr Bill Lumsden, Ardbeg’s director of whisky creation, promises a finessed whisky with notes of smoke, spearmint and espresso (and there’s my mouth watering). Since so little stock exists from this time period, before the distillery’s closure in 1981, this is a true one-of-a-kind whisky (and there’s my heart racing).

Another big question would be who’s the lucky owner of this cask? It’s been revealed that an unnamed collector in Asia purchased the whisky through a private cask programme run by The Glenmorangie Company. She has been described as being incredibly generous with her bottles, hinting that some of these one-off bottles may get opened, hopefully bringing some solace to those who shudder at the thought of unopened treasures gathering dust in someone’s cabinet or cellar.

It wasn’t too surprising to see Ardbeg’s name attached to a record setting sale. Ardbeg is a hugely collectable brand. Older releases and new limited edition bottles are equally coveted not just for their spirit but also their resale value. In this regard they are probably only rivalled by Macallan. Indeed, it was only a few months before this sale that a Macallan earned a now-shattered world record for the sale of a single cask of Scotch. I’m not a betting man, but given Macallan’s determination to be the world’s premier brand of luxury whisky, I’d say the odds are good for Macallan to reclaim that record within a year.

Which brings me to a final question: what does this sale mean for the industry? The Glenmorangie Company feel their £16million cask is the pinnacle of their private cask programme, largely due to the scarcity of older stock available. It should also be said that they will be reinvesting £1 million from the sale into local, Islay based causes and community projects.

But will the heavyweights of Scotch whisky indulge in a cask-based d*ck measuring contest until 40+ year old whiskies are only accessible to the Bezos’, Musks and Scrooge McDucks of the world? Yet when customers are willing to spend this amount of money on whisky, who can blame these companies for cashing in?

Companies boasting recording breaking sales may feel slightly crass in an age when many are counting their pennies in the face of rising costs for food and fuel, while many within the whisky community will shed a tear at news of stunning drams disappearing to private collections.

I’m not naive enough to ignore the fact that huge chunks of the profits from these sales will be going to shareholders, but I hope that these jaw-dropping figures will ultimately be a good thing for Scotch as a whole. Surely some of that money will go back into the industry itself? And without having the figures at hand, I’d imagine the bread-and-butter of the industry is still those regularly buying whisky - whether that’s your avid collector snapping up every new release from their favourite distillery or your uncle who who only buys and drinks his preferred blend.

As long as distilleries and blenders continue to craft great, ‘affordable’ whisky alongside setting records and grabbing headlines, I’ll be happy. Or maybe there’s a glorious bubble about to burst. Who knows. Until the next headline-grabbing sale though, slainte.